DAY 11 - MONDAY
MARCH 19, 2001
I CAN HAVE A BRICK IF I
EXT. FOOD MART -- DAY
INT. FOOD MART -- DAY
INT. FOOD MART -- EVENING
EXT. RESTAURANT -- DUSK
Old Man with Brick
was our first day at the Food Mart, the location where Francis meets
Jessica, the woman who works behind the counter. Francis sort of falls
in love with her. Sort of because this isn't a love story, so we never
make that much of the relationship. Francis meets her on his first day
on the beat with Morning. He is having a very nice flirtatious
conversation with her when a disturbance outside interrupts them. It
is Morning, confronting the Old Man With Brick (played by Earley
Man With Brick is just what he sounds like -- a nutty old guy with a
cinderblock on his shoulder. His dialogue consists mostly of stuff
like: "Why the hell does everybody want my brick?" and
"It's my brick and that's all you need to know!" Francis
tries to find out why he has a brick on a rope tied to his ankle, but
Morning completely overreacts and zaps him with a taser.
all the suporting actors I cast in the film, Earley probably matches
my mental image of his character the best. I can't begin to describe
how great it was to see and hear him bring this strange man of Mike
Jones' invention to life. Perhaps Old Man With Brick says it best,
after he is zapped with the taser: "God DAMN! God DAMN!"
that Bill Sage could actually shoot Earley with the taser, we dressed
him in a kevlar vest, which he wore under his shirt and overcoat. Paul
Ross (props) tested the taser gun several times for accuracy and
assured us that Bill Sage would have no trouble hitting him squarely
in the back.
taser was live. Apparently it wouldn't fire the darts without a full
charge, which also meant that it could potentially zap someone with
600 volts if we weren't careful. We did have two loads of trainer
darts, however, which were essentially fishing line and wouldn't carry
the charge to the darts. Tim and I planned to shoot the scene in a
handheld master, so this meant that we had two takes to get it right.
Unless we used the charges with the live wires, which I refused to do.
several blocking rehearsals, we shot the first master. It went pretty
well, but the pacing was not great. Our second and final take was
somewhat better, but still not exactly what I wanted. I knew, though,
that if I strategically shot some cutaways at various points in the
action I could speed the scene up to where it would play with a lot
more energy. The first shot was Morning at the patrol car, fetching
the taser. The second was Francis' reaction to Morning zapping the
guy: "Jesus Christ, Morning!" And as I lay awake that night,
I realized we needed a third shot: Jessica's reaction. The scene ends
with her confronting Francis, compounding his humiliation, so it was
essential that we cover her point of view. We shot her coverage the
we finished up our work with Earley, Lovisa was inside the Food Mart
loading the cigarette display with her many invented brands. We
discovered during pre-production that cigarette companies will not
allow their brands to be shown on camera, unlike many other products.
We could have avoided the issue entirely had we covered up the display
case, but it stood directly behind the counter, just as it does in
every minimart across the nation. I wanted this location to look as
real as possible, so I asked Lovisa to create a couple of dozen fake
brands of cigarettes. After hours of design, laser printing, folding
and taping, we had a very convincing display.
18 begins with Morning shuffling around the back of the store trying
to find the cranberry juice. When he finally locates it he returns to
the counter to pay. This was the moment I choose for the first
Earnhardt car moment (see Day 4). He asks
Jessica if she has "any of them Earnhardt cars." As she
shrugs, having not the slightest idea of what he's talking about, he
throws a buck down on the counter and leaves. The fact that the juice
costs $1.50 is Francis' opportunity to begin his flirtatious chat with
Jessica behind the counter
is played by Ruth Osuna, a
Latina actress we cast out of Dallas. In her audition, she showed just
the right balance of self-reliance and sexiness. I'm also pleased that
during her first scene with Bill Dawes, there was good chemistry
between the two actors. It may not be a love story, but we still need
to believe that these two people are attracted to one another.
final scene of the day was Sc. 27, with Keith behind the counter.
Francis returns to the Food Mart to see Jessica, but another employee,
Keith, is there instead. Matt played
the slacker minimart employee hilariously as Francis walks out with a
pack of gum, pining for the absent Jessica.
Greg, Kinya and Darrin groovin' to the Muzak
were supposed to end the day with a trip across the street for scene
105, a dusk shot of Francis pulling up to the restaurant in his patrol
car. The art department somehow didn't manage to have the bars removed
from the windows, though, so we wrapped and added the shot to
tomorrow's schedule. I suppose heads should have rolled, but I didn't
really see the point. Besides, it was time for a cocktail.
© 2001 Cypress Films, Inc. All rights reserved.