Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Short & Late

I must be giving everyone the impression that the Zack blog is some sort of Magnum Opus the way it keeps getting delayed. The simple truth is that I haven't had the time this week to give it the care I feel it deserves. It'll be here eventually . . . just not this week.

Last night was Women's Studies Shoot Day #48. Despite some unforeseen set dressing delays, it was quite an enjoyable evening. We have two more days of shooting scheduled. Plus there's one reshoot, so I guess that's three days. So close to the end . . .

It's funny. I've always wanted to be a filmmaker. I've dreamed for years about making a movie. Now that I'm almost done shooting one, I just want to be a regular dude for a little while. I've spent the past couple weeks dreaming about nothing more than sitting by some water for a spell. No computer, no cell phone, no TV, maybe a book that I pick up in between naps.

I love my Lady Killers, make no mistake. They're funny, sexy, and always entertaining. However, they're also very high maintenance ladies. Distance lends perspective, they say. A little time off from each other is going to do us wonders when I finally get a break.

And after? Oh, the things we'll do together.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Almost to Post

There's no real Women's Studies blog this week. It's been a bit of a struggle for me to really enjoy the project recently. In fact, I actually wrote a very long, vitriolic, and venomous blog which I smartly deleted. It was, as they say in the military, "counter-productive."

Don't get me wrong. I'm still in it to win it. It's just that we started shooting this thing on May 29th. As of this writing, it's October 16. Last night was shoot day number 47. That's one more day than it took Hitchcock to shoot Psycho. Many members of the cast and crew feel a bit frustrated. Compared to Cindy and I, however, they really don't know the meaning of the word. I'm trying to stay positive. I'm sure the worst is now over.

We have three more days of shooting. Principle photography will be complete by Halloween though we do have one reshoot we need to schedule for early November.

About half of the film is edited as "rushes:" Quickly edited, very rough scenes that give me an idea of what footage we have and possible ways to throw it all together. Women's Studies is one of those films that really functions best as whole, so it's tough to get a sense of tone and rhythm from individual scenes but many of them look quite nice. Very soon I'll introduce you to our editor, Jim McGivney, who has been a bright spot and an anchor over the past couple of difficult weeks.

Look how sexy he is when he tells me he's basing his editing choices off old episodes of Barney & Friends:

Women's Studies

Next week, I'll get into James A. Radack's Zack, who has the difficult role of being of the only male character in Women's Studies. After that, we'll start digging into the film's post process, which I'm really excited about.

Since I've been pretty cranky lately, I'll apologize to anybody who was on the receiving end of my bullshit. Cindy says all is fine, and if she's not worried, I'm not worried.

Women's Studies

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


I'm exhausted. I'm sick with Laura Bloechl's (Or was it Tara Garwood's?) Captain Trips/death flu. I still don't have any pictures. I'm not doing a blog this week.

If that's a problem, take it up with my friend below.

Women's Studies

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Changing Leaves

***Remember in last week's blog when I promised there would be pictures from the "strip club" shoots in this week's blog? Well, I'm a big fat liar. I forgot to get the pictures off Gaffer Jim Housell's camera which has since gone back to New Jersey with him. And you can't get mad at Jim because he tried (twice) to make me get him a flash drive so he could turn over the pics. So, no strip club pictures. You're just going to have wait for the movie to see just how ridiculously hot all those scantily clad ladies were. Alas and alack. Somehow, we're just all going to have to move on.***

# # #

Autumn is my favorite time of year. The weather creates its own contradiction, cool enough to sleep with the windows open yet also have to throw an extra blanket on the bed to stay warm. Colors change and the world seems to slow down just a bit. It's a good time for reflection.

As of this writing, we've shot all but approximately eight pages of the Women's Studies script. Four of those eight pages will get knocked out this Sunday. Excepting one scene which may have to be reshot, Judith O'Dea (Hamlin), Melisa Breiner Sanders (Beth), Mundy Spears (Sharon), James A. Radack (Zack), and Kelley Slagle (Diane) have all been wrapped.

As the production cast and crew wind down and begin to move on, the post crew is just starting to ramp up. Jim McGivney has roughly half of the movie edited as "rush cuts." Sean Russell is organizing his sound clips and pre-planning the sound design. Ryan Sayward Whittier is waiting for me to call him back so he can try out some incidental music on me.

Me? I'm in this weird place were I'm still planning shoots, but pulling together schedules and attack plans for post. It's strange and almost sad not to be running around like a chicken with its head cut off. I tried to take this whole past weekend off and really didn't know what to do with myself. I spent most of Sunday going through footage and typing up shot lists so the post guys can organize their video and sound files. I thought a weekend away from the movie would be awesome, but it was just kind of depressing.

Melisa Breiner Sanders called me yesterday as she was waiting for a rehearsal to start, just to say "hi." We talked, caught up, told inside set jokes, and laughed. It was good. I got off the phone missing not only her, but the magic that comes with all of us on set and doing what we love. I knew that's why she had called. Not to check in on the movie, but just to feel a bit of that old on set magic. (That, and I'm totally friggin' hot and she needed to hear the sexy tambour of my voice to calm the itch in her loins. Yeah! No fake bitches here!)

In one of the older blogs, I equated filmmaking to a disease or an addiction, and it is, but not in the bad, sick way we think of diseases. It just fills you up,like a drug or food does. The people, the shared ideas, the laughter, the hardships, the difficult act of creating, of doing it together . . . All these things fill you up and as you slowly start to withdraw those elements, there's an empty space. It'll fill up with something else eventually. I know this. All things must pass.

But as the leaves change, they pass more slowly. Things are less busy. I have time on my hands to reflect and remember. In the autumn, letting go is somehow that much harder.