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February 9, 2015

Day 11 of 70

Our partner in crime James M. Johnston flew in from Texas to visit the set; unfortunately, he landed on Wiatangi Day, which is the Kiwi equivalent of the 4th of July, and so there was no set to visit. We had ourselves a three day weekend, which in retrospect I think I mostly spent in bed. I watched four movies. I'm really trying to watch things this time around; maybe it's not a good idea, but who knows. On the last one, I think I saw like three movies the entire shoot, and it was just distressing. I try to stick to things that are completely different from what we're doing; there are little bits of inspiration everywhere (which is how we found touchstones in everything from Enter The Void to Antichrist to Ivan's Childhood - they're all in there somewhere).

One movie I watched this weekend was Norman Jewison's Moonstruck. I'd seen it three times before, all on a single night, when I was sixteen and had checked the movie out of the library. I loved it so much that I rewound it and watched it twice more in one sitting - and then I never saw it again until now. I loved it still, though differently. I wish there had been some intermediate viewing to bridge that ever widening gulf between then and now, but alas, there was no getting around the fact that I'd last seen it a literal lifetime ago. I felt very old heading to set this morning.

Today we were back in the woods at Battle Hill, shooting a sequence that I'd planned out very carefully last summer and had no interest in altering. It was two shots, with a very precise cut point, and a camera move that required counting out loud to get the timing right. We got it exactly as I'd intended. I cut it together there on set and it worked fine and so we we moved on to the next shot, which I'd also planned out somewhat extensively. It was designed to be a long, long shot, and we'd given ourselves the rest of the day to nail it.

Two takes in and it was clear that nailing it wasn't really an option - that one shot needed to be two, and by the end of the day it became four, and those four when cut together will work far better and with far more grace than whatever strained result the original plan might have yielded. I made quick work of letting go; basically, the movie called me out for trying to get too fancy.

Now for your enjoyment: some nondescript images.

tree_markers.jpg fake_logs.jpg wi_fi.jpg b-cam.jpg

Posted by David Lowery at February 9, 2015 2:34 AM