Principal: Day 4

Posted in Diary of a Directrix, Making trippin'
August 20th, 2006 by Devi Snively (The Directrix)

arrive cabin direct smOur day shoot went well.  After the previous day’s blowout, people were walking on eggshells a bit with me, but I think it worked in our favor to some degree.  They were reminded this was work and not just play.

van push shoot smIn retrospect I think some of the time management issues on our set really just came down to the fact that everybody really enjoyed one another’s company.  Sometimes it was hard to believe that what we were doing was actually work.  It was really a lot of fun.

But behind the scenes, Agustin and I in particular had a lot of pressures – he ran all over the place making sure we had everything we needed – food, supplies, people where and when they needed to be.

front van cast smI was constantly editing in my head, making sure we were getting everything we needed and that it would cut together, constantly reworking the schedule, cutting back, reorganizing.

And still no sleep.

But this day it felt like we were finally catching up.  The front seat scenes were easier to shoot the back of the van scenes simply because we had fewer options of what we could shoot – not a lot of space in the front cabin of a van.

devi meeting smI had requested that all cast and crew assemble before dinner as I needed to talk to them.  I publicly apologized for my behavior of the previous evening.  I told another monkey story to explain what happened…

macaque-bailWhen Agustin and I were shooting this documentary in a rainforest in Bali, I watched a bunch of careless tourists walk through a group of monkeys.  The tourists gawked at this and that, not being particularly careful where they stepped.   One tourist failed to see that he had stepped on the tail of a monkey.  The victimized monkey squealed in pain, ran up to the first tourist she saw and gave her a bite on the leg.  The bitten tourist was horrified, she had done nothing to deserve this treatment.  She probably hates all monkeys now, never realizing what had actually transpired.

time out with audrey smI asked people to please mind my tail and I would make a point to keep my fangs to myself.  Thereafter, I wound up taking a “time-out” any time I felt stress taking over. I still do that on set when need be.  In the long run, a few moments alone to clear my head ultimately saves us a lot of time.  It also serves as a good signal to cast and crew that they need to buckle down.  We also established the 60-second rule.  Nobody is to speak to me for 60-seconds after I yell “cut after each take.  This allows me a moment to process – what worked or didn’t work about the shot, the performance, continuity, etc.  Otherwise, if people start talking at me right away, I often forget important details.

joe scot paperwork smOn Day 4 we all made up, I think this was the day we established our workflow.  We learned to balance the fun with the work.  We got a lot done.

At peace with things, I was sure I’d slip into blissful slumber when we got home.  Yeah, right.  Another sleepless night.  Doesn’t that lead to madness eventually?  Time would tell…

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