Day one of shooting – ah! To be back in production! We had a ‘meet & greet’ for all the cast & crew that could attend prior to shooting. It was a good way for people to put names & faces together, a mellow way to start off the shoot.
Shooting-wise things went really well. We had exterior shots tonight that aside from a few slow-driving-no-muffler-cars that kept driving by and gawking, and the occasional shouts of ‘WHOOHOOOOO’ from cars passing along with misquote Shakespeare (& or mis-quoted Rapunzel) “Romeo, Romeo Let down your hair?” things went well. We even managed to cajole the across-the-street neighbors into letting us ‘borrow’ their electricity for a while so we could have things like audio gear and monitors. Very nice.
Holy Crap! We start filming today. This week has absolutely flown by.
Yesterday Jason & I had to head to the Cities to pick up our Grip Truck and all it’s glorious gear. The guys at Cinequipt are THE BEST and if you’re in MN (or nearby) I would highly recommend them. I had never been to their office/warehouse before and man is it full of toys. Mike (our DP) and Pat (our 1st AC) were there doing camera prep and getting things ready to go. It was my first opportunity to take a look at the camera. IMPRESSIVE. I can’t wait to see it in action. I’m getting really really excited.
What DIDN’T excite me yesterday was…well, several things. 1) the torrential downpours on the way to the Cities. My car is just not that great in any weather and it stresses me out. Not the best way to start the day. There were areas on 694 that were very full of water and I was afraid of hydro-planing. Luckily that didn’t happen. 2) calls from our insurance guy saying that we didn’t have the RIGHT insurance to take our grip truck (and all our gear) home that day! ARGH. I’ve been asking for weeks what we need, but apparently I haven’t been asking the right people. After some serious frustration and irritation we figured out what would work for us for yesterday…and the rest gets figured out today and next week. It pays to have good people working for you.
…this is indicative of how filmmaking goes…I started this post at 11am and have been drawn away from the computer since. I will finish…maybe tomorrow. But for now – time to get to the set!
Good advice, eh?
I had to keep reminding myself of that when on Saturday at our crew call we discovered the apartment was without water! This of course was the opposite of what the city told me. There *should* have been water on according to them. But water or no, our great crew kicked it into high gear (on a beautiful, hot sunny day, no less) and we cleaned the apt from top to bottom. We used bottled water & a 3 gallon jug I brought from home and it worked out just fine. I called the City today to find out what the deal is – they were able to tell me in 5 minutes that yes! indeed! the water had been shut off after the last tenant moved out (which is contrary to what they told me on Friday). Ah well. After a little bit of stress we were able to get the job done.
Yesterday Cheri, our illustrious Production Designer, rolled into town and we discussed things, and paint and more things. What things should be in who’s apartment? Those types of things. We debated wall color and artwork, discussed props – what we need to make, buy, beg, borrow, steal – you get the idea.
Today has been a laundry list of phone calls – getting water on in the apartment, running to the bank for petty cash (oh how we need petty cash these days!), talking with the police department about our schedule, insurance, permits, call sheets – lots of detail stuff that is imperative to a smooth production.
Tomorrow more nailing down the final bits & pieces! Only 4 days til we shoot!!!
We begin our production one week from tonight! That is very exciting and a little scary/intimidating as well. We are wrapping up our final location permissions, gear needs, craft service menus, and too many other assorted details to mention. I am looking forward to actually have pre-production behind us and be in the thick of things. There are ALWAYS going to be challenges and problems, I’ve done enough productions to know that, but so far I feel really good about the prep that we’ve done. That at least eases my mind a little. Nothing worse than not being prepared and then getting screwed on set.
We’re shooting on the RED camera which is presenting it’s own technical issues, but I think the image quality is going to be worth it in the long run. This will be the closest we’ve ever shot to 35mm and that is beyond cool. Especially since we get to use DULUTH as a beautiful backdrop. I can’t wait to show off my beautiful home to the world. That plus a funny-heart-wrenching-film…we’re going to have a winner.
Just a reminder that we have a CREW CALL tomorrow at noon. Let me know if you’d like to participate and I’ll give you the particulars.
THE LIFE OF RILEY needs you! We are having a crew call on Saturday from 12 to 5pm. We will be working on getting our main location polished up for filming in the coming weeks.
No experience necessary. We will be mostly focusing on cleaning, painting prep and minor fix-ups. Bring rubber gloves (if you want them). We will provide some snacks & drinks. Feel free to bring your own food, drinks, etc as well.
For your help in this matter, we will be giving you a PRODUCTION ASSISTANT credit.
Email me (Carrie) at email@example.com for complete details & location info!!
The beauty of the North Shore never ceases to amaze me. I mean seriously. I am lucky to live so close to this? It’s a gift. One that I don’t get to appreciate as often as I should.
Today Jason & I journeyed up to a few of our intended locations for RILEY. It was a beautiful day and I must say – not a bad way to work. We stopped at Palisade Head – which is just ridiculous. The Lake is so powerful…so infinite…so vast. Unbelievable. The rocks, the water, the wind….It’s just perfect. We also are hoping to shoot at Silver Bay’s Safe Harbor which affords more incredible rocks, immediate access to crystal Lake Superior waters, orange lichen and big ol’ Taconite Harbor monstrosities (structures) across the way. We visited the mouth of the Split Rock River which showed us an ever changing beach, a new bike trail (the Gitchee Gamee Trail – check it out), 2 bald eagles, signature Superior rocks & more of that incredibly fresh clean water; and also Gooseberry Falls. Gooseberry was crawling with visitors today – everyone enjoying the 80+ degree weather (finally) and endless sunshine. The water was warm (!) and the views are of course stunning. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for all of our chosen locations because really – they are unparalleled.
Mark your calendars, September 8th, you’ll be able to SAVE God Rocked in your rental queue & on October 6th GR will be available to rent! Spread the word.
We just got news from the Minnesota Film & Television Board that THE LIFE OF RILEY has been certified for Snowbate! Snowbate is the 15% tax rebate program that Minnesota offers for productions happening within the state. The money we spend in Minnesota is eligible for these rebates (with all the proper paperwork, of course). It’s not a HUGE incentive, but it is a big incentive to US. This will make a big difference in our budget/marketing plan for after the film is complete! Every little bit helps!!
The time has come, as pre-production is drawing to a close, to start documenting THE LIFE OF RILEY’s process! So I’m going to try my hardest to update this site as a production blog as we go through the rest of pre-pro and into production and beyond!
Thanks to the voter turnout of YOU, our fans, GOD ROCKED has been named a finalist in the Independent Features Film Festival. We will be screening in New York City this fall!
Originally IFFF had planned one large festival in July, but due to the current economic climate has opted for quarterly screenings instead.
Stay tuned for specific dates & times. Thanks for supporting GOD ROCKED!
Spread the word!