Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Baggage Diary #2 (May 21, 2013)

Baggage Diary #2 (May 21, 2013)

I sit here...feeling accomplished, sore, tired and the most proud possible. After a grueling two day shoot in Long Branch, New Jersey, "baggage" is officially under way. We were met with bad weather but the greatest crew and cast you could ask for. Positivity and motivation really was strong on set.

Let's look at the weekend:

Friday night, Kim, Lil Dimension and myself head to the Jersey shore with the hopes and dreams in our hearts (yes..this is the set up for defeat..haha) and we arrived at the "Less than Happy Hotel". We had reserved our rooms online only to be told "we don't honor those prices"....so, after a little "discussion"...we finally get our room. Well, as if a black cloud wasn't hovering enough after our check in....the cloud settled right above my head upon entering the room. 

After years of being on the road, hotel rooms need to be real skanky to freak me out....and between us..I was kind of freaking out. Kim and I walk in...look around and walk into the bathroom...no shower curtain. We call the desk...phone doesn't work. We walk to the office and she moves us to another room, reluctantly....apparently, I'm look like a liar (I probably do). Next room, I go right to the bathroom..."Look honey, a shower curtain!!" I say in excitement, only to look at the toilet and see a sign "to be removed by plumber"...yep..potty don't work.  So back to the office we go. Third room....smells like mildew but we are stuck. Stay here of sleep in the car. So, we decide to stay.

Next morning, we are off to the set!!

Jerry and Rob
Saturday was a bit of a easy day since we had an indoor shoot at an office (Mortgage Now in Shrewsberry, NJ) and then a train station location that had a little cover. It was raining and not our ideal weather, but we were gonna make it work. Our cast and crew got set and the day is underway. I won't say much about each location but I will say this...when Jeremiah Kipp, the director calls for a "Taxi Driver-esque" shot...Jeff, the cinematographer and I looked at each other and smiled. For each of us, it's one of the films we used as a model for this project...so Jeremiah literally made our day.

After about eight hours at that spot...we pressed ahead to the Elberon train station. The train station is small and very visual. I love it. We meet up with the extra's that were extremely patient and here is an interesting tidbit of trivia...almost all the extra's at the train station had Mumbles the Clown tattoo's!!! It wasn't designed this way, but it just happened.

The weather was shitty; no one word really can describe it. On a positive spin, it really helps set the mood for the film. Keep in mind, we wanted the train arriving in the shot so we ran to both sides of the tracks to get the shots we needed. It was a full day that involved laughs, great times and memories that we can all remember. Special Thank you to everyone who was a part of Saturday.

After about 8pm we were finally done....until 7:30am on Sunday.

Mumbles tattoo's!!!
Here is my tip to any writers out there....if you aren't in shape, do NOT write a chase scene..but, more on that in a minute. It was raining again and we were shooting at the Draft House in Long Branch, NJ. If you've never been there...go!! It's got a super clean and has a great atmosphere, plus amazing food. Can't thank them enough for allowing us to invade their space for the morning. We were really pressed for time but this scene was extremely important so we needed really good coverage. Once again, this is where having a great crew really helps...everyone listens, talks and offers ideas...it's like the perfect crew..seriously. Once again, thank you to all the extras that came out in the miserable weather and hung out for a while. 

Now...it was time for the chase on the streets on Long Branch. I'm not in shape..plus, the shoes I was wearing are not made for running. Add slick cement to the mix and we have a recipe for disaster. This was easily the toughest shoot I've ever done. Being chased by two 20 somethings was a challenge; especially since I refuse to admit defeat and never want to quit....I'm still limping..haha.

We then move back to Elberon train station for the face off. This was also tough but I know it's going to be amazing. This scene had physicality, emotion and intensity. It's always weird when you see what you've written come to life and it exceeds your expectations and the visuals become so much more than you could've imagined. There is nothing better than sharing a moment that you open yourself up, show tremendous emotion and know that those around you are rooting for you and are feeling the emotion. It's really moving.

I never claim to be an actor...but in that tunnel...as I sat on the ground...wet, sore and beaten...even if it was just for one small moment in time, I was proud of my performance. I'm so proud of what we've done thus far.

Let me say this...I can't thank each and every person who have made this possible. Jeremiah, Jeff, Steve, Bill, Deirdre, Paul, Kristen, lil Dimension, Sal, the people who offered us the locations, every single extra that was a part of it, every person that donated or even shared the link and most of all, my Wife, Kim...without her, I would have never have taken these chances or risks..I owe her more than she even realizes.

This weekend we film more extremely tough scenes and I will write more next week about how it went. I thank you for following along and being a part of this. Independent filmmaking can feel very lonely at times, but it's times like this, that makes you realize you are not alone. 

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