Thursday, December 07, 2006


The hell which is scene 90 continues.

We’d rented a crane for the day to get a dramatic high angle shot of the street as our boys race their bikes along neck and neck in a desperate (by kid movie standards anyway) bid to be the FASTEST BOY IN TOWN. In keeping with the extortionate rates for equipment in this city, we were quoted a price to rent the crane which was approximately FOUR TIMES what it would cost in a city like Vancouver. However, our Montreal producers made a few calls – when a guy named Vito makes a call, you can bet the person on the other end of the line listens carefully – so we ended up with some kind of deal I’m sure. I don’t really want to know – it all seems very Mario Puzo to me.

If I end up finishing this film without sporting a pair of cement Pradas in the local river, I'll be lucky...

Of course we never really got the shot; by the time we made it to that scene we had run out of kid hours – my First AD continually “surprises” me with this information – and the daylight was rapidly disappearing. I swear you can practically HEAR the sun plummet out of the sky up here in the winter . We set it up instead for a nighttime scene, establishing a house, but it turned out to feel too “creepy”, as if we were making Dennis the Menace Meets The Exorcist.

So all that money went down the drain...ouch!

The acting challenges continue as well. Today, our little “Joey”, Dennis the Menace’s six year old sidekick, showed up. While he had memorized his lines to a fault, I guess it had never occurred to him that he’d actually have to say the words while looking AT his fellow actors.

In take after ruined take, this admittedly adorable child kept blurting out his dialogue with barely a glance toward our Dennis. Nothing I said seemed to sink in, so I finally marched across the set, clamped his cranium in my hand, turned it in the direction I needed and bellowed ”ACTION”!

My brilliant DP framed the shot to hide my vise-like hold on the little angel and we finally got the shot.

I’ll bet Sir Alfred Hitchcock never had to manhandle Cary Grant into a closeup.

We’re still having difficulties with our behind-the-scenes world. My First AD is driving me crazy with what seems to be an advanced case of Attention Deficit Disorder and it’s wreaking havoc with my mood on-set; my inner Joan Crawford is coming out and I can feel myself turning into a cranky bitch. I don’t like it one bit.

But I can’t seem to get this huge machine to do what I need it to do to get the movie made and if it weren’t for the Belvedere vodka therapy, I think I’d probably have taken a hostage by now. I don’t know what the problem really is, but I’m beginning to suspect the weak link is much lower on the food chain than I first imagined. This afternoon, while my First AD barked ineffectually into his walkie talkie, trying to get information from his Third AD, I saw that same Third AD outside a window, lurking in the shadows, smoking a cigarette and blankly gazing at the ground, blissfully unaware that his presence was needed on set.

I have a feeling he’s going to have time to smoke a lot more cigarettes very soon.

Well at least it’s the weekend. We’ve taken a short week as we’re still waiting for the arrival of RJ Wagner. This new delay pushes us dangerously close to Christmas but at least I’m going to get some sleep.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question for you Ron. When you choose your young talent like Dennis' sidekick can you not tell whether he can act or not when you are auditioning? You must have liked something about him. Good luck with the rest of the film and hopefully you can make it home in time for Christmas.

12:51 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

actually, he's a good little actor, he just couldn't keep his eyes on the other actor in the scene. He's just a kid, no big deal, and we definitely liked his energy and his charm when we saw him on tape from toronto. usually the audition tapes are a bad gauge anyway, and our casting director warned me some of the talent was 'green" but I wanted to give some newcomers a chance. with a bit of judicious editing, he could be the next Streep, who knows?

3:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Kudos to giving a newbie a chance. Good luck with filming.

6:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

agreed... if he was chosen hes obviously got talent!

6:06 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You seem to be having a lot of problems in Montreal. Maybe your the problem. You are quick in offending people who can't defend there arguements on this site, very professional...for a so called International renowned director or writer. Keep on judging people it a great way for your world wide fans to see what type of person you are. Let your evil out in the gym, not on the little people out there in the dark, who are doing their best. Good Luck. From a mother.

12:41 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

gee, i've never been called Evil before! Cool! Sorry if you're offended but this isn't a DIALOG, darling. It's called a BLOG and since it's my own diary of the events as I see 'em, I guess I am free to say whatever I please, hm? And the only reason I "judge" is because I know better. But thanks for your comment anyway and keep reading cuz it gets even worse!

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Perhaps Sir, if you do not wish critism or a "dialogue" you should lock your comments section. As such since you don't seem to have a grasp on technological advancements you should take the critism in stride and realize that yes indeed you have offended pretty much an entire nation with your diatribe.

I'm all for free speech, and am pleased that you have given me an opportunity to freely call you a complete ass. Canada can't be rid of you soon enough I suspect.

Given your obvious delight in various pervesions, I for one would be watching you like a hawk on set and be more than a little concerned about the welfare of my child. What can possibly be going on in the head's of the parents of those children you hired? I suppose just like your blantant need for attention with your blog, some parents will put up with anything to see their child's name in lights, however dim those lights are.

10:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here Here Anonymous, Well Said! I couldn't have said it better myself!! I too agree Canada can't be rid of you soon enough!

12:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

good god how many of you are there whose kids didn't make the movie??

9:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am the one above yours. I don't have kids in the industry. But do know an older teen who is. Just like to read stuff and found this man to be insulting to Canada!

11:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Whether or not our kids made it into this movie (mine did not audition), is not the issue here. The issue is this Ron Oliver person is insulting the Canadian Film Industry. He shows his ignorance everytime he posts something new in his "blog" If I did have a child in the age range of the children in this film, after reading this "blog" I would be thanking my lucky stars they are not connected to this project, in ANY way.

12:41 PM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

dear reader, while I appreciate your taking the time to leave a comment, I would hasten to remind you that i'm not actually insulting the Canadian Film Industry (I would, frankly, but that's not the focus of this blog), I am in fact just reporting on the goings-on of this particular production. The problems with the Canadian Film Industry are, of course, legendary -- the main one being that nobody watches the movies made in this country, not even Canadians -- but that's not really my concern here. And regardless of your rather creepy insinuations, I have no designs on your children - I am, after all, a vegetarian.

10:09 PM  
Anonymous humbug said...

Ron, (may I call you that?) why do you even bother filming your little project in Canada? I guess a low budget project hires a low class, low budget, director. There you go, freedom of speech in it's finest form.

10:31 AM  
Blogger ron oliver said...

sigh. i was hoping for something a little better than name calling. and as i've said ad infinitum, humbug, we are shooting in quebec because the government gives us a terrific tax credit here. however, I will agree that regardless of where we are shooting, I am definitely low class. I was just thinking that sitting here in the first class lounge of the airport, sipping a chilled chardonnay and hoping you have a very merry christmas, in spite of what you might think of me! Happy Holidays!

10:42 AM  
Blogger lynne said...

I am the mom of one of the kids who was hired for this film, and trust me, Ron was not the problem on set. The only thing we had to "put up with" as parents were chronic disorganization and poor communication, apparently on the part of the production company. Ron was a delight to work with and remained ever upbeat, despite endless production problems.

One of the posters above seems to be making some interesting (if ignorant) assumptions. Just what do you think the parents on set were putting up with? Stage parents are pretty used to being accused to living vicariously through their children, but the previous poster is on the edge of making some extremely distasteful accusations.

3:57 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hahaha. Ron Oliver you rule you Devil you.

12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey Lynne,

Nobody is making false accusations, except for the frog I mean the blog, Ron that is. We just wanted to show our friend that the Montreal people don't get stepped on that easy. We simply are defending the best city in the world. Montreal just wants Ron to remember that you don't take a piss in the wrong bucket in this town because we're like George W Bush. You either are with us or against us. And I am sure Ron loves W.

9:26 AM  
Blogger Sandra Montgomery said...

Wow, Ron. You have arrived.

No celebrity is without critics. Too bad yours can't spell.

10:36 AM  

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