PRODUCTION JOURNAL


DAY 3 - WEDNESDAY  MARCH 7, 2001

CARLA AND VICTOR'S HAPPY HOME


Was it something I said?


EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #13

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #14

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #15

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #16

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #17

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #38

EXT. CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #103

INT. PATROL CAR - CARLA & VICTOR'S HOUSE -- DAY
Scene #102



Victor, cuffed & ready

Carla (Irene Pena) and Victor (Hector Garcia) are a couple that make frequent appearances in EvenHand. In many respects they serve as a symbol of the repetitive drudgery of most police work. Our introduction to their world is a dispatcher call that comes in over the radio as Francis and Morning are driving around together on patrol for the first time: "Respond to a domestic dispute, 733 Mason Street, corner of Mason and Pierce." By Morning's reaction we can tell that the address is familiar to him, and that he is looking forward to the call.

Carla & Victor's MO is established early; she claims he hit her (with no real evidence to prove it) and he admits to it readily, unwilling to drop his macho facade, even if it's not, in fact, true. Our first exposure to the pair is also interesting in that it immediately sets up tension between Francis and Morning. Morning's answer to the dispute is to simply arrest Victor. Francis wants to bring them both in, recognizing that their problems are more complex and that Carla is probably only playing the victim. This very different approach to police work is a theme that runs throughout the screenplay and is not completely resolved until the end.


Morning & Francis

For me, the most interesting thing about this dynamic between the two cops is that Francis is not entirely right, and Morning is not entirely wrong. Police officers can't be social workers, but they must do more than simply make the easiest arrest and walk away. What's also interesting is that Francis is able to learn from Morning, which is in large measure the key to his survival; he adapts. Morning, on the other hand, can't ever admit he is wrong, which is symptomatic of his detachment from his emotions, a flaw that ultimately costs him his life.

*    *    *    *    *    *

One of our excellent accomplishments today was figuring out how to hog-tie Victor -- without a stunt coordinator -- for sc. 38, in which the cops carry him in said condition to their patrol car. As recounted earlier, we let our first stunt coordinator go after the disaster that was Day 1. In scene 37, Morning marches into the middle of a yet another domestic contretemps between Carla & Victor and, as Victor complains about Carla cutting him with a huge kitchen knife, Morning grabs HIM and throws him to the ground, cuffing his wrists and ankles and hog-tying him. Since sc. 37 was to be shot on another day, we had to be sure that Bill Sage would be able to hog-tie Hector on camera during that scene in a way that would result in what we see in sc. 38.


Practice makes perfect

The Bills and I eventually worked out a sequence that involved cuffing him behind his back, pulling his T-shirt over his head, yanking him to the ground with his ponytail, cuffing his ankles and then tying his T-shirt around his wrists and ankles. Bill S. and Hector practiced this sequence enough times on the lawn to be sure that it would work. Joe Herlocker, our set medic, oversaw the process, ensuring that we didn't hurt Hector. He also gave excellent advice on how the Bills could carry him across the lawn without dislocating his shoulders. Even with our concern for safety, it still couldn't have been much fun for Hector (have you ever been handcuffed, hog-tied and carried out of your house?).

The most peculiar event of the day was the car accident. After lunch I was standing on the lawn, along with a few other crew members, when we heard a ghastly screeching of tires. This drew our attention to the street, where we watched as a car careened into two other cars that had stopped to let Lovisa cross. We winced to the BAM - BAM of the third car smacking into the second, which in turn smashed into the first. The guy was going way too fast and evidently rubbernecking the film set. Casualties: Erin, our make-up artist and Jonathan, her assistant, who were both in the head car, suffered minor whiplash. The middle car oddly tried to bolt from the scene, but Cesario, one of our ever-vigilant PA's chased her waving his radio madly until she wisely pulled over. The only significant damage was sustained by the car that caused the accident. It was totalled. Lovisa was a bit rattled, but unharmed.

Long after the police cars, ambulance and fire truck were gone and the broken glass was swept away, we ended the day with one additional scene completed, leaving a lighter load for our next visit to Carla and Victor's dysfunctional world. And only the beginning of a legacy of car accidents that was to plague us throughout production.

- Joseph Pierson
 


P.O. Randy subdues Victor


              



Copyright 2001 Cypress Films, Inc. All rights reserved.