Feb 25, 2008

Final weekend

Our last two days of shooting were originally supposed to be our first. With location setbacks, we were forced to push the climactic fight to the end of the schedule. However, locations in February proved to be just as hard to find as they were in November. After a series of all-night scouting trips (Hi, Justin and Alec), we settled on a warehouse facility in Long Beach.

We lit the warehouse from outside (in the rain) with 9 Maxi Brutes up on Avenger stands. Jason Gray, Adam Hart, Alvin Zalamera and Steve Shriver made up the stunt team for the weekend, and pulled off some pretty fantastic stuff (little wire work anyone?).

It was an interesting experience, with the amount of visual effects plates that we needed to shoot. Mike Grier (Effects) was on set to supervise, as well as work with his brother Josh in managing our giant warehouse puddle. There is some nice ambience added to the scene courtesy of a super soaker. When you watch the scene, look for the water drip from the rafters. I swear it wasn’t inspired by a late night viewing of Alien the night before.

Chicago shoot

When Michael Nie (camera operator) came on board, one of the first things he brought up was the idea of shooting B roll in Chicago. We had considered this previously, but until that point it didn’t seem possible due to crew and equipment. I was willing to settle for still photographs, with a little digital wizardry from Mike Grier. However, when we started talking about the idea, we realized that Michael and I would both be in Chicago over Christmas, and we had a friend that might be able to get us a hook up on a camera package. Baring a complete blizzard, there was no reason we couldn’t go shoot establishing shots and inserts of the city.

Of course, when we decided this, it was still November, in California (which feels like September in the rest of the country). Fast forward three months, to one of the coldest winters I’ve ever seen.

Michael and I operated (by ourselves) with an Arri SR-3 package for about two days, in 10 degree weather. We caught two sunrises (5:30am) and two sunsets, since on paper it had sounded so cool for our daytime scenes to take place in the “early morning.”

The real break came when we were able to talk our way up to the 45th floor of the Hancock building in order to grab some really fantastic shots of the Palmolive building.

It’s funny—when I watch a cut of the film, I forget how much went into getting these shots. All I see is a “larger” movie