Sunday, July 14, 2013

Hope Bridge - Day 8

We’ve finally reached week’s end. After four consecutive nights of shooting, I think everyone in the cast and crew are ready for a little downtime.

Although it’s been exhausting, we’ve accomplished a lot over the last few nights. Some of the most significant and complex scenes are now in our rear view mirror. A big thank you to everyone. You are making Hope Bridge a roaring success. Because of your efforts and sacrifice, I have no doubt lives will be impacted and changed by this film.

Saturday was an unusual day because we had two set-ups that required a company move from one location to another. We started at a diner on US-68 near Wilmore, KY. Although it was only a few shots, it kept us busy for nearly four hours. We’re averaging about five pages per day. That’s moving at a fast clip compared to a typical studio film.  

We have a great team that knows how to work together and to move quickly. It really shows what teamwork can accomplish. As the sun was going down, the cast and crew moved back to Camp Nelson to shoot more driving scenes around Lancaster, KY.

We have about 50 people working with the crew on this film. I’m sure you’re probably wondering what all these people do. If you’ve ever stayed in a movie theater after the film has finished, you probably realize that the credits seem to go on forever. There are some strange titles like gaffer, key grip, best boy, and foley. They’re all important positions that are critical to the success of any film. There are a couple positions I want to highlight.

The First Assistant Director is the backbone of any production, and we have a great one in Joe Battaglia. I have to tell you, he seems like the hardest working guy on the set. That’s not taking anything away from the other crew members. Joe is in constant motion and never seems to stop because everything really depends on his ability to manage and supervise every detail.

The Director often gets the credit, but it’s the First Assistant Director who gets the job done. Joe understands a principle that is crucial to any successful production which is how to be firm but polite. Being the First Assistant Director, you can come off as being bossy and pushy. After all, you have to tell people where to go and what to do. Joe sets the right tone and is respectful to everyone. That’s the way it ought to be, and we’re lucky to have him.

I love to highlight positions that often get overlooked. No movie would ever get made without “the all important production assistants or PAs”.  Our PAs are amazing. They are some of the hardest working people I have ever seen.

What does a production assistant do, you ask. Everything. They are problem solvers and carry out every task imaginable. For example, take Hudson Barry, our Key Set PA. Hudson had the thankless duty of being our RV wrangler. In other words, it was his responsibility for driving and maintaining our recreational vehicles. The only problem is one of our RVs was a lemon. It wouldn’t start. It blew (or shredded) a tire out on US-60. Hudson was stranded for several hours before help arrived. All in a day’s work. And you thought movie making was glamorous.

Hudson also had the task of controlling traffic on the first day. He stood in torrential rain all day. A big thank you to Hudson and to all the other production assistants for your dedication.  

More to come. 

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