1.7.98

Making Cherry

"Luck is the residue of design."
--Branch Rickey
Mail the Cherry Web Man
Locations:
Production Office: Administration, Wardrobe

Panavision: Camera checkout

Grip Electric load in

Muffin Shop: Set dressing, rehearsals

Church: Set heaters

Principals:
Everybody and their mothers
You've Got Questions? Cherry Has Answers

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Acting Speaks Louder than Words

Making Cherry Strikes Out

Tuesday’s schedule read:

Rehearsals 4:00PM – 5:30PM Jon goes bowling with Shalom, Jake, Caleb, and Kelly

Which sounded to me like a great photo opportunity, and maybe even a chance to hurl some gutter balls. Part of the event’s appeal also came from a growing feeling that I haven’t been dealing with the actors in these missives from the front, and that the actors are an awfully big part of the show.

At least, I’ve gotten mail telling me that’s so.

The reasons for their omission, thus far, are various, but the most significant one is just how significant the actors, particularly Shalom, are. She is in nearly every scene of the picture, and while there are great talents surrounding her, it is her great talent upon which the ultimate success or failure of the film will ultimately reside.

This is the stuff of great drama, but it is also time for a trip to Heisenbergland. Shalom may well turn out to be an excellent actor, or a talented comedian; her screen test shows a natural grace and flair for understated humor, and I’ve only heard thus far about how hard she’s working to prepare for this role. Still, she is a beginner, and thus far has not had the chance to develop the techniques experienced actors use to prepare for roles.

Jon thought that bringing an outsider in to observe Shalom’s process of developing her character would inevitably change that process, part of which is to develop an abiding and total trust in the director and the other actors. If the observer compromises that trust in any way, if he were to cause the actor to hold back emotionally or question the director’s directions, the process would falter or fail.

As an inexperienced director, someone who has not yet developed the techniques that will ultimately carry him through professionally, Jon was in a similar situation. He felt he needed to work free and clear of outside judgement, which often leads to increased (and unproductive) self-judgement. I would have preferred it to be otherwise, but I had to agree. The movie would be better off if I stayed clear of rehearsals.

At least the pre-Christmas rehearsals, which is why there hasn’t been much here about the actors.

So I was looking forward to watching the two leads and the two young children bond over some sodas and bowling, and to write my first report about actual actors and what goes on with them six days before shooting starts. But that was not to be.

First of all, Kelly is six and a small six at that. Her mother really didn’t think bowling was her game quite yet. So the bowling was cancelled, to be replaced by the eating of ice cream sundaes, which any six year old can certainly handle. Even a small one. And since the reason for this meeting was to give these actors, who must develop a certain familiarity and intimacy in the course of the movie, a chance to get familiar and intimate with one another, it was another trip to Heisenbergland for me. You can call it exile.

It won’t always be this way. There are more rehearsals today. I’ll be there. And soon the button to the left of this page marked "cast" will lead to more than a simple placeholder.

But for now, I’m going bowling. Alone.

 Peter Kreutzer  

 

Thursday

 

(c) 1997 Peter M. Kreutzer