My last day of filming on the movie was this last Tuesday, and I have since promised that I'd post an entry talking about the whole experience of the film. Briefly, it was a lot of fun. Over the last four weeks, I spent 13 days of shooting on the movie. The days would rang from either all-day affairs where I had a lot of work to do, or a day when I was in only one shot that took just a few hours. This marks my feature-film debut, and I think it was a good one. Most of my scenes were with the film's lead, Sean, playing my best friend Bruce. We're both stage actors, and we had chemistry right away from the first (and only) rehearsal we had for the film. We're both trained improv actors, so we were always goofing around either in front of the camera or behind it. It was the kind of friendship that really made the performances on film work, and we finished every scene feeling that we had done a good job with it.
Part of the fun (read: adjustment) to working on a film as opposed to a play was learning when the camera was on me, and when it wasn't. It sounds like such a conceited actor-thing to say, but the performances matter the most when they are on camera. If you do all your best acting on the other guy's closeup, literally no one is looking at you. It's also funny to me to think that each scene will be a combination of all the takes, and that the conversations as they happen in the movie never actually happened that way at all. Yes, all the pieces happened at some point, but never all in sequence. And I'm sure I'll be surprised by what exactly is in all those shots, since I hardly got a chance to look at anything through the camera lens. I'll remember the sequence that was shot in the mostly-empty room, and on screen it will be a busy and hopping place.
And yes, this is all stuff that I know from working on "Changing Lane," "Preservation," and other films with my own company and with Rob's company. But it is quite an eye-opener to be experiencing it purely from a performer's point of view. It is really something to be working on a project this big as an actor. Makes me know that I have the stamina, the energy, and the talent to do this as a career.