DAY 13 - Wednesday
MARCH 21, 2001
POLICE PRECINCT - REAR ENTRANCE -- DAY
EXT. POLICE PRECINCT - REAR ENTRANCE -- DAY
INT. POLICE PRECINCT - OFFICE -- DAY
EXT. MURAL OUTLINE -- DUSK
Scene #49 pt.
EXT. MURAL - 1/3 COMPLETE -- NIGHT
Io contemplates life in handcuffs
the emotional heart of EvenHand. He's a strung-out kid, a
follower, not a leader. He's always in trouble, but is hardly a
threat to anyone but himself. Morning arrests him repeatedly but
never takes him in. Morning is practicing some strange kind of tough
love, but fails to see that it's only driving Toby to hate him.
Tillett Wright plays Toby. Although it's not obvious from the name
(or performance), Io is a girl. She first came to our attention when
Allen Mindel, one of the scary executive producers of Julian
Po, suggested her to play a small role in that film. That,
too was a male character: Walter.
after Julian Po (Christian Slater) announces he's going to kill
himself, Walter and his gang of young boys start following Po around
town. Po finally confronts them to ask why they're following
him. "To see when you do it," replies Walter. "Well,
I'm not going to do it today, so you can go home." Po walks
away, but Walter still dogs him. Po asks "Why are you still
following me?" "Cause a guy who'd kill himself might
brought a wonderful worldly innocence to the role of Walter. We
became instant fans. So, when it came time to cast Timmy in Cherry,
Io was our first choice. Timmy had no dialogue, but several amusing
scenes. In my favorite, Timmy is in the doctor's waiting room
tossing around a plastic model of a uterus with another kid when Dr.
Weber) confronts him, snatching the uterus from him and rapping
him on the forehead with it: "Timmy, this is not a toy. You
could seriously hurt someone with one of these."
actually didn't think of Io as a possibility for Toby right away.
Our goal was to cast all of the day players and other supporting
roles in Texas. As the local auditions progressed, though, I found
actors for every role except Toby. It got to the point that
whenever I saw Susan Jasso, our San Antonio casting director, I
would ask "Toby, where?" (a play on Morning's line in the
Food Mart: "Cranberry juice, where?"). As the days passed
and production loomed closer, there was no Toby to be found. Susan
started going to local high school drama departments and, in
desperation, even brought in a few real drug addicts (ugh).
one day I thought of Io. I knew she was now 15 years old, but hadn't
seen her in at least three years, so I had no idea whether she could
still convincingly play a boy. After a couple of phone calls I found
out that she was attending school in London. After speaking to her I
had a friend in London put her Toby audition on videotape. I won't
lie and say the audition was good, because it wasn't really. What I
saw, though, was the same natural quality and energy that she
brought to her other roles. I could imagine caring about her Toby.
brief negotiation with her dad, Io was signed up. She couldn't start
work until today, though, because of school. Her first scene, which
also happened to be Toby's first scene in the script, was a great
and Francis, who have just met, walk out to Morning's patrol car
behind the police precinct:
sets the ice water and the blue duck on top of the car and opens the
back door. Inside sits
a kid, TOBY, sweaty and handcuffed.
I almost forgot my cuffs here.
Where you been, man?
grabs Toby by the arm and yanks him out of the car. Then he takes the cuffs off.
This here's Toby. He
does a great
impression of a young John Wayne
If you're takin' me in, then let's go.
Don't interrupt me, understand?
You aren't taking-?
Do you understand what I just
said to you?!
It ain't that complex a question, Toby!
Yes or no.
Yeah, but I just want to ask you
Are you going to take me in?
it! Fuck this!
stumbles off, but turns and comes back after a few steps.
He reaches inside the car and takes his hat from the back
seat. He starts to walk
away again, but spots the ice water on top of the car.
Hey, can I get a sip of that?
takes a big gulp from it and sets it back on the trunk of the car
next to the duck.
Sorry, Toby. Can't do it.
takes a step back and glares at Toby, waiting, daring him.
gonna do that John Wayne
impression, or what?
wheels back around and stomps away.
Fuck you, man!
You ain't gonna take him in?
He's just a damn kid. Not
much except smokin' whatever drops in
takes an empty plastic soft drink bottle from the back of the car
and throws it at Toby. It
bounces off the pavement. Toby
(yelling to Toby)
You better pick that up!!
Toby shuffles over to the bottle, picks it up, and continues on his
(to himself, suddenly angry)
That boy's a goddamn shame.
I had the make-up dept. remove her finger nail polish and had the
wardrobe dept. bind her chest (an important detail when a girl plays a
boy), Io was excellent. I couldn't wait to shoot the rest of her
* * *
Linda feels the heat
now you're probably wondering what went wrong today. My mood darkened
somewhat as a result of some members of the prop dept. (who will
remain unnamed) sitting in the shade of the police substation while
the rest of us toiled in the blazing sun. Every time the water or
ducks needed to be reset, props had to be summoned over. That stuff
should be automatic and not something I'm even aware of. Then, I asked
the 1st AD how we were doing with preparations for our company move to
the mural wall. Today was the day we were going to shoot the
continuation of scene 49 (see the March 12th
replied that Carlos (not his real name), one of the mural guys,
decided that he didn't want to return as an extra. I patiently
explained what James already knew, that we needed him to repeat his
actions because the shot we were doing today with Io had to match exactly
the shot we did on the 12th. Apparently Carlos didn't like working in
the rain (scene 21R), so he decided his
career as an extra was over. After having no success getting Carlos to
show up, I told Fernando to tell him that I didn't want to see him on
our set again in any capacity. He never showed his face again.
actual mural artist, Gabe, did arrive, but he didn't have his correct
wardrobe. One of our drivers, Brian, who played the third mural
artist, was also lacking his matching wardrobe. That essentially made
us 0 for 3. Arrgh! What an unholy mess!
still had to make the shot work, however, so I started figuring out
what could be done to salvage the disaster. First, I recruited James,
who bears a passing resemblance to Carlos, to fill the role of the
missing mural artist. Carlos wore shorts in the original shot, so I
asked James if he would mind a little modification to his pants, which
were otherwise the right color. No problem. A few judicious snips
later and James had shorts.
Espy, our crack set dresser, had a shirt that was the right color for
Brian, so he kindly lent it to the production. We pieced together an
approximation of Gabe's wardrobe from other understanding crew members
and finally had our three mural artists, more or less.
The Mural, 1/3 complete
Lovisa and I cut the two pieces of scene 49 together the other day and
it works great. No one will ever guess how wretched my afternoon was.
© 2001 Cypress Films, Inc. All rights reserved.