Friday, October 10, 2008

CITY ISLAND: BURNING FILM

35mm

Yes, it's come to this. Clips of the crew wandering around the set. As I begin to run low with these precious clips, I have to find new ways to make even the least fascinating material relatively interesting. And so I come to the subject of burning film--those strange moments when the camera is left rolling for unknown reasons when a take is not even close to being contemplated. These tidbits are actually not entirely worthless as they show in action what I was describing the other day--that leisurely disorganized vibe that permeates every movie set (in between explosions of temper, of course) which make every day civilians wonder how the hell a movie ever gets finished.

The first clip is outside an office building on Lexington Avenue and 57th St. and features cameo appearences by, among others, my producer, our hair stylist, several pa's, a member of the art department and, at the very end, two members of the camera crew--who presumably were responsible for having turned the camera on at this point and presumably forgot it was rolling.

Next is a nice shot featuring Julianna Marguiles waiting patiently on the stairs as more non-work goes on. This clip also features my cinematographer Vanja Cernjul. He's the one standing there acting like a cinematographer.

Strangely, as a director, I'm frequently told that I'm "shooting too much film". Since I always warn the producers at the outset that I believe film stock is there to be shot--and that they'll be happy later to have more material rather than less--it puzzles me that they continue to under-budget my film spends. Truthfully, I wont be happy and truly satisfied as a director until I pass the "one-million mark"--on any number of movies this happens during the shooting and is always an excuse for a Champagne celebration for the whole crew. On City Island I exposed a mere two-hundred thousand feet of film--not so bad really but enough to prompt a few stern lectures. My usual response is: we're here once, on this set, with these actors, having gone through all the trouble that it takes to get here. Why not shoot a little extra film?







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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Your way of thinking seems to make sense to me but then I like the whole "more rather than less" thing anyway :)

Even if you get to a point where you have no clips to show us, I hope you'll still share with us. I'd be perfectly happy with stills and even beyond that, just stories! I'm always up for hearing more about filming scenes (the good, bad, happy, sad, serious, silly, etc.), your actors (can't get enough of them and I feel like we are just beginning to know them and their characters), behind the scenes, all of that. Whatever you can! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Another fun moment is to have
2 or 3 hundred ft. of out of
focus film at bla bla bla per ft.

Jan McLaughlin said...

Forgetting for a moment the every-day civilian, even those of us who make our livings at it wonder how it comes to pass that movies / television shows are ever begun let alone completed. Especially in the independent world, without deep-pocket studio backing.

First and foremost, one must have an extraordinary story to tell. And then, one person whose opinion matters must believe in it, and tell someone else, who tells another, and another, until someone with means puts considerable money on the table.

A miracle.

Anonymous said...

It's too quiet around here! Hope all is going well with the movie and you can tell us more soon. Tell us something about the actors we don't know, tell us anything :)

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