Early Thursday morning I'm riding in the middle
seats of a 15 seat van driven by Matt Schwartz through the Lincoln Tunnel. Riding shotgun
is Phil, our DP. Ahead of me are Aaron, the gaffer, and Eddy, our line producer.
By early I mean 7:20. We are going on the Tech Scout, part 1.
There are nearly 20 of us heading for Hoboken, to visit the muffin shop,
Leila's apartment and the church. These are really the three key locations on the film,
and now, as we draw within weeks of the start of production all the department heads
(Camera, Art, Props, Lights, Electric, Directing, Locations) converge together to survey
the locations and decide what else needs to be done.
As we exit the tunnel Eddy, who has been talking to Phil about various
productions they've worked on, turns to me. I've been drifting, sort of, wishing more that
I was asleep than thinking I should be listening to their conversation, which I can't hear
above the road roar anyway.
Eddy says, repeating what he'd just said to Phil (I guess), and thinking
that it was important for me: "There is virtually no difference between a $200,000
budget and a $2,000,000 budget. Except there are more toys on the bigger budget. And on
the last picture I worked with a $200,000 budget we had a full-time masseuse, which we
probably won't have on this film. When things would get tense he'd rub everyone down. On a
real low-budget picture you need that. Things got tense a lot."
Over the next day and a half the Keys went from Hoboken to the Upper West
Side to the Upper East Side to Central Park, with a few other stops along the way. And
when the Tech Scout was done there was a Secret Santa party at the office, and then the
production went on hiatus. Over the break you'll find occassional postings here about the
goings on in the Production Department (Becky is on duty while others hiaticize), and
ongoing reports of what happened on the Tech Scout.
It will give me a chance to catch up with all the departments. But first,
a photo essay, as it were, featuring some Secret Santas.
Joe displays product placement items: Spa and Skye.
Secret Santa distribution begins for Amy, Liz and Jon