Assuming you’re more or less on schedule, a short day is everyone’s favorite day on a film. String enough 14+ hour days together and a 8 hour day sounds like a vacation. Of course, some of the simpler things get a lot trickier, as everyone is a little punch-drunk.
As you can see, we’re not so good at doing something as simple as cutting up kindling, which isn’t hard at all. Also, it’s raining again. Of course it is.
We shoot a couple of scenes by the wood pile. A big embrace. A broken coffee mug. More kindling.
An exhausted group of people.
From there, we drive to the nearby beach to film the ending. The rain has let up, mercifully. The big challenge here is a really simple one. We’ve got two people in a car, virtually no grip equipment, and a lot of glare on the windshield. A lot of glare. We’re trying to flag it off with flexible reflectors, but the reflectors are also showing up on the windshield if they aren’t in the perfect spot. Thankfully, they’re flexible, which is pretty much required to hit that sweet spot.
And if it didn’t take every pair of hands on set to get it in that spot, we’d have a picture of it. Instead, we have this.
I can’t really talk too much about the rest of the shoot, what with it being pretty much a spoiler, but suffice to say it went pretty smoothly. Then, back to the house to pack up.
A lesson for aspiring filmmakers: you can work your crew 13, 14, 16 hours a day for no money. You can do pretty much anything. Really, you can. And if you open a bottle of champagne for the crew to drink while they’re packing up, you’ll have a very happy crew. Beer works too, but not as well as champagne.
In the days since I left Seattle, the creative team behind THE SUMMER HOME has launched a Kickstarter campaign to pay for the film they’ve already got in the can. Check it out. And if you can throw them a few bucks, that’d be fantastic.
Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. His feature-length debut is now available to rent on VOD. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.