January 22, 2013
Today, we weren’t planning on rolling until around 5pm, when it got dark. I spent much of the early part of the day trying to figure out the new shooting schedule. The problem was that we had completely lost one of our daylight days. The 21st, after shooting the dead body scene, we were supposed to head over to the gas station (which was conveniently 5 minutes away from Linda’s house) and get the scene that takes place there at dusk. However, our 30-hour driving shoot completely messed up the possibility of getting anything done after we shot the body scene. So, I was trying to figure out how we'd fit that into the schedule since we had to transition to overnight shoots for the next 2 days. Barbara, the gas station owner, was leaving for vacation on the 27th, so I knew we had to fit it in the schedule before then, one way or another.
We started setting up lighting at around 3pm. I was periodically checking in on how it was going outside but mainly concentrated on talking with my actors because, once we were out in that cold, there would be little time for direction.
We got rolling at around 6pm. This was one of my favorite scenes of the film, when the characters first arrive at the house. This was the scene we had rehearsed the most during pre-production. It was so exciting getting to finally see it come alive, especially with the blocking.
Overall, the night went smoothly. It was -10 degrees again and almost unbearable, but being able to periodically go inside made it a lot easier on everyone than the driving scenes. Of course, the relief of going inside was always bitter sweet when the reality of having to go back out would present itself.
The budgetary problem that presented itself tonight was the purchasing of hand and toe warmers. I anticipated having to get them, but not at the rate we all ended up needing them. They say they last 8 hours. I’m fairly certain that my entire cast and crew will agree with me when I say you’re lucky if you get 2 hours out of them.
The scene we were shooting was a 5-character scene with 10 pages of dialogue.
We had about 8 different camera setups and had to do full run-throughs for almost all of them. I was crossing my fingers that we’d get it all done that night, but of course we didn’t.
Daylight crept up on us at around 4am and it was time to pack it in. We moved as quickly as we could, but I didn’t want to rush it.
It was definitely a minor emergency that we had fallen more behind, even just slightly, but the night was so productive and so much less stressful than the past night of shooting that it felt great regardless. That scene is still maybe my favorite when I watch the film now. The performances are just so brilliant, and I love the shot construction John and I came up with.
Everyone was in bed by around 6am, but I stayed up to try and figure out the schedule moving forward. The next night, we were shooting again, picking up what we missed tonight and attempting what was already on the schedule. I did eventually sleep, but only for 3 hours or so.