2.17.98

Call: 1:30 PM

Making CherryHow_to_Make_One.jpg (6004 bytes)
a romantic comedy starring Shalom Harlow
"If the movements of the camera are meant to represent the sway of contending forces in the discussion, then it is the table lamp which comes out of the argument best."
--Gavin Millar about a scene from Godard's Contempt
You've Got Questions? Cherry Has Answers
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Locations:
Dr. Kirk's Office

Weather: Rainy. Thunderstorms later. High 41.

Sunrise: 6:56am

Principals:
Leila, Dr. Kirk, Nurse. Red, Jack.
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It's the Singer, not the Song

Kelly, Shalom and a Rainy Day

The time: Tuesday afternoon, with an ongoing cold rain.

The place: Principal Holding, a church on the west side of Manhattan. In the middle of the wardrobe, hair and makeup room is a granite pool full of water.

"We think it's Holy Water," Kyra says.

"Has it been blessed?"

"Nobody knows. But everybody asks."

The water is covered with stringy stuff, stuff that turns out to be, well, um, Holy Dust maybe. I wonder if mosquitoes grow in the pool. It is that still and fetid. But after a while I forget about it.

Kelly comes in to have her hair done.

"I'm tired of having bad hair," she says.

Kyra sits with her at the hair table. Kelly leans against Kyra's legs. The scene is friendly, intimate, and in the end creative. Kyra explains to Kelly her character's hair.

"You know how during the wedding scene, Red (Kelly's character) doesn't want to wear the pretty dress? How she doesn't want to have her hair done? Red is kind of a tomboy. She doesn't pay attention to her hair."

"But I want nice hair," Kelly says, plainly.

The negotiation is not intense or argumentative. Instead, Kyra and Kelly go back and forth, eventually finding a common ground. Kyra gives Kelly some highlights, some braids, and Kelly agrees to wear her hair plainly. The end result is a compromise, but a fair one. You might even call it a creative one.

At one point Kelly asks for more braids. Kyra says, "I don't think Leila has had much experience with braiding." Kelly nods, understanding.

Of many such discussions, movies are made.

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The following is not an endorsement of smoking, which is a horrible practice I just happened to give up last year. I certainly don't condemn people for smoking, at least not morally, but if you have a choice you shouldn't do it.

I know for a fact that most smokers agree with this.

That said, Shalom came over to Video Village for a smoke. The village is the place where the video output of the camera feeds. It's the place Joe, Jon and Janna are always found. It's the place you might find me or Terry or Kim or any of the department heads or member of Production. It's the best place to see the pictures while they're being made.

Nearly everybody in the village smokes.

Shalom got her cigarette and a light. Patrick brought her a paper cup full of old coffee, to drop her ashes in. It should be noted that the scene that is presently being filmed ends with Shalom abruptly standing up and saying, "I need to throw up."

In real life, Shalom says, "I'm chain smoking, for the nausea. The sick was good that time, wasn't it?"

On that last take, it was. There is some conversation about it, then:

"I'd drink this, if it would help." Shalom holds up the coffee cup full of ashes and coffee.

Jon: "Shalom is all in."

Shalom: "I would."

Jon: "I don't think so. Maybe some Scotch..."

[The reason Leila is nauseated is because she spent the previous evening drinking Scotch with Eddie the clown. The trick here is figuring out which part of the discussion refers to the actor, and which parts refer to the character.]

Shalom: "But..."

Jon: "I know--that's no hangover. We'll have to Scotch you at breakfast."

Joe: "With Krispy Kremes."

Shalom: "I think that's what did me in last night. I'm not used to having so much sugar. I crashed."

Joe: "Those things are sweet."

Jon: "So, some Scotch and a Krispy Kritter..."

Everyone: "Kreme!"

Joe: "Scotch and donuts. That's the Stanisglascoe method."

Everybody laughs.

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There are number of scenes in Cherry that take place in Dr. Beverly Kirk's gynecology office. These are the scenes being filmed in Manhattan this week. Part of what is fascinating about moviemaking is the volume and inventiveness of the props.

What Joe holds in his hands here is a plastic replica of a pregnant female's lower torso. Joe has two kids himself, so his expression of alarm can be fobbed off to acting. He's trying to make us think he's unused to this idea.

Meanwhile,  the question on everyone's lips is: "Who gets to keep the plastic fetus?"

Unless it's a rental, I promise you Joe has first dibs.

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Wednesday

(c) 1998 Peter M. Kreutzer