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Adventures in Movie Making: The Shivering!

So the last movie, Blood on the Highway - which has it's "world premiere" at the AFI Festival next month (that's the trailer.) And there will be a Q&A with us cast members, hee! (You know what this means, right? Nick Brendon coming back. Aww, yeah) - was in the height of summer. We all sweat our butts off, the set was the filthiest place I've ever seen ever (an account is here if you're a masochist) but the people were some of the funniest people I've known. I honestly can't think of a time in life when I've been in the company of so many funny, intelligent, energetic people. \o/

There's a small but tight independent film community here in Dallas, so I was happy to see a lot of the same people on this new set. It's nice to not have such a learning curve and feel more relaxed with how to find the light, marks, etc. The director of photography from BotH is working on this one, too, and he is HILARIOUS. (He's one of the guys that wants me for another project for which he's waiting on funds.) We were making all sorts of inappropriate jokes (are there any other kind?) in between scenes with the kids. Hahaha, sneaky with the cuss words. (I'm angling for an extra credit listing as "Sausage Wrangler." Keep your fingers crossed! Ahahaha.)

Anyhoo.... The director for St. Nick (David Lowery - this is his blog with some set pics) called me yesterday and asked if I'd be interested in having an extra scene. Let me think about it... :D So, the premise of the movie, again, is that two young children run away, and there's no real understanding as to why. Their home life is idyllic and loving. (I'm their mother. My character name? The Mom.) The director had an idea for a dream sequence set in the abandoned home that is serving as temporary home for the two. It's the boy's dream about his mom, be he's unsure if he loves me or hates me. No talking in this, btw. V V cool!

Here's the thing: we had a cold front that moved through yesterday with a big rain storm so it's wet and cold, at the freezing point. I have to sit in a chair, in an abandoned house, for HOURS staring up at "my son" hoping he'll come sit in my lap so I can hug him. (They finally let him, and we wouldn't let go of each other because hello, body warmth!) Side note, I don't know what it is about 12 year old boys, but they all smell the same. I'm holding this kid, and he smells just like my boy. Awww. It made it easier to get emotional, that's for sure. Four solid hours of that, btw.

I'm sore all over my shoulders and back today from shivering, and I'm not exaggerating. And I can't wait until Saturday when I can do it all over again. Saturday is when the improv starts. They were wrapping up a scene with the boy and girl (real life bro and sis) and I got an idea of how it's going to work. David, the director, talks to each of us about what he's wanting for the scene, tells us the POV for each character, then trains the camera on us and let's us go. Freaking awesome. And these kids? 9 and 11 (almost 12, he informed me)? Absolutely natural. The boy is outstanding, very comfortable with what he's doing. David mentioned that last weekend, during a scene in an abandoned train yard, Tucker (the boy) got really upset and told David how much he hated filming "that stupid scene." Why? "It's so sad." They got it on the next take.

For those interested, their mother is there for all of the filming, and she's very nice. Very much a soccer mom, but for this. Involved, supportive, has a tote of snacks and activities for in between shoots. Last night she was curled up in her jacket in the green room, trying to get some sleep. They weren't set to wrap for the day until 2 am, and she had a long drive back home with her kids. The little girl is a cutie pie - she kept asking me to play Uno with her in between takes, and I had to keep explaining to her that I couldn't get out of character and off my mark while they adjusted lighting. "But I missed you!" D'aww. (This is her first filming experience.) This weekend is the "reunion" with our kids, so I'll be making it up to her with loads of hugs, etc., I'm sure.

[ETA] for me, basically. It's very weird to play a mom to these kids and have their actual mom right there. The little girl is very attracted to me, and it's the age, you know? She's 9, I'm a new, older woman that holds her hand and listens to her rattle on about her dolls, etc., so she wants to sit by me, hold my hand, and her mom's there, and I'm trying to gage how she feels about that, and be respectful. It's odd. The boy is old enough that he gets I'm an actress, but it's funny. I can tell he's comfortable in the moment, he hugs me, looks at me with love on camera (he's really REALLY good) but then off camera he's all toeing the ground, shy jokes, sarcasm. When his mom wasn't there (she was with Savannah) he cut loose a bit. Just... it's interesting.

Okay, I'm on my second pot of coffee. I fell asleep last night about 1am, with wool socks on my feet (I cannot sleep in socks - my feet must be untethered!) and a Hope cat on my chest to try and get my core warm. I just want to go back to sleeeeeeeeeep. But there are movies to watch today! (I can't decide between No Country For Old Men or There Will Be Blood. Hmm. Maybe a double header!)


( 22 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2008 04:55 pm (UTC)
The trailer is fun - how many gallons of fake blood did you guys go through? Looks stickilicious!

Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:10 pm (UTC)
HUNDREDS. <-- truly.

Oh my gosh, that movie is so funny. I've seen the final cut and I can honestly say how damn funny and enjoyable it is. CAN'T WAIT!!
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:07 pm (UTC)
The movie making sounds like a lot of fun! (If uncomfortable in the cold). IT's so cool that you're involved in that.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:11 pm (UTC)
It really is - if only just for the hanging out with interesting people, you know? I feel very lucky, to be sure. <3
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:14 pm (UTC)
The film sounds really intriguing. It's fun that you all get to be in on the development with the extra scenes, give and take with the director on what's working or just what feels weird, like the scene the boy felt unhappy about.

Coffee and Hope = win!

A double bill of those particular films might make you feel full of despair later. I vote No Country for Old Men, because I loved it so much, but also because I haven't seen There Will Be Blood (I am a selfish movie-discusser! Everyone should see the movies I have already seen so we can talk about them!). We'll see it soon, but so far both Saturdays we've talked about getting to it in the theaters and we've said, "Okay, are we in the right mode for two and a half hours of this?" Not yet!
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:17 pm (UTC)
I watched the dailies from the scene The Boy didn't like - he had to really put some raw emotions out there. It looks amazing. *hugs him extra*

Hahahaha, I'm the same way! (That way I have people to talk about movies with!) I'm actually hoping for some depressing movies - I've been happy lately, and I need some despair for tomorrow's filming. *G* I hear you on having to commit to an emotion/time period for some movies. Especially when you know they're going to twist your guts...

HI J! <3 <3 <3 (I so sleepy.... *curls up in your lap*)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:21 pm (UTC)
Oh, then in that case, watch away!

Awwww, sleepy!Stoney! *braids your hair*

Hey, I just spotted that there's Metapocalypse/Fandom Secrets wank over at clairvoyant_wank at JF. It may be just the thing to wake you up! I love that the fandom's main comm is called sausagefestival...)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:28 pm (UTC)
!!!! Hahahaha, I'm zooming right now to read!

(Hahahaha, the show is seriously slashy. "Sausage Festival" is a joke from the show!) Awww, I heart that you knew to tell me. <3 <3 <3
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:34 pm (UTC)
I saw this and thought of you. Naked. Ahahaha.

Oh man, the filming news sound SO EXCITING! What a thrill it must be to working with such great kids and an awesome crew and so hands-on with the process of developing scenes/characters. Awesome, awesome. I'm so happy for you because you sound so enthused and excited about it!!!

Man oh man, if Nick Brendon comes for the premiere, hello crazies! Ahahaha, love it. :DDDDDD
Feb. 22nd, 2008 05:46 pm (UTC)
Hahahahaha, J just sent me there, too! DUDE. I can't stand that kind of art work, and it's honestly one of the reasons (like, the mindset behind that crap) that made me back away from the fandom. *sad face* Even though I still love to rock out with my cock out to Dethklok. I AM SAD, SHUT IT.

HEEEEEEEE, YOU KNOW IT. And you know I'll be all with the filling in and the hey, hey, check out this weirdo. :D
(Deleted comment)
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Bone chilling cold, my goodness. The kids were of course running around in long sleeve tees and jeans, not noticing a thing.

Aww, thanks for that - I'm just wanting to tread the fine line of getting close enough to make a performance believable without getting *so* close that it's weird for *their* mom. I'm getting an interesting vibe from her.

<3 Emailing you now!
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:32 pm (UTC)
I am so unsurprised that you're the movie star on my flist. Also I'm glad you're recording your experiences because it's all really interesting to read about. Also d'awww, child actors. Maybe the boy is the next Freddie Highmore (I almost said Haley Joel Osment, but...uh)!

Anyway! ♥ Hope you've warmed up and have/had fun at the movies.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:30 pm (UTC)
Well, I'd say "star" is quite a stretch *G* but this is some of the best fun I've had since... man, college?

This boy wasn't really auditioning, his sister was. The director kept thinking back on him then realized he had to have him. Pretty cool.

<3 <3 <3 <3
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:53 pm (UTC)
Oh, what. YOU ARE A STARRRRRRR. Also hooray for it being fun. When you meet Johnny Depp, tell him I said Hay Sup.

Dude, we were supposed to have a big ice storm today. Didn't do a fucking THING in the sky except be grey. >:| Annoyed.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 07:54 pm (UTC)
This one sounds like a really emotional, intense film. Can't wait till I can see it.

Twelve year old boys all smell the same because none of them like to bathe.

No Country for Old Men was the best picture I saw last year. I'll be watching There Will Be Blood tomorrow as it's the only best picture nominee I haven't seen yet.
Feb. 22nd, 2008 08:28 pm (UTC)
It's definitely not a comedy. I'm very excited to be a part of it, especially since I got the part based on the other movie, which... really? Alrighty, then! :D

Hahaha, it's like puppy paws and sunshine. Which is a nice way to say young-boy stinky.

Someone wasn't ready to go in time to hit the 12:30 showing, so I might be going by myself in a bit when the afternoon movie starts. I'm glad to hear you liked it - I love stark, emotional movies.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 04:32 am (UTC)
This sounds fascinating! Thanks for sharing your experience. (And I can't wait for BotH!)
Feb. 23rd, 2008 01:08 pm (UTC)
It's really so exciting for me - this was something I'd given up on ever doing YEARS ago. *explodes from joy* I'll have loads of pics when NB comes to the premiere (like that positive thinking?)

I mean, I know I'm in BotH, but it's frickin' HILARIOUS.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
omg you're on the imdb!?! *fangirl squee*

I can't believe I missed your filming of this ... the bugs, the boobs, holy cow the BLOOD.

Will the blood be on DVD? I have -got- to own a copy.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 01:07 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah it'll be on DVD! (We filmed stuff *for* the DVD - extras, interviews, that sort of thing - so yes, definitely!)

Hahahaha, I'm on imdb as much as the ads are! Well, less, actually. HEEEEE.
Feb. 23rd, 2008 10:56 pm (UTC)
Dude! I can't wait to actually watch your films. And I jusssst saw the comment above about Extras, yay for EXTRAS. I will write you fanfiction.

Feb. 24th, 2008 01:53 am (UTC)
*sets timer on your coffee maker* Just catching up a bit after not being around, so you're probably ready for another pot. The movie stuff just fascinates me, the behind the scenes stuff especially - thanks for sharing it with us.
( 22 comments — Leave a comment )


Are You Actually

Reading this? I'm just curious. Because that's really detail-oriented of you. Feel free to stop reading. But you can see that there's more here, so are you going to keep reading? Really? That's pretty dedicated. I'm impressed. No, really. I'm not being sarcastic, why do you get like that? See, this is the problem I have with your mother - yes. YES. I'm going there. It's time we put all of our cards on the table.

I love you, why are you doing this? After all we've been through? You don't have to be like this. You know, still reading. You could be baking a pie. And then sharing it with me.

Time Wot It Is

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