Delivery – Day 12

April 8th, 2011 ~ 10:50 pm

Saturday was the last day we had the location so we had to finish. Luckily all we had left were a few house-hunting scenes to pick up in the afternoon and then once it got dark the whole big shebang at the end.

So in the afternoon we meet up with the actor playing the Realtor, who turned out to be a Realtor in real life and found some freaking amazing locations. The first house was clearly owned by an older couple who maybe renovated it in the 60’s and never changed a thing since. Literally had orangey shag carpet in one bedroom, orange and brown wall paper in the kitchen, etc. There was one of those super old exercise bikes. The oven was also one of those old ones (O’keefe something?) but this one we couldn’t find the stove top on it. It was fascinating and weird.
The next house we went to was I think the ‘trap house.’ Guys. This house was AMAZING. And I don’t mean awesome. I mean the opposite of awesome, like you couldn’t have production designed it better for being a nasty-ass crack house. Every board int eh floors creak. The paint is peeling off the walls. Everything is filthy. There are old photos of these little girls, from the 80’s maybe, framed on some abandoned furniture. Int he corner of the front room there is a Santa Bear FROM 1987! Remember those bears? They have the year on their winter hat? Yeah! Just sitting in a little pile of junk in the corner. Guess how the bathroom looked- yep, super nasty. In a bedroom there was a large framed poster of some baby’s face hanging on the wall. That’s where they put their prop ‘Trap House’ sign. Really though, it didn’t need the sign to be certain it was a crack house. There was a stove in the back yard and a headless deer statue! A bust of Abe Lincoln! It was a treasure trove of fascinating random shit!
Guess how much you could snatch that baby up for…..
Like only about $250,000. Yeah. F@$&ing outrageous Socal real estate prices…

Anyway! Then we went to a nice house that was empty and normal, but on a busy annoying street. It was set up kind of funny though, where there would be an added on room behind another room. Not my style.

After that we returned to our real pretend house. We had to wait for it to get dark, so we hung out for a while watching TV in the fort and waiting for the other actors to arrive. I maybe got in a little nap. I usually did at some point every day, so I can’t imagine I wouldn’t have that day. I’m pretty good at napping.

We did a pickup shot with a paramedic in the afternoon. I think there were a few other pickups they grabbed.

That day I was just in a really big bump. We had a silicon belly for the shot where you actually see it, but since it wouldn’t be visible in the rest of the film, I opted for the fabric belly which I could actually go to the bathroom in if I needed to without removing all my clothes and the prosthetic. The fabric belly was sewn onto a body suit that snapped underneath on the leg/crotch part. I left it undone and tucked it under. That way you can’t tell it’s fake when I’m wearing little more than a T-shirt. Also one side of the snaps often came undone, so that way it didn’t matter. The silicon belly was more comfortable and easier to get on and off, but it wasn’t really the best bet for the whole night.

When it got dark enough, we re-shot one of the earlier scenes from the previous night so it involved my Mother because it would flow better into another scene that way. Then we did a montage of contractions. They wanted everything to look real so we had watched a bunch of birthing shows and home birth videos before hand. Labor is a bunch of hours of moaning and waiting. I imagine it’s completely exhausting! I was made to look sweaty and tired. Not too much sweat at first. Just really tired. “Level 2” tired to be exact. Bump 4, Tired 2, Rash 4. (PS, I had an awesome rash that got progressively worse over the whole week, so I forgot to write about it specifically. Just saying, our makeup girl was the shit.) I was a mess!

At some point in there I take off the loose dress I have on so I’m really only in an over sized T-shirt all night and it’s one of those fluke cold nights in LA. Ack! I spent the time between every shot under the blanket on the bed and didn’t move from there. no way I was letting a tension headache develop when I know I’ve got to be pretend pushing out a pretend baby in a few hours.

Eventually we get up the big complicated scene that they decided not to try on Friday night. It’s got people entering the house, arguing, people going tot he door, people coming back into the room, the power goes out, they go out of the room, the door slams and then they run out around the house to break into the window. That’s when they can finally cut. Meanwhile, I’m heaving and eventually flipping out screaming and then I have to time myself getting up and calling out with the slamming of the door so it all happens in one long shot.


So after trying a few times and getting really close, we end up redoing just the stuff after the lights go out because they are pretty sure it goes dark enough to do a seamless cut in the blackness. So we do the door take a few more times until they feel like they got it right.


Then once that crazy scene is done, it’s active labor time! Well, almost. They have to reset the room. (At first they have the dresser tipped over, but decided that was too clearly supernatural and they want it to be ambiguous. So then they end up putting it back up and we re-block it that way.) The mattress is half off the bed and there is broken glass on the floor. As soon as I go in there I know what they are about to say before they get that far. As the director is explaining the series of events that will unfold I keep looking over at the glass until he stops and says, “You already know where we’re going with this…” So they tell me what I’ll be doing and luckily I am ok with that. I let them know I had an inkling it would be one of two endings, neither of which end well. I just didn’t know exactly how it would be going down. Well, now I knew. And man, talk about trust, not only me in them not making a shitty ending, but them trusting that I’d accept their ending.

Once we all agree on what’s going down, they bring in the other actors and explain the scene. We do a dry run through just to get blocking. I save my voice and energy so I’m not really giving much in the rehearsals. I just sort of let everyone know I’m going to be sitting down at the end and to just let me be and not talk while I’m doing that. i also let Danny know that whatever I do, not to stop me. They bring out the fake baby with the umbilical chord attached. We do another rehearsal closer to real speeds and energy. At one point we have to get the umbilical chord to stay attached to me so it looks like it should when she cuts it. We see that we can put it through my body suit crotch (by now I swapped to the smaller belly so it will look right after the baby is born) when the camera isn’t on us.

So we all decide that we’re ready to do it. We are all focused. I’m braying like a cow with each push. It’s a quick labor because by then the baby is ready go. I think I did 3 pushes and then she goes to put the chord in there and whoops! one layer too deep! Ha! Awkward! We keep going, she cuts the chord, (though too close the middle of the chord instead of up near the baby, no one told her where to cut it). I take the baby in my arms for a bit, say my line and then grab a piece of glass. At that point I’m expecting a “Cut!” and no one knows what just happened because it happened so fast and not all were watching. The director tells me to keep going and I didn’t really know how he wanted me to use it.

So anyway, we needed to do another take. Everyone knows what i’m going to do so they know to pay attention and react. I know the action follow through. We decide that I attach the chord to my own crotch since the camera can’t see anyway. Wardrobe helps makeup and sews the chord back together with needle and thread since we only had the one and neither side was long enough. Works perfectly.
We all get situated and begin again.

Pushing, sounding like a cow, baby comes, chord is attached and secure, chord is cut up near the baby, baby is handed off, a sit, I say my line and I grab the glass. The whole room explodes in a shrill tone and everyone lunges forward as I do. Cut.
I let them know that my voice has maybe one more take, but if we got it, I’d rather not do another one. They watch it and they all jump at the sound. They are happy, everyone is happy!

We knew we had a pickup day to finish the confessionals, but we were basically wrapped! We broke out some Coronas, lots of hugs all around. I think Danny won the ‘Baby Pool’ by guessing the first baby shot would be done after 12:30, and it was really maybe 1-something. Maybe later than that. Basically he had the latest guess. I think my guess was 11:20. I think he won $9. Woo!

So yeah. Now they are doing a rough cut and we’ll be doing our confessionals based on which takes they use. Hopefully I’ll be able to maintain my hair relatively close to what it was by the time we get back together.

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