Today I wrapped the final sound mix with the wonderful sound designer Corey Eccles. The mix was relaxed and fun. Sound recording was very good on set, so our time was spent on sweetening music and effects. Corey sound editing actors Ravi Patel and Janina Gavankar
Actors get to come on set, deliver a performance, and then move on with the rest of their lives. Meanwhile, everyone in post-production has to relive the actors' performances dozens and dozens of times, analyzing and editing every inflection and nuance.
I think the mark of a funny actor is if they can still make me laugh in the sound edit. Even after I can recite all their lines in my sleep.
Actress Jelynn Rodriguez
The music for "Men, Interrupted" is composed by the incomparable Dominic Mazzoni. I was thrilled with his work in The Last Hurrah and he did amazing work again, here. Jazz and comedy go together like basil and tomato.
Actors David Wachs and Kate Albrecht
Once color and rotoscoping are complete, we can begin sending "Men, Interrupted" to festivals.
The next actors to film for "Men, Interrupted" were Ravi Patel and Janina Gavankar. Ravi and Janina are both really funny and like to improvise. We had a relaxed shooting schedule, so we took our time and had fun - letting the actors do as many as seven takes on a setup. When Ravi and Janina improvised, they kept the whole crew laughing. The crew should maintain absolute silence during shooting, so the poor AC had to leave the room during one take because he was laughing so hard. I had to keep hiding my face behind my binder. And during one take, the boom kept swinging into the shot because the sound mixer was cracking up. Eventually, Ravi and Janina would crack each other up and I'd just have to call the cut.
All in all it was a longer shoot than I planned on, but a ton of fun. This is when a set is at its best. When the shooting schedule is relaxed and the crew is not under time-pressure, the actors have time to stretch out and get creative.
Below, our AC and Gaffer serve as stand-ins during lighting. These guys were hilarious and I should probably shoot a movie just about them...
Final touches on lighting...
Then the actors take the place of the standins while final adjustments are made to the set, the placement of the actors, the camera, the lighting, and makeup.
And we're off and running. The most amazing thing about film actors is how they can act so naturally while placed on a petri dish...
Actors Ravi Patel and Janina Gavankar hard at work...
The next actors to film for "Men, Interrupted" were Jelynn Rodriguez and Zack Bennett. Their shoot was by far the most complicated and they did an amazing job! We shot fifteen setups in five hours - we were absolutely booking. Again, I was very happy to have rehearsed and blocked ahead of time, so nearly all my focus on set could go toward lighting and camera. Our production designer, Nikita (pictured below, with yours truly), did a great job of dressing each set to fit the characters' personalities and creating a clear mood and color palette for each scene of the movie.
Slating Jelynn and Zack...
And they're off and running...
Today we began shooting a comedy short I wrote, "Men, Interrupted." It follows the twisted relationships of three couples through the course of one challenging night. The first couple we filmed are two wonderful actors David Wachs and Kate Albrecht. We shot "day for night" which means blocking sunlight from the windows with huge flags.
David, Kate, and I practiced every beat in rehearsal last week. This makes for a relaxed and easy shoot. It was amazing how consistent the actors were in filming. Their continuity will make the editor's job (Jay Trautman) much smoother.
The filming location is in a "transitional neighborhood" covered in rival Crip and MS13 gang tags. After wrapping, we had grips escort the actors back to their cars!
All in all, a fun shoot, and nobody got knifed! I'd call that a success.