I finished a rough cut of the movie at 6AM. I'm going to watch it tonight, make some tweaks, and then step away from it for a while, let it sit, then come back in for the kill. Kevin is still working on the music and there is plenty of audio mixing and color correcting to do before it's finished, but it's nice to have this first step out of the way.
I don't want to say anything about the film, because it's really delicate right now. It must be handled with love and care and tenderness. It's just learning to walk. Someday it will have enough strength to walk away from me and live on its own, but not yet.
I miss everyone like crazy. I want them to be my family. I want us all to get together at Thanksgiving and Christmas and tell stories and laugh and dance.
This is what I see when I close my eyes. The Final Cut Pro interface. I have spent all of my free time staring at this laptop and cutting the movie. I'm in the zone.
Greta left two headbands in The Movie House when she took off, and I have wrapped them around my two hard drives (HANNAH BLUE and HANNAH RED). I figure the headbands will protect them from evil spirits.
Back to work. Trying to get a rough cut finished this weekend!
Please indulge my vanity for this entry. It's hard to come up with things to post when I spend most of the day sitting in front of the computer editing. The only thing of note today is that I posed for a new headshot picture.
There's an article coming out soon, and they needed a picture. Since I just got my haircut, I figured it would be a good time to make a new one. Kris took this one, and I like it quite a bit. I think I'll use it as my director photo for this movie.
Special shout out to Kris, who landed a full-time job teaching video to Chicago high-school kids today. YAY!
I didn't get any editing done today because I had to shoot my final scenes as "Jeffrey" in Frank Ross' new film, HOHOKAM, which he finished shooting tonight. I got a haircut in the afternoon to try and match with my hair from 10 weeks ago when we shot the earlier scenes. Here I am with Allison Latta, the film's lead.
Frank's previous film, QUIETLY ON BY, has been grossly overlooked, so I'm hoping this new one gets him some of the exposure he deserves.
My role in the film is small, but I am happy to be involved. I amused myself during the downtime by using the timer on the camera and taking pics around the office location.
Greta left Chicago yesterday...sort of. I dropped her off at the airport at 6PM and was on my way home when she called and said that the airline couldn't find her ticket. We spent some time scrambling around with Anish until we realized that she was looking at an old itinerary and she had in fact missed her flight which was at 2:45PM.
So I went back to the airport and got her, because the earliest flight she could get on was at 6AM this morning. We went to a coffeeshop and hung out and talked about ideas for a future project and it was really great. We felt like we had somehow escaped into a wormhole and got to sneak an extra few hours of hanging out in. Then we went and picked up Kris, Drew, and Flora from Navy Pier and went back to Kris' place to sleep for a few hours before I took her back to the airport.
It was a really great way to say goodbye. Much better than her leaving on the initial flight. Just one more pleasant surprise to round out this amazing experience.
We got the final shot we needed, Kevin recorded some trumpet samples, and we called it a wrap for HANNAH TAKES THE STAIRS. One month. In and out. It was a totally incredible cinema experience that will be hard to top. Nothing was compromised. I worked with the people I wanted to work with, in the way I wanted to work. If it never happens again, I am happy I was able to experience it once.
We shot the only remaining dialogue scene today outside of Swim Cafe, one of our favorite Chicago hangouts. Nobody will ever say another word that will make it into this movie. Any thoughts not yet expressed will have to be saved for other projects. We went in with a lot of ideas, and we're coming out with a few of them missing. New ones were born along the way. I'm really really really happy. We made a movie I'm proud of. I can't wait to show it to anyone who will watch.
Kevin says his goodbyes to Kent and Greta tomorrow afternoon, because he's heading out to the suburbs, and by the time he comes back, they will be gone. He and Greta spent some time walking around and talking tonight.
I'm excited to enter post-production. There's work to be done. It's thrilling to think of finishing the film in the coming months and sending it to Festivals. These thoughts keep me away from the depressing reality that this is almost over. I don't want it to be. It's too good. I'm learning too much and loving too much to ever want it to end. One month is all there was. Incredible.
We are at the point in the production where we are filling in the last remaining holes. There are only a few scenes and shots to get, and we got three of them today. It was a great day of work. We spent more time talking about mortality and friendship than we did shooting, but the discussions benefited the scenes in a big way.
I'm growing extremely fond of long, uninterrupted takes. It's something I never thought I would say. I should be clear, these are not just long shots with a camera sitting on a tripod and people talking. I only really like them when I can follow the actors around and react to what's happening. But it's been a great new challenge to see how much of a scene I can capture on the fly, in one shot. This film will probably be longer than KISSING ON THE MOUTH and LOL, but I'm fairly certain it will have less cuts than both films.
Tomorrow marks the end of the hard stuff. We're shooting the only remaining dialogue scene with Kent and Greta. After that it's just a few loose shots and some addition work for the soundtrack. Kevin needs to get samples of Kent and Greta playing their trumpets for his score.
We went to see TALLADEGA NIGHTS. I was really hoping for something good, but I was totally unimpressed. Not even Sacha Baron Cohen could save it for me. Kent, Kevin, and Greta liked it, but their judgement is not to be trusted.
Andrew and Ry left today. It was really sad. I can't believe we are in our last week. It feels like we started making this a year ago, but it also feels like only a few days have passed. Living in this house with everyone has done really strange things to my sense of time. All I know is that I don't want it to be over and it almost is.
No point crying over it though. We still have some scenes to shoot, and we're still having a blast. We finally watched SCHOOL TIES tonight, the first movie that Kent ever acted in. He has seven lines in the film and we kept pausing and rewinding his parts. The movie is terrible, but we had a blast watching it and Kent told us stories from the set. He acted in scenes with Chris O'Donnell, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, and Brendan Fraser.
I miss having a house full of people, but there's something nice about this new small group of Kent, Kevin, Greta and I. We're able to chill really easily and I'm hoping tomorrow we'll be able to focus and get good work done. I just hope we can all be together again somewhere down the line at a Festival.
Two more members of our family leave tomorrow, and it's totally depressing. Bujalski showed up two weeks into production, but it totally feels like he's been here since the beginning. Ry was one of the original gang, and now she's heading off as well. I don't even want to think about it.
We try and forget our sorrows by eliminating the color blue from our lives. We all got BlueBlocker sunglasses and we must look hilarious wearing them as a big group. We ran some errands today, and Greta went to get her passport. Kent's mail has gone MIA so we're trying to track that down.
Kent's been craving a Billy Goat hamburger for weeks now, so we stopped by the one near my apartment for lunch. As greasy hamburger's go, it was OK, but I think he's been hyping it up too much. Jerk.
We're celebrating tonight, because tomorrow we will be crying.
I had a very sureal experience today when I was going through my typical routine. I have a list of blogs that I check everyday, and it's always fun to see friends get mentioned places, but this morning I clicked over to Scott Macaulay's Filmmaker Magazine blog and saw Greta staring back at me. It was really arresting. We all gathered around and read his nice mention of the film. It was exciting.
The other day we also got a shout out from Matt Dentler at his blog. It's really nice to know that people care about the film and are excited to see it. We're doing our best to make it great.
We wrapped on the office location today, and shot a quick scene that's going to smooth over a tricky transition in the film. It was sad to pack everything up and move it out of there. It really drove home the fact that this will be over soon. We all have it in the back of our minds, but this made it explicit.
Anish is coming tonight to meet everyone and see some footage. We're going to try and grab one more quick scene before he gets here.
Todd Rohal took off today and we spent much of the afternoon huddled together crying.
I met up with Chris Wells in the evening to give him some LOL stuff for the NY release. He's going to head up that effort, because I'm way too busy with this film. That reminds me, if you're in NY and want to see LOL, it's playing at the Pioneer Theatre from August 23-29th. CLICK HERE TO BUY TICKETS.
Osborne had to cut his hair in order to match up with a scene we shot a few weeks ago, so Ry did the deed. We used a photo from the earlier scene to match his hair up.
I had a hard time getting my act together today. I spent most of the afternoon looking at footage and feeling weird. We didn't start shooting until 11:30 at night, but the scenes turned out great!
Tomorrow we are clearing out the office location, but we're going to get one last shot in there before we go.
Greta received a birthday package from her parents yesterday and she celebrated by doing a little tap routine for everyone.
Spending our days shooting at the office location is starting to feel like work. It's strange how much the environment affects our perception of things. Being under flourencent lights with very few windows really takes it out of me. On the plus side, we are getting amazing material.
Todd Rohal blew our minds again with his Brian Duges character. He continues to pull craziness out of his brain and make us laugh during every take.
Andrew pulled out another round of pants tricks, getting those suckers so high on his stomach that he started talking like he swallowed helium.
We shot some really great scenes with Greta and Andrew at the end of the day. It was fun. There was nervous energy and excitement and the footage looks great. I also shot some prom-style pictures with the two of them.
Greta's downtown now getting her passport stuff in order. It's her birthday today, so Kevin and Andrew are heading to the store to get some party food. We're going to have a cookout in the backyard and dance to Baltimore club beats.
I was totally exhausted last night and failed to update the blog, so I'll have to make up for it tonight. I got a call from Mark Duplass today sending his love. We all miss him and wish he was still here. We talk about him a lot.
We did get a new addition to the cast today. Todd Rohal flew in from Maryland to play the creator of the show that the main characters are working on. His character is Brian Duges, and he rocked it out.
We were all rolling on the ground trying not to laugh during takes, as he counted the money in his wallet and did some other really insane things.
Greta, Kent and Andrew make an amazing comedy team, and it's a pleasure to roll the camera and watch them go. They continue to surpise me and move the scenes in great directions. I can't wait to dig into this footage.