Archive for March, 2011

Delivery – Day 9

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Thursday we had the Midwife there. This was the first day we realized no one wears watches any more because no one had one for her to use to take my pulse.
Actually someone did that time, but then next time we needed on on set, they weren’t there.

I think this was the night where he comes up and watches me painting. I actually had some really old paints from when I used to actually paint, so I broke those out. They were acrylic, but I pretended they were oils since the prop they saw earlier in the week was an oil set. I didn’t want to use the oils because they take too long to dry and it would make a mess when we had to pack things up later.
My paint must have been over 7 years old since that’s how long it’s been since I worked at The Art Store (R.I.P.). So, the yellow was rock solid. All I could get out of the tube was the separated greasy medium. It actually looked a lot like linseed oil, but basically useless. My red was just barely squishy, so makeup let me borrow her alcohol spritzer and I was able to break it down a bit and use a little. I got an ok amount of blue and green and some black and white. I tried to match the palette of the artist I was copying, but I didn’t have enough red. Oh well. i think I nailed the style pretty convincingly. At least close enough that viewers would believe I could actually have painted them. The artist’s stuff was much better. I’m not good at abstract art, if thats’ possible. I was always more of a photo-realistic artist, which is slow and not super useful since i have to see what I’m drawing.

Anyway! After that they did some stuff with Danny and gave me free reign over the mannequin. I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It had to be creepy and it had to seem like it was a cry for help. Well, I think I did a pretty good job with it because after I went home I got a text from Danny telling me i have a messed up imagination. Adequately creepy I guess! They remembered to hide it before they went home so the homeowners wouldn’t see it if they came by that night.

I guess that’s when things start to get dark. After that day I don’t think we had much in the way of happy scenes.

Delivery – Day 8

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Tuesday my mother comes to see the house. Then the best friend and the neighbor came over for tea and such. We went up and I showed them the art my character was doing. The best friend went home I think and then we did another scene with the neighbor showing me stuff about midwives. Then the kid came and we did a scene with him in the kitchen. I give him a coke in the scene, so we had quite a line up of coke cans just off camera, one for each take – including the ‘rehearsals’. They told him the first ones were rehearsals, but they recorded them just in case. Working with kids is funny. You have to use different language to get them to give you what you want. He comes up to my belly and listens and then looks confused. So to get a kid to give you a natural confused expression, you have to try different strategies. I couldn’t see his face, but they seemed satisfied.

Danny came in the afternoon. I think we had a “Kardashian” scene where we make up for a fight we haven’t had yet! They told us what points we’d be hitting in the argument, but we wouldn’t be filming it until Thursday. So, we went through vague sentiments about not really meaning what we said, etc. We also talked about the dog, so that’s the important bit.

Oh! I remembered something hilarious from this day-
So we do a little Rosemary’s Baby homage where I eat undercooked meat. They had a barely seared steak and then some seared tuna that I’d actually be eating on the fork. They were kept totally separate, so it would be safe. Danny comes and tries to take the food away and I quickly eat the bite on the fork. the first take he’s really angry and I am not expecting it, so I get extra defiant and actually swallow the food. Propmaster says, maybe don’t swallow it since they aren’t sure if it is entirely fresh enough. Fair enough. in the remaining takes I cheek the bite of fish and only accidentally swallow a bit. Or if I see the camera off of me, I spit it into a napkin. Then there’s one take where he wrenches the fork away from me and I’m like, “shit! I need that!” I kept waiting for them to cut, but they didn’t. at that point I can’t be sure the fish hasn’t touched the meat, so I can’t eat it. After they cut I’m like, “Danny, you’re not supposed to take my fork!” No one told him! So then we do a few more and try a few more things with it. One I take the undercooked meat out of the microwave and back to my seat after he leaves. Another he tries to cook it on the stove. It’ll be interesting to see which take they eventually use. Some are more like a fight and others are more like a concerned husband. I think it’s one of the most varied scenes we did. Either way it will be pretty gross.

I did not get sick from eating the fish.

Delivery – Day 7

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Sunday was our day off, so I did some voice over work for a game plus a quick ADR session for a short film I had done. Because I’m a workaholic.

Monday we moved into the house! What a cute house! It isn’t a normal house for north hollywood. It’s got wood siding instead of stucco and steep roofs. So cute. Plus out back they had a little bar/cabana and a patio with angel trumpet flower trees. We learned that people sometimes make a tea from the flowers to get high like an opiate, but if they make it wrong, they die. It became a running joke. There were a lot of mirrors everywhere, including the back yard on a wall of another little house. The owners had both that property and the lot behind it, so there were some mini-guest houses they rented out as well. Basically furnished vacation homes. So on the side of one there was a big mirror and I felt like it was a one-way mirror and people were in there spying on us. It wasn’t. I’m assuming the mirror thing is to make it seem bigger.

Inside they had one of those old stoves I love, with the two little ovens instead of a big one. There was a heater grate on the floor in the hall, but it was really big and took up most of the floor there. Kind of weird placement, but I guess it was the only place to put it. The stairs to the top floor were narrow and steep, but safe. Then the top floor was awesome because the roofs were so steep and the walls ended up a severe angles. That was mostly where we all hung out. They only used one corner to shoot. We also did some confessionals up there, but they didn’t like the way they looked, so later in the week that area was the Fort. They put up some sheets to close it off and people would hang out in there and watch TV. It was fun.

Since we’d just moved in, we did some scenes of touring the house and progress of unpacking, etc. They had to move all the furniture out and then back in again. They stuck some fake security cameras up on the walls in a few rooms as part of the reality show.

Really the beginning of the week blends together. There wasn’t anything heavy. I think we did confessionals and some side confessionals. At one point they gave me a flip cam and I wandered around doing a side interview on my own for 10 minutes. Cute little stuff about the new house. Can’t remember anything else specific from Monday. Oh, I think there was more cheese that day. Also lunch was catered and delicious whatever it was.

Delivery – Day 6

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

Saturday we were at this really cool apartment in Beverly Hills. It was one of the houses we look at while house hunting. The decor was very eclectic. Like there would be 5 different types of chair in one room, including one that was made up of welded together horseshoes. There was also a really chill dog, appropriately named Chilly.

That was the day the Armenian lady was there and I knew she was going to freak out at me. That’s all I knew. So then while I’m having my makeup done, one of the crew comes up to me and says, “So, you ready to be attacked with a letter opener?” And I just look at him, and I’m like, “Ummm, I know I’m going to be yelled at, but thats’ all I know.” And Then he repeats it! “No, aren’t you getting attacked with the letter opener?” then I’m like, “Dude, you’re not supposed to tell us these things!” This was the second time he discussed scene related stuff in front of us. Doh! In the end it didn’t matter since we had to coordinate the tracking shot and did it repeatedly. The surprise wasn’t really in the take we’ll be using , but it still would have been a nice surprise. Oh well. That was the last time he gave us script spoilers though.

So, like I said, we had to do it a bunch of times to get the timing right since we go down a hall, then she comes down, and then we leave and then she had to get in front of the camera before we get out the door so it can catch her with the letter opener. I love tracking shots, but they are hard to do.

By the way, that lady was awesome. I don’t know what she was saying, but it was intense.

After that we moved to The Velvet Margarita, which is this cool restaurant/bar in Hollywood with a Dia De Los Muertos theme. We were shooting a dinner scene with my mother and we had to pretend it was really loud in there and practically yell at each other. It’s hard to maintain because you get caught up in the conversation and forget there are supposed to be people talking all around you. Also, I tend to have a quiet voice in general, so I was really yelling.

Since their kitchen wasn’t open yet, we had Tere’s brought in for lunch. It’s one of my favorite Mexican restaurants. It was awesome.

I think that was it. After we finished I got my stuff from wardrobe so I could take it home and bring in different stuff the next week. If we did anything else that day, I’ll update when I remember. I think we just finished after the restaurant though.

Maybe we grabbed an establishing shot outside a hospital. I know we did that at some point, so it was probably picked up that afternoon.

Delivery – Day 5

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Friday was confessionals day. We spent most of the day reflecting on things that had happened over the first act, and then a few things that hadn’t happened yet. That is difficult. We had an idea of what was going to happen on with the Armenian lady, so we had to comment on it in really vague ways. We knew she was going to freak out at us when we toured her house. I suspect we may re-shoot that later since we’ll be picking up other testimonials later.

After we finished those we did our first major jump ahead in the timeline. We did a scene right near the end of the film. I had my huge baby bump and a super bad rash and dark circles on my eyes. Danny comes to find me at the neighbor’s house, sleeping. So at this point we don’t know what’s happened right before this. I was like- Am I mad at him? Have we been fighting? Am I just tired? All in all, looking back I think it will fit fine with what comes before it. We just had to shoot it before the rest due to location availability.

We had to do a bunch of times because they wanted to get adequate sound, though it takes place in the last act, so it doesn’t have to have perfect sound. We tried hiding the sound guy in the closet, on the floor, then they tried miking the nightstand. Finally they just Lav’d us both and the sound guy mixed as necessary. The camera can’t catch the sound guy at all in the 3rd act because he’s not there, so it adds another level of difficulty when shooting.

That night also featured the kid. He saw me drumming on my belly and was concerned because he thought it was real. Nice.

I don’t remember how late we went, but it wasn’t too late since there was the kid there. Maybe 9:30 or 10pm. There was a party across the street. We joked I go over there in my belly and ask for a drink.

Delivery – Day 4

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Thursday we had a really light day. I got to sleep in a bit and then all we had slated for me was a BBQ. Awesome.

I got to the location before production, but the actress playing my best friend was there with her fiancé. We knocked on the door and the guy who lived there let us in. Turned out the fiancé and the resident knew each other. Small world!

The rest of the crew were wrapping up at the bar, so we hung out for a while. But then they got there and started setting up the back yard. It was a really cool place over in Silverlake. The backyard has a patio down below and then the yard slopes up from there and there is a bridge from the upstairs to the top of the hill. there was also a little shed back there. It was really green and overgrown from all the rain, but it was pretty. the weather was also perfect.

The only thing that wasn’t perfect was the fit of the dress I was to wear. We’d ruined the first yellow dress already so this was the second one and either this one was sewn a bit slimmer or I was bloated (probably). It was really tight. Wardrobe had to let it out some so it would stop bunching up. She had her sewing machine with her though, so she got it done super fast.

Once we were all set we just had a BBQ. We made sure to stay on topics from 2009, when the story takes place. It wasn’t hard to find things to talk about. It was fun. Then they got enough of that footage with the 2 cameras, and then everyone else had lunch. We’d already eaten really. Then we just had one more scene to shoot inside and that was it for me for the day. Danny had to go over to his workplace location, but I don’t think they went very late.

Delivery – Day 3

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Now it’s been 2 weeks. i’m way behind. oh well.

Wednesday we we at a studio downtown all day. They had a bunch of hospital and doctors office sets in a big warehouse.

When I arrived, my google directions sent me into a parking lot in which I proceeded to drive the wrong way. There were a bunch of dudes loading crates of fruit and such and they kept yelling at me, so i stop and then ask how to get out and get to the building I’m looking for. One of the workers let me know where to go. As he was talking the security guard comes over and is kind of a dick. Yeah, i know I’m in the wrong place, dude. Don’t be a dick about it, I’m trying to find my way out. Well, I got out and went around to the back of the complex and found the right building.

It was cold. Not too surprising since it’s still sort of winter and it’s just a giant warehouse. But man. Luckily they had a little green room with a space heater, so i parked there for most of the day. My worry when i get cold is that i’ll get too tense from shivering and then get a migraine, which happened the weekend before.
I wasn’t needed for a while so I didn’t have to get into the hospital gown right away. I took a nice nap, chatted with extras and the doctor actors. They made up the wardrobe girl as a nurse to be another extra as well.

I bet it was a bit hard for the actors playing doctors to do their adlibbing. They director didn’t demand technical jargon or anything, but it’s still more specific than regular conversations.

Most of my stuff involved lying in a hospital bed under a blanket, so that was pretty easy. I also got to leave my jeans on under the gown so I wasn’t freezing.

When you went outside it was nice and warm, so I had lunch out there.

In the afternoon we switched to normal clothes for the sonogram scene. I realized I still had my navel ring. I’ve never tried to take it out. I’ve had it in since i was 18 years old and I never took it out. Never got around to changing it. So I just hoped that I could remove it. Luckily the top ball unscrewed easily and I was able to pull it right out. First time in like 12 years! So once we knew I could take it out, we decided to do it on camera, just to do it. We did that scene and then a few other ones before wrapping early. And by early, I generally mean it wasn’t a 12 hour day. I think that day was maybe 8ish.

One of the weird things was that some of the people who worked at the studio kept making noise while we were shooting. Like they were moving stuff or building something. they were, like- we didn’t hear you say ‘rolling’. Why would you be doing that work while someone’s renting the space anyway? It’s a huge building, you might not hear when they are rolling or not. Maybe just don’t be working until we leave? Weird.

LL going to Cannes film market

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Leading Ladies will be screened at the Cannes film market for international distributors! Unfortunately this doesn’t really mean anything for US distribution yet, but internationally this is awesome! Mayhaps soon we can get a Leading Ladies import. 😉

Fan Fic time!

Monday, March 28th, 2011

Booked my first fan fic film.  No, it’s not slash fiction, for all you nerds out there who know what that is.  😉

It’s a faux documentary about the Battle of Hogwarts, catching up with the children 20 years later reminiscing and recounting the tales.  This means I get to have a British accent!  Hooray!  I feel a little bad not having actually read the series, but they said it was fine at the audition.  If I know people who have read it multiple times, that should make up for it, right?  Anyway,  should be a fun day.


Leading Ladies in Canada

Friday, March 25th, 2011

Leading Ladies is going to the Toronto LGBT Film Festival in May! No details yet on dates and times.