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.