Director's Diary

Day 3 January 13, 2001
Saturday. 6:30am. The alarm goes off. Here...we...go!!! Packing, gathering, lifting, carrying, consulting, re-consulting...this is what the first hour of each shoot day is like. Running all through my house attempting to make sure that I have gathered all props, rented all the gear, packed all the gear, packed food supplies, scripts, notebooks, digital camera, batteries, the film, the couch (Amy says she has just accepted that everything in the house is going to get trashed), the stereo, anything else??? Finally it seems like we can leave. Amy and I head to the car rental place, where I have reserved a 15 person cargo van for the weekend. We are shooting outdoors all day today and it may rain, so we need it. After we pick it up, Amy heads off to get the bagels and coffee, and I head off to meet the crew at Russ St and Folsom St in the South of Market area of San Francisco. This is going to be an exciting day. We are going to shoot a lot of bicycle courier action shots on the streets of San Francisco. We are also shooting Beth Lanes big argument with a chump who almost "doors" her. That is when you open a car door a cause a bicyclist to have an accident with it. Holly slams into that door maybe 12 times during the course of the morning. Ooof. But it looks so awesome. We film it from the side, from the front, from the back. Everyone is super stoked! Except Scott. Scott is super sick. Food poisoning. He needs to take purge breaks regularly. He turns yellow¼then green. But he sticks it out. Soon it is time for lunch. Lunch is an unbelievable experience today. Two friends, Amy and Lou, have prepared us a feast. So much super yummy food! We are cold and working hard, but extremely well fed. We eat out of the back of my pickup truck. Then back to work. In the afternoon we shoot action shots. We have an arm that attaches to the truck that we mount the camera on. We drive around filming Holly with Scott on Camera, me driving, Bill (our stand in gaffing genius) taking video in the back of the truck with Christy taking photos, Ruth running lines and Dave recording the dialogue. It is so fucking cool. We take some other courier shots and then pack the gear and head back to my house. We have some shots to get of Beth riding up to her house at night. We set up this huge silk and a bunch of lights all over my street and the sidewalks of my neighbor's houses. Kids are looking out the windows and cars are gawking at us as they pass. Finally around 9pm we finish. It was a great day. A lot of the cast and crew hang out for a little while and decompress. It feels really positive to see everyone liking each other and to see how the crew is gelling. I can't wait until tomorrow. I go to sleep with my mind buzzing.

Day 4 January 14th, 2001
The alarm goes off a couple of minutes later. Or so it seems. Did a night occur? Not sure, I get up and wash my face and prepare. Today we are shooting at Holy Names College. We are shooting a brief drug scene in which we meet Andre Lane, Beth's younger brother, through the overdose of his college dormmate Mike. Since, we rented the space we are also planning to shoot a few of Dylan Bradley's phone scenes. Also, unbeknownst to Ben, I have changed one major thing. We were originally going to shoot all day at this one location, but on Thursday, I decided to have us come into the city to my Dad's office to shoot another Dylan phone scene. Sorry, Ben. It's gonna work out fine, I am sure. But I also know that it will be a 12-hour day for sure. All morning we shoot Neils and Ivan in their dorm rooms. It is looking great. The art direction is fat. Scott is feeling better and he and Alex and Bill and Jeff are setting up each shot so meticulously. This weekend, unlike last, I am looking through the camera on each shot to make sure I know what we are filming. Also today, for the first time, we have storyboards for all the scenes. It is so nice to have them; they are an amazing guide. We shoot and shoot as the Giants obliterate the Vikings and the Ravens take down the Raiders¼Ben and Neils are especially sad about the second game. Me? I don't give a shit this year. Not only did my team suck, but I'm making a movie, and that is seeming a little more important. Anne shows up in the afternoon to help Michael shoot the Dylan's scenes. Her character is talking to Dylan on the phone so she will say the lines off camera to help with the proper cadence. They hang out for a long time before we need them. They are total troopers and keep themselves busy the whole time on the production end. Holly has also been working on that end all day and when Ivan hasn't been acting, he has as well. I feel very lucky about the people working on both ends of this movie. Very lucky. So, hours and hours are going by¼and we still have to move set to get this other scene. Bill heads over to start setting up over their and this stokes me out because now I am sure that it will happen and we won't get further behind today. We are still missing two of Ivan's shots and he splits next week to go back to school in Massachusetts. We must get his shots before he splits¼.

We finally finish at the college and pack quick and head over to the city. We are mostly set up and this last shot shouldn't take so long. We get one alright take of it and then it turns out we are just about out of the filmstock that we are using for this scene. Fuck! So we get one more and then we must call it a night. Aaaaargh. I have to take a walk around the hall outside the office to try to deal with it. I am not stoked on the shot. I feel pissed at myself that I didn't prepare well enough for this. I am unhappy. Maybe I just fucked up my bid for Sundance?? Maybe I just screwed up my whole career!!! Then I start thinking about what's important. What the hell is important anyhow? Love and friendship. I laugh out loud and am suddenly totally relaxed. I go back in and thank everyone for the hard work they've put in all weekend. I tell them how happy I am about how this film is going and we share a few minutes of movie making camaraderie. I can't wait to see the dailies of the footage that I will get back on Thursday. This movie making stuff is crazy. You work so hard and push yourself further then you think you can go¼It's pretty funny, somehow, throughout the challenges, my confidence grows. I think this will be a great movie. We'll see¼ Until next week. Chunk it up!