Saturday, August 18, 2007

Day 5 and that's a Wrap!

Today was our last day of principle photography. All I could hope for was good, clear weather without the persistent smoke lingering in the hills and valleys. Let’s just say we got lucky. Very, very lucky today.The art department, with me and Pete in tow, got to location at 7 a.m. to get the set built and everything ready for shooting to start at 10:30. Doug also met us out there so we could review the day’s work.Today, we built a border crossing where our two main characters have their last moment of the story. Stil, the father, drops his son, Joey, off at the border to be picked up by his mom. Since Stil is paranoid about his ex-wife possibly calling the cops on him, he decides to have his son walk the last quarter mile to the crossing into the U.S.When we started location scouting for the border crossing, I thought we could find a park entrance or similar location that would be the basis for our border crossing. The more we looked, the more we realized that we might need to build our own crossing. Jason Puccinelli, our production designer, stepped up to the plate and made a faux crossing happen. With the help of Oscar Lofgren, they built a set and created signage that really sold the whole idea of a border crossing. The trick is that we just can’t get close to it or it’ll look fake. Jason built it all with the idea that the camera would always be a quarter mile away. I think he nailed it. The border crossing set had real people just driving by ready to show their IDs!We got going on time with today’s shooting. We marched through the work pretty steadily. I was getting great performances from James and Nathan, feeling good about everything. We moved from interiors of the car to exteriors of the two in front of the car. Just as we were wrapping up insert shots, the clouds decided to open up almost like a warning. We decided it was a good time to break for lunch. We returned to get back at with an ominous cloud over head, but it never rained again!As we got into the last of our shooting, we noticed a ribbon of smoke forming off in the distance. That little ribbon turned into a full-fledged forest fire as we continued to shoot. We saw flames shoot out of the wooded hillside when the winds gusted. Luckily, it was out of our shot and the smoke was not an issue. We dodged another bullet!At the end of the day, we raced back to our location from the day before and picked up a couple of shots that we didn’t get Friday due to weather. With the sun slipping behind the horizon, we pulled off the last of our shots with Nathan and James. We called Wrap at about 7:30 p.m. on principle photography for Dry Rain. What a fun ride. We sent James, Nathan and Nathan’s mom off with hugs and well wishes. It was a pleasure working with them.
Of course, the work wasn’t over. We still had gear and vehicles to button up before we could dip into the infamous Dry Rain Pale Ale that Doug and Jessica Hostetter brewed. In the midst of all the work, someone that will go un-named put the Motorhome in an irrigation ditch. Brian, I mean the un-named one, got some friendly locals from the bar to pull him out with their backhoe. They saved the day and we bought the house a bunch of free rounds down at the Copper Queen Saloon.I’m sure I’ll have time later to reflect on everything. Right now, I need a beer and my pillow. Doug and I start Second Unit work tomorrow shooting all over Montana.

Thanks to Jake Warga and Mike Prevette for the photos.

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