Archive for May, 2009

In other news…

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Final episodes of Black Dawn: Catalyst are up. They are excellent.

Day off!

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Today was one of my few days off. I woke up a bit early, like 9:30ish. Not too hung over. Shameem is now our personal chef on Sundays so Gretchen can have a day off too. So she was over to do brunch and then came back this evening and made dinner. We are so spoiled right now.

she’s actually a teacher but does a bit of catering on the side. It was like a full fancy restaurant plating for dinner. Chicken marlasa with potato/celery root puree , asparagus and roasted pine nuts. Yeah. Oh, and then freaking tirimisu for dessert. Yeah. Spoiled rotten. i felt like a panel member on Iron Chef or something. It was crazy good. And Benji went out with some members form the local church he goes to, so Gretchen got in on the action.

I realized that since Shameem is an educator she might know my friends’ dad in Rantoulle. Turns out she does, and Susan was her student teacher! Small world!!

Other than basking in personal chef glory, I got a 2 hour nap, a trip to walgreens and a visit to Urban Outfitters. not too shabby. I think i might get 2 days off next week when we are shooting the musical number sections I am not in. I’d stay to watch, but they are night shoots, so we’ll see how that feels.

Tomorrow I get up early and go with Erika and some of the other leads (whoever wakes up early) to be on a local morning news show. Fun! then we can nap since our call times are shifting to later this week.

Day 5 – Melanie Nails it

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Friday we made the owner of the building cry. Saturday, we even made a grip cry. Success!

Saturday was all over the map emotionally. We shot the first scene of the film which is all super over the top, sass, and camp. My cuticle was bleeding a tiny bit and I got blood on my shirt that I had to suck out. Mmmm. But that’s’ what you have to do. It came out so we were fine. There was a lot of makeup and hair needs that day because it’s right after a competition. We were in this perfect narrow dressing room. Melanie, Shannon and Benji were all awesomely big and sassy. It will be incredibly funny.

We knocked that one out of the park and moved back to the studio to pick up the start of the scene from the day before. While we were setting up Brett stood in for Benji and did a full on Micheal Jackson impression around me. It was the funniest thing ever. It’s on the Leading Ladies Movie facebook page. They brought in Nicole to do a really quick shot that will use awesome post magic to remove the camera in the mirror if they end up using the shot.

We go all that scene done and then it was time for Melanie’s big scene where she has to cry. And man. there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. That woman rocked it yesterday. Like seriously beautiful. I don’t think she even realizes what she did. They got the whole thing without having to cut, and then she moved right on into the line. she’s nailing it. It’s so great to work with her. she always gives me what I need. and she doesn’t even know how good she is. Oh, she is just so lovable.

So we went through the scene and brought in the little girl that will play young me in the film. They had another there on standby because the one they used wasn’t an actress and they worried she might get scared. She was a little girl they found next door at the tattoo parlor on Friday. Her dad works there. they saw her and she looks like a little me. The other girl will be able to be used for Shannon when there is time to dye her hair. it was light brown, almost blond, which is why they went with the brunette girl from next door. So amazing how things work out. Her mom and sister were there and I made sure to hang out with them and pay attention to the sister since she doesn’t get to be in the movie. It was like little flashbacks to going to see my sisters dance and being a little jealous deep down. (also totally using that as part of my character.)

They dressed her in the shirt and tank top I was wearing so i had to take it off and put on another shirt. then as we were losing light, I took it off and was walking around in a sports bra in search of a shirt. Mario offered a Shamwow. Not quite big enough, but we tried. Then 5 seconds later i had my shirt back.

The little girl totally listened to want they needed from her and we got all the shots and then some. It was awesome. Everything worked out so well. At this point I am not even surprised. There is so much serendipity in the production it feels like a dream.

We were all really giddy at dinner. We got SO much of the film done this week. Most of the dialogue heavy scenes are done. We still have a bunch, but not really crying anymore. I know the dance stuff will be pretty exhausting but in a different way.

That night we were going to hang at the sound guys’ room. We went to a convenience store but teh selection was mediocre for liquor. The woman there suggested we go to another store up the street. she said it was an A-rab store, but they had a lot of selection. At the time i thought it was sort of funny, like she said it as a joke as one might. then we got outside and nicole was like- ‘did she just say A-rab?’ and I’m like- ‘oh… yeah, I kind of hoped she said it ironically.’ No. She really called it an A-rab store. wow. Living in a city sometimes makes me forget some people say things like that without blinking.

We do end up going there and getting booze. I had to send Nicole in without me because they were burning incense so i couldn’t breathe. We go to the party around 11 and there are some folks there. More people filter in and i think I stayed until about 3am. It was fun. The whole wardrobe department came out which was great because we don’t get to see them much. they are working like fiends so i’m glad they got to relax for a bit. At one point some non-movie people came by from another party to see if we needed anything and that they might bring their party down there. They went away and i didn’t see them. I gues they came back later with like 10 dudes and The sound guys were like- ‘umm… a bunch of college dudes we don’t know, getting really drunk…. um, no.’ and sent them back home. I mean, if they got sick there or caused damage, or whatever, they don’t want to get the production in trouble since the building owners are being more than generous. At least with crew they sort of know people and know they are going to have to be responsible enough since they are on a job. I guess Nicole rocked it until 4:30 or so. Not sure how late anyone else was there. I was amazed I kept going so long after the long ass day. But more people came by i wanted tot talk to and I had a bunch of rum and coke. The soda, not the drug. ha ha. Don’t think there were any scandalous stories from last night. No hookups that we knew of – this time. ;)

Week 1 awesometown

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Kinda drunk. Will blog tomrrow.

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sent from a phone. TECHNOLOGY!

Day 4 – The One Where Benji Kicks an Extra

Friday, May 29th, 2009

This morning we took a field trip to a medical training facility for some of the hospital scenes. More Emotional stuff! Me and Shannon both felt a little off, but worked our way into it. We got through it and I only walked full-on into a C-stand once. I should look where I’m going sometimes. (interestingly, while we were shooting our scene about hearing the unborn babies, big Brett’s wife was having a real life ultra sound at the very same time. Neat-o!)

Got that knocked out and moved on to me and Benji’s scene in the hallway. Once again, we were both just off. I dont’ know what it was today, everything was just a little off. These scenes weren’t worked as much in rehearsal, but still. Eventually we got it as well and were fine. yay!

As far as the Blog title today – here is what happened: While I was doing my scene with Shannon, I would come out the door where Benji was getting ready and punch and kick the air to hype up to be angry. It helps get my heart rate up and my breathing in a more excited state. Just something I do before a fight scene or an angry scene. So while I’m going Punch-punch-punch-punch-punch-kick Punch-punch-punch-punch-punch-kick, Benji is off to the side just cracking up. He was like- ‘It was like you were dancing!’ So then every so often while were were between takes he’d break into the punchy dance. Well, after we got the scene wrapped he goes into it and one of our ‘doctors’ walks up from behind him just as he goes to kick back and he whacks her in the side of the leg I think. It was hilarious. I mean, she was fine. It wasn’t like a real kick. I do find it really funny that Benji is like our fake diva on set.

We wrapped there and everyone moved back downtown. Those poor crew guys had to haul everything back up the 2 flights of stairs. Whew! Even Daniel got in on the hauling action. That’s how you know it’s an indie, when the director/producer is helping haul stuff. ;)

Lunch was the stellar lasagna again. Oh man, once again, I ae WAY too much. it’s just soooo good. and there was veggie lasagna so everyone could enjoy it.

The afternoon stuff was going to be tough because we had lots of pages to cover in only a few hours and it was a really heavy emotional scene as well. (I swear it’s a comedy!) We skipped the beginning of the scene and got into the meat of it pretty quick. Only thing was, both me and Nicole didn’t really feel quite there yet. And then once we got into the space and were present and connected, a huge loud bus or motorcycle would blast by outside the windows. Oh man! It was RIDICULOUS today. There was a point where, I swear, we held for like 3 straight minutes, just rolling, waiting for the traffic to quiet down. What the F, Champaign?! Do people just circle the block in a damn motorcycle? It was unbelievable today. We still got it, but man was it rough to work today. Challenging scene anyway, but then you just keep kicking yourself when you let yourself be distracted. Ugh! but yeah, we still got all the peices nailed, just not all in one shot at a time. They gave us plenty of takes so we were satisfied with it too.

Then they went and set up the Beauty Shot. The crew had spent like 3 hours building a Jib and then in the end it didn’t fit in the loft! They ended up rigging something like a tripod or a C-stand thing and then tied a rope to the camera or some other such MacGyver shit and got this gorgeous shot from above the studio lights. Plus the sun was setting and hitting the wall just right. It was amazing. That dance studio location is such a magical space. This is a script that uses location as extension of character. So it’s so great that they found such great locations for everything. It’s like they leaped off the page into existence for them.

We had a little light left and shot the intro shot into the scene, so we’ll have to hit that tomorrow. It’s not a ton though, so it shouldn’t be too hard. And we got through 10 pages today, so that’s not too shabby.

When we got back home, we heard music coming from the open room near the workout area. There was a big salsa lesson hapening. I guess it’s every friday. I had to go deliver some dinner to Melanie and Shannon so I wandered away while Benji and Nicole were watching for a bit. I guess Benji went in and people recognized him and such. Tee hee hee. hopefully he talked to them about being extras next week.

Tomorrow we hit the early dressing room scene at local theater and then come back to finish today’s scene and then finish Wednesday’s scene as well. we still have one more montage peice to do too. Then we are done with the studio space until my Tux is done.

Day 3 – Potential Cry Fest

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

We were slated to just be doing scene 38a, b, and c today. 38A was easy and quick and Nicole finally got on camera! Yay! Then 38B was lots of fun with little improvised sections. Everyone maintained awesome energy throughout the whole thing, which was tough because it was a lot of dancing. I got to wear a much cuter shirt with my workout pants today. I also used my dance shoes I brought. Yay! And my hair and make up is subtly cuter by this point in the story. Yay again!

At lunch there was some drama with vegetarians being sad about lack of choices. I guess I might be cranky too if I didn’t eat and didn’t like anything that was there. I’m glad I am cool with eating meat because that beef stew was great for the rainy day we got (which, of course, was exactly what Erika had pictured.) Erika had a little pow-wow with the upset folks, and then I think things got resolved? Maybe? We went back to work either way. Hoepfully people are happy. i want people to be happy.

Today there was a minor crisis where the little girl playing 7 year old Toni got stage fright and canceled. I texted friends I knew had lived in Chicago if they knew of people with kids nearby here that might have a girl that looks like me. She was supposed to come in at 3 or 4 today, but in the end it was ok because the end of 38c was pushed to Saturday. Sounds like they found a girl so i think we’re good.

We made it to our first on screen kiss this afternoon. Ooh la la! Then it was all about being upset. Melanie nailed her close ups. Then we turned it around and everyone nailed theirs. Considering it was late in the day, we all kept our energy going and stayed really with it to the end.
It was a scene I hadn’t really nailed in rehearsal. I know when I nail something and I wasn’t before. Today, I fucking nailed it. On almost every take, even the ones I wasn’t in the frame. It’s where I come out to my mother, so I channeled specific gay people in my life and how hard it must have been carrying that burden of shame and finally releasing it. The work I did with Craig before I left totally paid off today. He will be so proud. (I was also channeling all the Prop 8 protesters back home too, since I can’t be there with them, I’m there in my creative spirit.) We made the owner of the building cry. That’s awesome. That’s what we want. We want to be able to make a 60-something year old man cry. Guys, have I mentioned this movie is going to be awesome? Near the end I was starting to get in my head and lose my momentum, but i think I faked it well enough, and I know I got it good in my closest shots. After I got those out, I was touch and go, but stayed there as best I could. Though, Nicole is like master of getting my water works going. so every time I turn and I look into her eyes she just makes me cry. She is really good at this whole acting thing.

I’m really proud of everyone’s work today. We are making some pretty amazing movie magic happen here.

The rest of the night I’ve been in my room. Shannon came up to run lines for the morning stuff. some folks went out to a new bar downtown that just opened, but I was tired and wanted to go over the scene anyway. Again, Craig will be so proud. Ha ha.

Tomorrow – New Set!

Day 2 – Violence!

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

Day 2 was in the same set but mostly a different scene. We finished up the end of 12 then moved on to the original plan of 19. This one was more involved in terms of some basic stunts we needed. We had to knock over a wood-framed plastic dressing screen and I had to be slapped. The screen came down awesomely and only broke a little so they could still use it and take it a few times. Yay! There was one take where we dropped it and then I come around and shout back at Shannon, then suddenly she slips on her dress and falls to the floor. I pause for a sec and then I’m like- ‘Oh, still filming! where were we?’ And we keep going once she gets up. It was hilarious and she was ok. A bruised hand today, but didn’t really even notice until later in the day. Then again it could have been bruised from her slapping me on the face a lot. just kidding. We do easy light slaps and fake sell it for camera. Well, we did until the last take, which landed crazy hard and gave me a headache for 20 minutes. Luckily the camera was on the reaction side and got the real ‘Ow that fucking smarts!’ face when I turn my head. Nice! Lotta great shots for that scene.

We had some extras for the dance class and needed them to look shocked and confused at the scene we created, so Erika came up with this genius idea to stage a ‘Bale-out’ with Benji while the camera gets their real reactions. It was glorious! The sad part was that I didn’t know how to work the little digital camera he handed me seconds before and didn’t tape it from my angle. Doh! I need to learn how to use a digital camera like that. I just rarely use one since I still haven’t gotten around to owning one. I’m using my boyfriend’s old one. It takes nice pictures but it’s a bit slow between takes. I think later they staged some reenactments with the set photographer for fun. At least we recorded the sound. Then maybe we can ‘leak’ it just before the movie is released and boost publicity. No actually let’s not. It would make a hilarious extra on the dvd though. It went on way long so it seemed even more real. Then Melanie couldn’t take it any longer and went to go talk to erika, which was totally convincing, but unfortunately she was in the shot, so we may not be able to use that section on the wide take. I think it was plenty long though, so Daniel should be good. At the end Daniel came out and was all up in Benji’s face then they all turned around and were like- ‘Just Kidding!’ and hugged and stuff. Everyone had a good laugh.

We finished that whole scene and had a little time left, but not enough to try and get much, so we went and hit up some of the montage bits we missed on Day 1. It was wacky and fun. I also rub shannon’s feet sitting on the window sill, and managed to not fall out the window. Yay. then afterward people came up to me and were like- ‘Way to take one for the team.’ And I’m thinking, ‘they’re just feet.’ But then I realize they mean getting slapped a dozen times. Oh, no problem. Anytime.

At lunch there was an announcement to everyone to be nicer to the tattoo parlor next door because they had complained people were being douchey. I had no idea what was up and then someone else said that they were the ones seen being douchey. Either way I was totally able to channel that bad vibe into my scene that day. Yay! In the end I think it’s moot because we’ve gone over there to chat and get tattoo quotes. Benji got 2 little tattoos last night! So now they are our friends. I’ll probably get mine there when they are done. A little heart with an L.L. in it. Really small one though.

Yesterday was supposed to be Nicole’s first shoot day, but we didn’t get to that scene in time. Doh! She was there all day in her little outfit and makeup, and didn’t get to play at all. Sadness.

After we finished, no one tried to shove me out the door this time. I think they figured out how all that dinner scheduling works so we don’t have to worry about that anymore.

Then I went back home after eating and did the usual. Shower, go online for a while, blog. Not call my boyfriend even though I miss him since we both hate talking on the phone. I works well that way really. Don’t get me wrong here, I hate talking to anyone on the phone, not just him. ;)

I think those are the main points from day 2. I posted pictures on my facebook actor page.

Speaking of Sleepytime Junction

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I should go to bed so I’m less sleepy tomorrow. It’s probably my heaviest scene in the film, so i want to be able to feel focused and ready. I’ll blog day 2 and hopefully 3 tomorrow.

Day 1 – Start it out nice and 'easy'

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I woke up early – I’m sleeping really well. I think it’s the exercise and having only one thing to worry about right now.

We shuttled over to the set. I got changed in 5 seconds since I have the easiest outfits in the movie. So far I’ve been in workout pants and then whatever shirt and Hushpuppies. They throw my hair up in a pony tail and voila! Wardrobed! Then they do makeup which is also super simple. I am frump-tastic in a lot of this film. Fortunately my breakout is almost totally healed so they can cover the red and it looks like normal again. Yay! I have one big blemish, but I doubt it will be very noticeable, even on the Red. If it is, oh well. I am Queen of the Frumps! I was so boxy I would catch my reflection in the mirror and be like- ‘Who’s that? Oh it’s me!’ I love it. It’s so funny. I was first in and out, so I had some time to wander around.

The dance studio is on the third floor, no elevator. it’s connected to ‘Mona’s apartment.’ They moved all of Mona’s furniture to one side and turned the ‘Red Room,’ as we now call it, into the gear room. Sound is there and all the light stuff and the computer that backs up all the disks from the camera. It’s mega hot in there. No AC and I’m assuming they can’t open windows for sound and such. Fans have to be turned off for takes, etc. So the dance studio is actually more tolerable usually. The upstairs area has a kitchen, so that’s where craft services set up. there was more food downstairs too, where makeup was. there is also AC down there, almost too much.

We got started a wee bit late, but not bad for the first day with a fairly new crew. For some people it was their first time on a set. However, it seemed like things went smoothly, in terms of technical stuff. One or two power outs on a section, but nothing that delayed us much. The construction across the street was noisy so we had to hold for saws a lot. So as people got the hang of everything we knocked out some pretty good material.

It’s a lighter scene at the beginning of the film so I only needed to know about like 5 lines. for some reason one of them just gets stuck in my mouth, so I’m pretty sure I said it different on a lot of takes, but I tried to be consistent if the camera was actually seeing my mouth move. There was a lot of coverage in the scene because there is a lot of bantering and a lot of movement. There is a really awesome dolly shot with Cedric and Tasi dancing back and forth that slowly goes into my face. I say awesome because others reported this. I don’t get to see the monitor, obviously.

At some point we have lunch and change out of our wardrobe. I take 5 seconds. woo! We eat leisurely. Guess what? It was delicious. I ate so much my tummy hurt. I knew better today though. Then we get back into wardrobe and get makeup fixed. I take 5 seconds. Everyone else is layered and pinned and they have to burrow their mic into panty hose and such. Peeing requires assistance to get in and out for Shannon and Melanie. I do not envy them. They do, however, look fucking rad. So it’s worth it.

More shooting after lunch. Nicole was able to come on set after all, so she was there on and off all day. She also went to get her nails and eyebrows done so she got it all in.

We eventually lost the light and had to put off the end of the scene and the montage bits. I asked Tone, the 1st AD, how we did and he said all things considered, great. New directors, new crew, 1st day? Yeah. I felt good about it too.

At the end of the day I went to get dinner and right after I got my plate I was told I had to leave. Like suddenly and couldn’t even sit for 10 minutes to just eat it. I was like, well then F’ it, I’ll just eat at home, I don’t want to worry about spilling shit in the car. Had I known I would be rushed away I’d have picked a sandwich instead of the wrap and beans. So I’m just sort of tired and confused and think I have to go suddenly. There was a point where I was heading for the door with this plate I no longer want and someone was like- ‘where are you going?’ And I’m like- ‘I don’t know, they are kicking me out!’ So then we all determine I can sit down because everyone else is still undressing and it’s not like they are ready to go. then it turned out it really didn’t matter anyway since I’m not union, so F’ it. I guess they have to get signed out within the time or it’s extra money, so they wanted to make sure the actors were off the set in time. but the question remains where the set technically ends. We have food at the location but in another section. If it was at the office and people had to be shuttled that wouldn’t count. It’s weird. Sometimes rules bug me when I don’t give a damn about them but they inconvenience me.

So yeah, anyway, i stayed and ate and then in the end stayed another hour because they made me and Shannon a hair appointment. The original dye was washing out so we went back to get permanent dye. I don’t need to change it back later, but Rebecca wasn’t sure if Shannon did.

We get to Ippatsu and Shannon asks if they have a bucket or something to soak her poor feet in. (in heels for like over 8 hours) not only does Rebecca have a foot bath, but she also ends up giving her a foot massage while her hair sets. Meanwhile I’m in the other chair setting, and soaking my feet. Glorious. She is amazing. Though she made it clear we were a special case and she does not actually do any massage work in regular life. So don’t go in there thinking they do that there.

We got home at like 11:30 so by the time I showered and checked emails it was after midnight. Apparently the Sound guys are the party animals and had a get together in their room last night. Nicole made it, which was good because it was her Bday. The boys gave me, Shannon, and Raquel a hard time for missing it. I’m like- ‘I was busy visiting Sleepytime Junction!’ I didn’t actually say that I don’t think. But that is a phrase I keep using. Stayed up too late though because I actually slept into my alarm for the first time in almost a week today.

I didn’t have much time to take snap shots. I was on the set or on brief standby most of the day.

But yeah, I’d call day 1 a success. I think everyone rocked it.

Back on the blog

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009

I got home kind of late last night so I was too tired to blog. I did however look up my site stats and discovered I probably broke the hearts of Lacey fans everywhere, being the source of the news on multiple forums. But hey, site hits increased dramatically!
I also discovered at least one person looked up ‘Laurel Vail Nude’ and found my site that way. So then I did a search to see what came up (no pun intended since I’m a lady.). No nude pics so far. Sorry folks.