Joe is back!
When a crew is as small as the crew on FAVOR, you really notice when people are gone. Mostly because they film so many damned roles. Take Joe for example. Joe is primarily the boom operator. But he’s also running power all over the place and setting up lights. And those are just his primary responsibilities. There are no extra hands. So when Joe’s gone, there’s a pretty massive hole in the crew. But now he’s back.
One of the running themes of FAVOR has been the various injuries that have started to accumulate. A couple of days ago, director Paul Osborne slipped on some wet grass and twisted his angle. Seeing as he’s the camera operator and we’re mostly shooting handheld, a twisted ankle isn’t so helpful. We’ve offered to help him run the camera, but Paul is resolute, gritting his teeth for the length of a take, then hobbling the rest of the way.
And today, as a result of yesterday’s stunts, Patrick Day has a brand new accessory–a broken finger. Also, his back hurts. Pretty much everyone is starting to get a little injured on this film.
Today (well, tonight) we’re shooting one of the final scenes from the film. Obviously, we can’t talk about that much. So let’s talk about where we’re filming. The location is a house in the Valley, in an area called Chatsworth. Now if you’re like me and you don’t really know much about the various parts of Los Angeles, then you should probably know that Chatsworth is pretty much the epicenter of the porn industry. Go ahead, scroll down the Wikipedia link. It’s a little factoid that has absolutely no bearing on the production, but I think it’s good to give a little context of where exactly we are. It might also give some context into what the neighbors assume we’re doing at 3am.
But what we can talk about is the value of a good art director. Ours isn’t great. My first day on the project was the art director’s last. Let’s just leave it at that. Anyway, he put together some fake beer bottle labels for the production (even though they could have very easily used Brainerd Lakes Beer for this exact reason). The labels look nice enough. They have that micro-brew vibe about them and everything. The only problem is they have some rather well-drawn images on them. But where did they come from? Keep in mind that in the 20 minutes I talked to this guy, I explained the term “greek” to him twice. (Greeking, if you don’t know, is when you do something to cover up a logo that’ll appear on camera.) It’s too late to try and get him on the phone. Do we shoot it and take our chances? We could, but pretty quickly the consensus becomes to greek the labels made by our Art Director. It just simply isn’t worth the risk.
I’m pretty sure the other productions in the neighborhood didn’t have that come up during filming. *rimshot*
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.