DAY 20 - Friday
MARCH 30, 2001
MY FAVORITE SCENE, PART
PATROL CAR - ABANDONED STREET -- NIGHT
Scene #2 pt.
EXT. ABANDONED STREET -- NIGHT
Scene #56 pt.
INT. PATROL CAR - ABANDONED STREET -- NIGHT
Scene #57 pt.
EXT. ABANDONED STREET -- NIGHT
Scene #58 pt.
(Bill Dawes) and Morning (Bill Sage) at the scene of the accident
strong sense of deja vu, we returned to the intersection of
Vine and Bargas for a reprise of the Carol scene. Upon arrival, all
my barking dog anxiety immediately returned, prompting another
conversation with Larry Sanchez (Location Manager) about the state
of our doggie biscuit supply.
succeeded in completing all the coverage looking West on our first
night, which left all of the East-facing shots and all the shots in
and around the patrol car for tonight. Eminently doable, barring
unforseen technical problems or strafing from unhappy neighbors. If
our generator hadn't self-destructed on the first night tonight's
work wouldn't have been necessary. For a description of our first
fun-packed visit to this location, see THE
DAMN GENNY journal entry.
the most interesting aspects of this night's work was knowing we
would have to exactly match the action from several shots that we
had filmed on the earlier night here. I came prepared; we had a
videocassette player and the dailies tapes from the first night. In
the course of reviewing the tapes, one continuity error immediately
became apparent. Francis is meant to inspect the wreck of Carol's
truck, shining his Maglite on it. When we filmed him running to
Carol, however, Billy D. dropped his Maglite on the ground and left
it there (a natural response). There could be no faking it -- it is
clearly visible rolling around on the tarmac in every take. On the
one hand, I was very pleased to be discovering the problem on
location, as opposed to in the editing room weeks later. On the
other hand, what the hell could we do about it? After a
Bill/Bill/Joseph powwow, we arrived at the answer: Morning attempts
to calm Francis down by handing Francis his Maglite and
suggesting he go look at the truck. This was coverage we hadn't shot
yet, so it should work fine when we cut it all together (note from
post: it did).
the patrol car
was also the night that featured the debut of the bloody napkin.
Early in the scene, and their conversation, Carol coughs, spraying
Francis. He wipes his face with a napkin only to notice later that
it has streaks of blood on it. Getting the streaks just right was
difficult and of paramount importance to this detail-obsessed
director. I had been speaking to Paul Ross (Props) and Thomas Espy
(Set Decorator) for several days about the napkin. I asked that they
have plenty of fake blood, a big supply of paper napkins and a
rubber ball. The rubber ball was to use as a surrogate face. I
demonstrated how they could dot the ball with blood and then wipe
the napkin across it, thereby creating a pattern of bloody streaks.
As Tim and I worked on other parts of the scene, they would
periodically approach me with new variations on the bloody napkin.
Each time I would offer my critical appraisal and send them back to
try again. Finally, toward the end of the night, they brought me the
and Paul share The Triumph of the Bloody Napkin with Billy D.
we also finally got to film Carol's coverage. As I mentioned in the "Carol"
journal entry, I was quite taken with her audition. Her performance
in the scene lived up to that promise: spacey without seeming like
she was stoned.
Saunders as Carol
today's "What went wrong" category, the sound tapes from
tonight's work inexplicably disappeared somewhere between the set
and the lab. On a night with some five pages of dialogue, this is a
disaster of major proportions. While it is theoretically possible
for the actors to come to the studio and loop (re-record) all their
dialogue, this is a huge pain in the ass and it never sounds as good
as the original. Fortunately, Alan Green backed up most of his DAT
tapes to minidisk during production. The only time he failed to do
this was when we were in a hurry to roll and he didn't have a chance
to start up the minidisk recorder. Unfortunately, this happened more
than a few times during the night. The scene was so well covered,
though, that we ended up with enough takes with good sound to cut it
all together without a problem. Good save, Alan.
top of that, the generator behaved all night long and there were no
random neighborhood gunshots whatsoever! Nice.
- Joseph Pierson
Night of the Living Continuity & 1st AD
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Films, Inc. All rights reserved.