Sunday, November 30, 2008
One striking thing about the book is that RLS carefully crafts a story that resists simple interpretations. It is clearly written as an allegory, but RLS was always very cagey to never say what exactly it was an allegory for. Interpretations have varied over the last hundred years as the times have changed, and it was always been co-opted for whatever purpose the writer wanted. The story has reflected the dangers of society, hypocrisy, science, and vanity. But I want my version to have all the complexity that the orginal text has; RLS didn't make the story as simple as a struggle between "good" and "evil," so I don't want my version to be that simple.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I thought of something as I was working on the story beats for this adaptation. As I was talking about the opening scene, trying to decide how the story should start, I realized that I'm good at this. This writing thing that I do. This directing thing that I do. This producing thing that I do. This whole theatre thing that I do. I'm good at it, and I need to find a way to start/keep doing this for my job.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
On Thursday night, I saw the preview performance of the show, just to see how the show responds to an audience. I was saying the lines in my head as I was watching the show, and I'm proud to claim myself off-book for a few scenes. Not to mention, I have a few ideas about how to hide the script in some of the other scenes where I'd have a lot of dialogue and a few long speeches. I'm not sure that I'll be called upon to perform in the play, but I want to be as well-prepared as I can be for my first understudy gig.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
I headed over to Rob's for the final hours of work on our short film contest entry. I got there and he was working on some visual effects while Adam was putting all the waivers and permission forms in order. Rob was exhibiting his traditional "stressed-out" posture of hunching over the computer screen while Adam and I went outside to film those last couple of pickup shots for the film, shots that ultimately went unused in the cut for the contest. They had worked on cutting down the film to the proper length during the day, so it was just the matter of finishing the effects and then fixing the sound and dropping in some sound effects. They were working on that, and I was sitting in the corner trying not to hurry them. They both have technical experience on the editing program, and there's only one computer. So it was a little frustrating not to be able to help very much.
Until photocopies were needed! Rob's printer ran out of ink while printing out some of the waivers, so I grabbed the originals and ran out to Office Depot to do some literally last-minute printing. Rushing back with the papers, I found them more or less done with the edit, just fighting with the computer to drop in the last few sound effects. Rob cut the sound and visual effects into our WWII battle sequence in about 10-15 minutes, which even impressed him later when he thought about it. We rushed over to the college where we needed to drop it (I drove like a maniac but broke very few traffic laws.) When we got to the school, Adam dove out of the car and sprinted across campus in order to get in under the wire. We later heard that he did make it in time, and the person at the desk advised him to relax now that he was in time.
After we could all relax, we went out for a few beers and dinner to celebrate the completion of the project. We talked a bit about some other projects coming up, talked about expanding our current idea into a longer project or even into a webseries. Lots of exciting ideas came out on the table, and I certainly hope that the three of us work on something else in the future. Of course, the most exciting thing on my table right now is the new script for "Reggie Donovan's Best Day Ever." It's due Friday, so I better get started. Better quit this job at the window place....
Monday, November 3, 2008
We had a little bit of trouble finding our location which led to a little time crunch while we were there, but overall it was a smooth day. The WWII re-enactors were really good about their part, setting up the machine gun and moving the Jeep whenever we needed them to. They had the enthusiasm and the energy to keep running up and down a little hill take after take. We were using a mosquito fogger to give the place a smoky appearance, the clouds of war blowing across the land.
One setup had us running behind the three American GIs, up a little path between two bushes, emerging into the main section of the backyard. The first time we did the shot, the GIs ran forward, Adam and I ran along behind them. As we got up around the corner and Rob called the "cut," the GI's all turned around to face me. I was looking at them through a heavy mist of smoke, all of them in full gear, breathing heavy, the Army Jeep behind them, the machine gun emplacement off to the right.... It was a pretty amazing sight, and it actually felt like we had travelled in time a bit (as per the idea of our movie.) On just this small scale, it was wild. On a bigger scale, it has to be exceptional.
The contest gave us guidelines for the film we had to make, including a genre, theme, prop, and line of dialogue. Rob was very interested in making something with an action-movie style for this project, so he and his buddy Adam came up with the idea of a chase scene through different time periods. Adam and I play time-travelers, and we are trying to prevent the bad guys from getting the capital-D Device. The project was ambitious from the start, and it was significantly hampered by our large group of characters but small group of actors. Some necessary rewriting and some creative filmmaking later, the project got a little simpler, but we did film the scenes we needed to film more-or-less on schedule. Another day or two of principal photography, and then a whole day spent editing, and then I’m sure Rob is going to sleep for at least a day when it’s done. Maybe until the official premiere…