Director's Diary

Day 1
Oh my god. There are so many people here. First lesson: It takes a lot of people to make a movie. OK, no problem. We have a lot of people, so let's make a movie. What? How long a day are we going to work? Well, it's the first day, so I am thinking 8 or 9 hours. That sounds good. Keep everyone from burning out on the first day. Hmmm. Well we have been working 6 hours and we are just finishing about half of what we planned. Oh, that's okay. We'll just power through. We can get much more done before we stop. Hmmmm. Now we have been working 9 hours and we still have a lot to do. Well…uh…okay. I guess we should power on. What's that? Film crews normally work 12 hours? Alright, well. Jeez. I guess we can work 12 hours. Hmmmmmm. It's been 12 hours and we are just setting up now for a new shot and we still have four shots that we haven't done. Shit. Fuck. People don't seem so happy. Okay, think. Uh……..Okay, don't think, work. Working. Very tired. What's that? Union rules say you have to have a 10 hour turnaround between the time you stop and then next day of work? Oh. Should we stop now? Not yet? Just get another shot or two? Okay, okay…sounds good. Let's do it. Hmmmmmmmm. Last shot. We nailed it. Oh, the acting was brilliant. The lighting was magnificent. Everyone was terrific. Three cheers. Applause. Wait, what? Huh? We need to check the gate? {What's the gate? Nevermind…} What? The biggest hair you have ever seen is in the gate? We need to change film? Do it again? Okay….alright. This is the film world. You do it until you get it right. You try not to stress about the time. You try to focus on the what is being recorded and whether or not it will do. Hours go by and actors hang out and wait. Meticulous crew members set up shots for as long as it takes. And eventually, someday, in this case after 14 grueling hours, the day ends. Holy shit, we're making a movie.

Day 2
I woke up at 7am after sleeping about 6 hours. "Oh, well", I think, "I'll sleep when I die." I am wondering this morning whether anyone still likes me. Are people unhappy about yesterday? Is this normal? It turns out the answer is Yes, this is normal. I am a first time director. And a first time producer. We need help, more crew, more assistance of all sorts. But we have a fantastic group of talented people working hard as hell on this film. It is going to work. On this day, our plan is to shoot a dream sequence that takes place at the end of the movie. We are filming on a green screen stage so that we can cut the actors out of the picture and animate them. It is amazing to watch. The equipment we are working with is sophisticated and very cool. We have multiple video monitors keeping track of what we are shooting. Everything is well prepared, from the crew to the cast. Today, we even have decent catering, which is good because yesterday I served everyone burritos. Which wasn't bad, but wasn't quite the complete meal that I hoped to serve. We spend most of this morning and early afternoon setting up the lights. It is a complex process. When we are done it is time for lunch. It is now about 2:30pm and we have been working since 10am. "Oh shit", I think, "are we in for another mammoth day?" We finally start filming at 3pm. Everything goes super smooth. We finish the last shot at about 6:45pm. Excellent! Everyone is filled with good feelings. People are talking about what a good first weekend we had. I am listening and trying to take it all in. I am thankful for everyone's hard work. I realize that I need to learn a lot and fast. I am up to the task. Can't wait for next weekend.