Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Measure of a Man: Week 5

August 2-6, 2010~

The last and final week of our 5 week shoot.  This was probably our most challenging of weeks since everything was shot on location with a different location every day of the week.

August 2nd~  The first day we brought the kids back for one more day in order to shoot the driving scene.  We made arrangements to block off a section of the road in Hart Park, attached several cameras around and inside the car and drove around with all 11 passengers and no seat belts. 

Perfectly safe I assure you and very authentic :)

Driving around Hart Park alongside the Kern River.

5 of the 9 kids

Elizabeth and Madeline

Andrew with Alana and Madeline.
By the end of the shoot everyone felt like family. I wouldn't have it any other way but it made it really hard to say goodbye.  This was our very last day shooting with the kids :(

Unfortunately while everyone was shooting and saying there goodbye's I was location scouting at the old Weedpatch Labor Camp now know as the Sunset Migratory Labor Camp in Arvin, CA.

We ended up not using this location but it was an experience I'll never forget.  I couldn't believe how much history was here.  I definitely have a much greater knowledge and respect for those that lived during the Oklahoma dust bowl and traveled to Kern County to find a better life.

I even got the grand tour from the man himself, Earl Shelton.  He was only 7 when he traveled with his family and thousands of other Dust Bowlers to California where they lived in camps like Weedpatch, which was immortalized in John Steinbeck's "Grapes of Wrath".  The building behind Earl was actually featured in the "Grapes of Wrath" film.

August 3rd~  One day we got to recreate a labor camp in what was literally our backyard.  The crew really rallied together on this one and with a few purchases at Lowe's and finding stuff laying around they managed to make a very impressive looking camp.  They also got their turn in the spotlight when most of them played residents at the camp.

Sound mixer, Zack, and Cinematographer, Ian, even got into a mock fight to set the mood for the camp.

Gaffer Leonard, Key Grip Jared, and Cinematographer/ Camera Ian dressed the part.  These guys sure knew how to keep things interesting. 

August 4th~  The next day we spent the day at the Kern County Museum where we managed to condense about 9 locations into one.  The museum, although a very expensive location, offered us a huge variety of houses and buildings in which to shoot.  I even got to act out my big part as Donald's dying mother.

 Emogene and Donald's courthouse marriage.

August 5th~
  One day we made arrangements to shoot inside the Taft Fox Theater.  It was pretty cool!  

 They were very accommodating, letting us have the run of the place and even changing the marquee.  

 Making her acting debut on the big screen was child actress Ilona Hanson, playing the role of child Emogene, alongside the beautiful and talented Lynne-Marie Beard, who plays Emogene's mother Bessie.  Emogene was originally supposed to be played by Evelyn but she just couldn't get her one line down "Momma, make him stop!".  She is too much like me and can't keep a straight face if her life depended on it.  The line ended up getting cut anyway but Ilona did such a marvelous job!

Andrew's Uncle Sam even had his big scene as the preacher acting with Tina Mirka, playing teenage Emogene and Sarah Swainston playing her friend Alice.

August 6th~  The last day we hired a back hoe to dig a giant hole to act as a home for child Emogene, her mother, and bootlegging father.

 Child Emogene (played by Ilona Hansen) with her mother Bessie, (played by Lynne-Marie Beard) and father Emmett (played by Travis Cluff aka "Super Shorts"<-- Seriously! check out his IMDB)

Emogene entering her makeshift dugout.  Pretty convincing don't you think?!

All in all the shoot went great!  We definitely had our trials but everything always seemed to work itself out.  I'm so blessed to be able to work on such a wonderful project and honestly I already miss it.  I have a good feeling this film will be a legacy in the Bailey family for generations to come.  I'm very much looking forward to our next film and hope that I can help out again.  I learned so much and met so many wonderful people.  I can't express how much I appreciate everyone that helped work on the film and I can't wait for our reunion at the premier.

What happened next:
No more than 24 hours after wrapping our shoot Kim had a rough cut ready for us to watch!  This is a picture of her screen with the entire movie clipped together at the bottom.

 The next week The El Camino Club invited us to their monthly meeting to discuss the film and it's upcoming premiere!  I am super grateful for Richard and the entire El Camino Club!

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