Sunday, July 11, 2010

The Measure of a Man: Week 1

July 5-9, 2010~

I guess it's about time to catch up on all the things that have happened in the past several months.  I've been wanting to talk about the film we shot last summer entitled "The Measure of a Man" which I'm sure by now is not news to anyone but for memories sake I thought I'd write about my experiences. Most of the pictures I'll be posting are a compilation of pictures taken by 1st AC Joshua Moore and various moms and actors on set.  

Life on set is... wow, a bundle of emotions!  I had no idea how much work, energy and time went into making a film.  After watching Andrew produce two films prior I just assumed it was going to be easy.  I was wrong.  The complexity of orchestrating such a project and making sure that everything runs as smooth and efficiently as possible is pure anxiety.  Plus the hours are crazy and being away from my kids was a trial in itself.  But at the same time it was one of the most fun, entertaining, fulfilling and rewarding experiences in my entire life!  I was honored to be able to work on set and held the self proclaimed title of Production Coordinator.  My job primarily consisted of anything paper related from player contracts, to personal releases, to work permits.  The first few weeks I got to break up a few fights and on more than one occasion managed to "keep the peace" and save the shoot.  I also got to do the daily call sheets which kept me up until the wee hours of the morning.  I coordinated with everyone and made sure every single person on set had the details they needed to do their jobs.  I even did some location scouting and managed to arrange locations for the shoot.  To be honest when we started I had no idea what my job entailed but I learned to adapt and ended up doing a mix of jobs necessary to getting the film shot.  I ended up learning A LOT about the film business as a whole and I'm 100% more prepared for the next one.  Just as important I also learned a lot about myself.  On several occasions the job forced me, out of necessity, to step out of my comfort zone and in doing so I found I was capable of things I never thought I could do before.

Enough about me, let's talk a tiny bit about our primary location.  Finding the perfect house to film at was tricky...  I can't tell you how many long hours I spent, kids crying in the backseat, driving up and down the streets of Bakersfield in search of that one perfect house.  We actually found a couple that would work but there was always that one thing that just didn't work.  With the shoot just weeks away our search was starting to look a little hopeless then a friend of ours, Jeanna, mentioned that a friend of hers owned a house on Sunset St. in the Oleander Area.  Andy questioned her further as she described this house which matched to a T the house he grew up in as a kid.  Turns out this two story house at the corner of Sunset and Myrtle IS the house Andrew grew up in and not only that it was the perfect location for the shoot.  I still don't know what the odds are of something like this happening but let's just say it was one of many miraculous things that happened during the entirety of the shoot.

The Sunset House, our primary shooting location for the film and home base for 4 out of 5 weeks.

July 5~ The first day on set was rehearsal day.  The actors had a chance to practice their songs, get fitted for wardrobe AND get sweet haircuts courtesy of Grandpa Waite.

Jarin & Blythe in wardrobe

Our wardrobe was great thanks to Amber who stepped in at the last minute after our first costumer bailed on us.  She did a great job and really saved the production from the majority of our wardrobe disasters.  

This was the first time everyone got to sing together on camera.  In the above picture Elizabeth (Director) is rehearsing with the group.  Aren't they cute?

"Mr. Bailey, your children were digging in the neighbors yard again, his tractor fell in a hole"...
The policeman was played by Ryan Schwartzman, our leading actresses husband.

One of the many production meetings.  Looks like it's going well...

One of the days I had to make a trip to LA to pick up some equipment.  Inside the store I saw the below movie poster for the film "Fuel".  It's a film by The Dreaming Tree and was partially shot here in Bakersfield.  Andy assisted in the sound department for this film.

2nd Assistant Camera, Sam, getting creative with the production state.

By the end of the first week we were 100% on schedule, which I'm told almost never happens!

Week 2 to be continued in the next post...

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