DAY 12 - Tuesday
MARCH 20, 2001
BIKERS BUY BEER
INT. FOOD MART -- DAY
Scene #18 pt.
MART -- DAY
Scene #19 pt.
RESTAURANT -- DAY
EXT. FOOD MART -- EVENING
INT. FOOD MART -- NIGHT
EXT. RESTAURANT -- DUSK
Joseph, Billy D. & Bill S. discuss the day's work
Morning waits for Francis to buy gum
another split day, so called because we shot some day scenes and
some night scenes. The most fun was the scene with a pair of bikers
who come into the Food Mart to buy beer and cigarettes. This scene,
written by me, replaced a scene written by Jon
Glascoe, which in turn replaced a scene written by Mike
evolution of this scene speaks to the process of refinement that
every script must go through as the characters and situations become
clearer in the director's mind. In the original scene, Francis goes
to a party where he chances to meet Jessica. They have an awkward
conversation in which Francis ultimately angers her by saying he
can't imagine doing what she does for a living (working in a
mini-mart). He says it innocently enough, but she misinterprets him
and an opportunity for a connection between them is lost. She walks
away to find a friend, leaving Francis alone to watch an episode of
"Cops" on the television that sits nearby.
version of the scene, Francis walks into a neighborhood church to
seek solace and chances to meet Jessica there. She's with her
parents. The moment is awkward as well, but it's more about
reinforcing the connection between Francis and Jessica than
final version of the scene, Francis is home alone, reading a book,
when he decides to go to the Food Mart to see Jessica again. Their
only real contact to this point is the flirtatious scene that is
broken by the Old Man with Brick. In this,
their second encounter, he goes to the back of the store to get a
carton of milk, when the bikers approach the counter with their
beer. They are drunk and rude, coming on to her and dumping a pile
of scrunched up bills on the counter. When Jessica informs them that
they're short by a buck or two, they become more threatening.
Francis (in civilian clothes) pulls his police ID from his pocket
and is about to approach the bikers, but he stops to think about
what he's doing. He decides to not intervene; he would rather be a
person to Jessica than a cop. She handles the bikers perfectly and
he goes up with his milk after they've left.
scene accomplishes two things that neither of the earlier versions
did. First, Francis decides to see Jessica, rather than meeting her
by chance. This was important to me because I wanted him to make an
effort to bring love back into his life. His willingness to actively
seek Jessica is one of a few signs that he will weather his crisis;
he hasn't lost hope. The second important element to the new scene
is that by deliberately stepping away from his role as a police
officer, Francis shows that he can separate his work from his
personal life. That's why his marriage failed; he brought the job
home every night.
* * * *
things made today a pain in the ass. The first was the endless
stream of customers coming in and out of the Food Mart. To
"own" a location like this was well beyond our means
(which is how we could afford a Condor crane for Tim at the
Abandoned Street). The only alternative was to pay the owners a
nominal location fee and allow customers to come in to the store
between takes. That sounds great in a pre-production meeting, but in
practice it sucks. If you add up all the delays caused by people
standing around buying lotto tickets and slurping Big Red, it's at
least an hour a day. It's hard enough to get through the days
without having to wait for civilians to clear the store twenty five
times in the course of an afternoon.
thing #2 was a member of the prop dept. (who will remain unnamed)
not having a key prop. After lunch I casually asked him if he had
Francis' police ID ready, as we were doing Francis' coverage right
after lunch. He produced the leather wallet, but didn't have the
printed San Lovisa ID card that Lovisa had made. When I asked him
why he didn't have a key prop for a scene that we were shooting in
twenty minutes he didn't have much to say. Lovisa hopped into a car
and raced back to the production office to get the ID. She returned
with moments to spare. We snapped a Polaroid of Billy D., slapped it
on the ID card and got our shot. Scary to think that if I hadn't
asked that casual question we probably wouldn't have made the day.
biker was played by Robert Chambers, an almost legendary figure in
San Antonio film production circles (he's on the right in the
picture above). He is a key grip most of the time and one whom we
couldn't afford (more lights for Tim!!!). Robert is known for being
a tough customer, having been in innumerable brawls, gotten shot,
hit by cars, and who knows what all. He excelled at playing an
appropriately nasty biker, adding a few of his own charming ad-libs.
Joseph watches some harassment
scene 105 today, by the way (the one we failed to get yesterday).
Gary Ledyard, our production designer, had some stern words with the
boys in his department and they positively whipped those bars off
the restaurant's windows in plenty of time for us to get our nice
sunset shot of Francis driving up in his patrol car. Barbie's bitch
(as Gary likes to be known) came through again.
© 2001 Cypress Films,
Inc. All rights reserved.