Saturday, March 10, 2012

Shoot to Kill

          Knife.  Hatchet.  Syringe.  Blood.  And…
          There’s no mistaking we’re on the set of a horror film.   The props are all either dangerous looking or just plain creepy.   But they’re all instrumental for the teaser trailer for DEADLY REVISIONS which we are shooting.

          Camera and lighting equipment sprawls everywhere; the house we’re shooting in has been transformed from a tranquil residence to a surreal cross between an army camp and a tent city.  Thick electrical cords span the floors like black pythons biding their time. C-stands loom like anorexic, cybertronic aliens waiting to boot up and kill us all.

          But Kate Sobol, our Director of Photography, and the crew skillfully manipulate the aliens into submission:  moving, bending and using them to create each of our shots for the day.  With a discerning artistic eye, Kate takes lights, screens and rods and creates emotion, mood and magic.  It’s a pleasure to watch and work with.

          Actress Dawna Lee Heising proves her commitment and chutzpah right at the start as she is dragged across the floor in a most unglamorous fashion for her first shot.  She manages to hold the awkward hand position I’m asking her maintain as she is dragged repeatedly across the room, alongside the dolly.  As a result, the shot looks beautiful.  Then, though nervous about how to handle a syringe, Dawna patiently and precisely follows direction through repeated takes with the needle.  And no one gets stabbed.

          The day goes along in similar fashion, shot after shot.  We welcome and take advantage of serendipitous discoveries and still manage to get through everything on our shot list and end on time.  It’s an exemplary day on an indie set. 

          And my dog approved.