This past week I was down in Philly again filming for I/He/She. Instead of those "alone scenes," this time I actually got on camera with Lesley, filming the longest scene between us. Naturally, both of us were feeling under the weather, so I'm sure the performances have a bit of a "husky" feel to them in that scene. This first pictures is a flash-less shot of me on the set, and you can see Kelvin (director) and Nick (director of photography) working behind me. Kelvin set up a screen and he was projecting images onto us as we sat in front of it. It not only produces a really cool effect, but it gave Lesley and I the opportunity to make cool shadow puppets while the crew was working on setting up the shots. We were under a time crunch to get the scene shot before the professor needed to get into the room to teach class in the evening, so we were working pretty quickly. But that still meant we had a little bit of time between setups so we could relax, and then we'd dial it down and take our time with the actual scenes. Kelvin kept telling us that he wanted the pace of the cues to be very slow, with lots of time in there. It's such a strange thing for a stage actor, though, since he is ultimately the one who has control over our pauses when he edits the film together. As long as Lesley and I leave a little bit of space in there, he can theoretically use lots of different angles to make those pauses as long (or as short) as he wants them to be.
The original plan was to use Nick's homemade dolly track again, but they abandoned that plan once they couldn't figure out a fast enough way to keep their shadows off the screen. But, to get those fun camera angles, we did two takes the entire scene where they filmed nothing but our silhouettes, moving and talking shadows. I snapped a really great picture of Lesley's shadow on the screen, and that shot also gives a sense of the background that was being projected on top of us. The scene is set on a pier in Hong Kong, and Kelvin is using the projected background to mirror the drama and the dynamic tension in the scene. Playing it live, it seemed like it was going to be pretty cool to see. This is two shooting days in a row where I turned down the opportunity to see the dailies from the day; I don't have a desire to see my on-camera work until the film is done as a whole. I don't want to see any of the pieces until the puzzle is complete. Apparently, they watch some of the footage in their classes, and everone said that this film was one of the best-received screenings. I think I'm working on something exciting. And that is always exciting.