Day 2 on Andrew Brotzman’s NOR’EASTER by Lucas McNelly


After today, I’m petitioning IMDb for a new category: door puller.

Imagine this scene: a shack/cabin roughly 400 square feet, steps from the ocean, has an entire film crew in it. Most of the room is in the shot, so everyone is huddled in a corner or going back and forth outside, where all the grip gear is under a tent, seeing as there’s freezing rain outside. The cabin has a door on wheels which makes a squealing sound something between bad brakes and nails on a chalkboard. This door must stay closed, in order to keep what little heat there is inside. So someone must man the door, opening and closing it every few seconds as the crew shuttles back and forth.


Enter me: door puller.

It’s a glamorous job, for sure. But, that’s exactly the type of thing you need on a film set–someone who can do random stuff like that. Or, as Andrew said, “I’ve scouted this building a hundred times, and I never noticed how loud that door is”. It’s that sort of stuff that doesn’t become apparent until you’ve got the room full of people.

3 shot

Today started with snow, which led to one of the production vehicles in a snowbank (thankfully no one was hurt). Nothing kills the momentum of the day like a car going off the road. Not to mention the fact that within an hour it was the talk of the island and the island’s one tow truck was on the mainland for some reason.

Then, it was really a day full of rain and snow and sleet and slush, the kind of rain that gets down to your bones so much so that you’d kill for a hot shower. Or even a warm shower. The hand warmers are very popular.

The Coast

Andrew Brotzman & Ian Bloom on the set of "Nor'easter"

We got to push at least 2 trucks out from spinning on ice, and recruited a local kid named Tyler to shuttle people back and forth from the holding area through the field to the set down by the water.

This is Day 13 on the overall production and, man, it felt like it.

One of the crew members is Andreas Dely, who came over from Sweden for the shoot. Even he thought the weather was a bit much.

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. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.