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Saturday, 7.10.04: Week in Review

Hard to believe it's time for another Week in Review -- another accounting of how I've spent my days.

Saturday. Ah, the life of a film producer. Maria and I met to do Cosmo work in her new hot tub, sipping on Starbuck's frappuccinos. We reviewed my work on the foster parent recruitment narration. Then we made plans about getting our anxiety actors together for read-throughs, rehearsals, and shoots. Then I went home to play around with more auctions.

Sunday and Monday. I've already written about the closet kudzu. This was my holiday. I find that I'm trying to separate my weekends from my weekdays, like normal people. I think it's not really good to have every single day look like the next. I could make Thursdays and Fridays my "off" days, but my imagination is already too overtaxed to be creative about every little thing. So, going to the gym for a late morning exercise class is a "workday" break. Moviemaking is my work now -- for the moment -- so I tell myself it's okay to do something else on the weekends.

But I do find it hard to goof off. I can't remember when I've simply read a book for pleasure -- except for our Mexico trip.

This being said, I did hammer out the final recruitment narration on Sunday. I took a long walk with a pen and pad and let my mind cut loose. By the time I got home, I had all the basic ideas in place. Monday morning I polished it up a bit to get to our client for approval on Tuesday.

Tuesday. Seems like I spent all day researching one of Jim's old microscopes and trying to get good pictures of it. I don't know what's wrong -- I can't seem to get the right light for realistic color. The microscope is brass and it kept appearing copper. It's those kind of things that drive me insane.

Wednesday. Did I work at all? The recruitment video is in the client's court for the time being. Nothing much to do on the anxiety video till we meet with the actors on Thursday. I did a little dusting because Malone was coming over to do some drinking. I lulled myself into thinking that, because I was home and not driving I could drink all I wanted -- too much wine, boosted with shots of vodka.

Our doctor's office "set"Thursday. And so I awoke with a sickly hangover. I was further punished by having to go get my teeth cleaned. We were meeting with our anxiety actors tonight so I decided I better do more work on my camera angles. Just as I was getting revved up, Maria called to say her fiancÚ Scott (an architect) had finished scaled floor plans of the rooms where we plan to shoot. I rushed to pick them up. In a burst of post-hangover energy, I scanned in his diagrams and made little matching scale diagrams of my video camera on its tripod. Because the space is so tight I had to figure out where to place my camera to fit the actors into the shot. The question: how wide is my lens? Or, how far away does the camera have to be to catch an 8-foot-wide span of action? I had to do it by experiment. My studio window is 4 feet wide; my camera had to be 4 feet away from it to get the whole width. My bedroom window is 8 feet wide; my camera could capture the whole width from 8 feet. One-to-one. I'm a genius!

Look at my diagram on the right. Scott's architectural drawing. My red camera set up and yellow lens view. A big desk must be moved.

Thursday evening. We met with our actors at Maria's to review the script, walk them through the "set," and schedule the rehearsal and shoot. They were fun! Really enthusiastic about their parts. The 3 women were full of empathy for the plight of people dealing with mental illness and stressed out parents. The men -- typical -- everything was an occasion for a joke. Two of the 3 must have memorized every line from every Marx Brothers movie, so they could instantly twist every line of my sober script into a Groucho play on words. Then the third -- who is playing a son frustrated with his father -- suddenly burst out with a gay version: "Oooh, he insists I call him Daddy..." We were laughing so hard.

Friday. Today was mostly paperwork connected with the anxiety video. Good relaxing busy work.

Not a bad week.






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