This past Sunday was day one of filming for my scenes in the movie Brackish Waters. I went in not really knowing what to expect, other than we were slated to do two and a half pages of dialogue. It may not seem like a lot but those short pages took about three hours to shoot.
A large part of the film happens in an inn, which the director has converted her own actually living room into a dining area and a living room area (or were they called parlors back then?) Anywho, it’s a smallish room to begin with, but then you add a bar area, tables, and chairs, and then the camera stand, the light towers, microphone, and extension cords galore…well, it restricts the space physical space in which you have to act. As a theatre actor, I’m used to taking up space. This did not afford me that luxury. In fact, the acting space was so tight that my butt hit the camera in one scene, ruining the take. Thank’s a lot butt.
In film, things aren’t always shot in sequence, which confuses my pea brain. You often do the same shot twice too. Once from over one actor’s shoulder then from the other. Each time you change angles…you have to change the lights, the microphone, the camera and all of the props you’ve touched (or haven’t touched yet) back to their starting point.
For instance, the scene we shot on Sunday required a lot of prop use, which meant when ‘whiskey’ was inadvertently spilled on the white tablecloth, we had to stop everything, move all the dishes on the table and get a new tablecloth put down. Then, we had to place each of those twelve or so dishes back on the table in the same spot it was before the spill. A tedious task to be sure.
The first shot of the day was me coming into the inn. Soaking wet from a rainstorm. I’m told there is video of me as the director gleefully doused me with water. If I get access to it, I’ll share. 🙂
For the rest of the shoot, I was continually ‘freshened up’ to keep the look of drowned rat up to par.
This scene we shot happened at night, in the 1900s (where my character time travels back too) so the room had to be dark and look lit by candles. How do you do that when you’re filming during the day? Black trash bags in all the windows, naturally!
After we wrapped for the day, I may have done a little jig before changing into the dry clothes I had brought with me.
I don’t have a call sheet for when my next scene will be, but I’ll keep you posted. If you want to read post one of the process, (casting) you can read that here: