DAY 16 - Monday, MARCH
TOBY BOLTS (The Pig
cuffed and frustrated
happened to THE PIG STAND? See the 2011 Journal update below.
STAND -- DAY
EXT. PIG STAND -- DAY
EXT. PIG STAND -- DAY
EXT. PIG STAND - ALLEY -- DAY
EXT. PIG STAND - ALLEY -- DAY
The Pig Stand being visited by one of San Antonio's finest
script is full of great dialogue. The true test of a script is
hearing actors read the lines on set, and without fail 95% of the
dialogue in this script works when put to the test. But, I was also
prepared to allow the actors to add layers to their characters by
improvising, as all good actors do. Both the Bills did some great
stuff that was not scripted. Today, though, there was a moment when
Bill Sage wanted to ad-lib his dialogue in scene 41 at the Pig
Stand, in which Morning and Francis discuss life over doughnuts and
coffee. As good as the EvenHand script was, there is nothing that
can compare to the natural and spontaneous, so I welcomed these
moments and the natural quality they engendered. In the opening of
the scene when Morning is discussing a date, Bill S. wanted to
change the script as follows:
"If she wants the goods, then I'm all for it. But, if she wants
me to empty my soul out on a plate for her, then she took the wrong
"I'm good at two things, fucking and arresting people. If she
wants her can scraped, fine, but if she wants me to empty my soul
out on a silver platter then she took the wrong exit."
I felt that the tone of the ad-lib was all wrong and too explicit; EvenHand
is a script with a lot of understatement and subtlety. I said I
thought it was too much, and BOTH the actors started arguing with
me. They felt the ad-lib added life to the scene and didn't want to
go back to the scripted lines. While I agreed that being a slave to
the script is wrong, I explained that lines like that will make it
very hard for the audience to be sympathetic to Morning's character.
The point of the scene is to convey Morning's detachment from his
emotions, NOT make him seem like a pig. I suggested an alternative:
"I'm good at two things. The second one is arresting people. If
she wants some of the first, fine, but if she wants me to empty my
soul out on a silver platter, then she took the wrong exit."
Everyone ended up happy. Bill got to keep most of his ad-lib and I
was able to preserve the tone of the scene.
* * *
The big cement pig provided a perfect backdrop
for Toby running away in handcuffs
I was so
looking forward to today. The Pig Stand scene has always been one of
my favorites, and it was a day all about Morning, Francis and Toby.
No company moves to the Mural Wall, no moving vehicles and only
three extras. It should have been easy.
scene up (Sc. 41) ends with Morning saying "I think he's cooked
now," and walking over to the patrol car where we see Toby
baking in the back seat with the windows rolled up. When Morning
opens the door, Toby says "You're supposed to crack the window
or something. That's the law, ain't it?" Morning replies:
"That law's only for dogs." Possibly my favorite line in
problem was that it was about 45 degrees that morning and cloudy.
Normally that's great -- Tim gets nice even diffused light without
having to do a damn thing. But, the Bills were freezing in their
short sleeved shirts and wanted to play the scene in their jackets.
I was sympathetic, but how do we convey Toby baking in the hot car
if it looks -- and is -- cold out? I finally decided to add a line
for Toby as the cops approach the car: "Turn this fucking heat
off, I'm dying in here!"
problem solved, we shot the master of Morning and Francis sitting
and chatting. We reset for Morning's single and then the clouds
completely dissipated and we had blazing sun. Now we had a decision
to make. Do we reshoot the master and go for a sunny look or get out
the big-ass silk and continue with overcast? Maura, the 2nd AD
called for a weather update. They said cloudy all day. But it wasn't
cloudy at all! I looked at the horizon and saw a bank of clouds way
in the distance. Hard to say what was going to happen, so we waffled
for a while. Finally, it became clear that the clouds were going to
be back in a few minutes, so we waited it out. Once they rolled in,
the clouds stayed with us for the rest of the day. A good call.
had a disaster. The camera, which was on baby legs, slipped. The
legs just spread out like a drunken spider. Matt (1st AC) was
holding the camera, though, so it didn't take a hard fall. It did
stop working, however. After some quick analysis, Matt determined
that it was the power connection. After 20 tense minutes with the
camera's guts hanging out he managed to jury-rig it with alligator
clips and we were able to complete the day's work.
wasn't the end of our camera problems. Tomorrow's entry tells that
Morning and Francis wait for Toby
Here's the still from the scene that we featured on the EvenHand poster
- Joseph Pierson
Every once in a while, I get an email from someone
about EvenHand. The most recent one was from Brian
a Kansas police offficer and criminal justice professor who recently relocated to San
Antonio. Brian had some very nice things to say about my film, and
one of his quotes is now proudly displayed on the home
page (also see the Fan Mail page).
Since moving to San Antonio, Brian has visited several of
the EvenHand locations, including the Pig Stand, which now has a new life
as a biker bar called the Hog Stand. I'm sorry the famous San
Antonio Pig Stands are no more, but it's still nice to see that the
old joint has a new life (and a similar name). Here's a picture of
Brian in front of the Hog Stand.
Note the similarity to the framing and angle of the EvenHand
poster still, above...
- Joseph Pierson 2/16/11
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