Filming with the company I'm a member of is never dull; we all have great senses of humor and get along very well. And as a fledgling film company, we have a lot of learning and growing to do. Today, we learned and grew the amount we usually do in a month of filming, in three hours. Today's lesson(s): MAKE SURE YOU KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU'RE DOING... AND LET EVERYONE WHO IS INVOLVED IN ON IT.
See, we do most of our filming in our kitchens or living rooms or backyards. It's free, it's ours, and we have unlimited time. But as we grow, we've been trying to branch out, which means real locations. So when our director procured us a great, artsy cafe that was perfect for our film, I was extremely excited. He had talked to the owner and she was also very excited that we were coming. All she asked was to be put in the credits, which we would have done anyway.
We met up early to run lines and though the owner wasn't around, we got permission to film in the kitchen of the cafe. Long story short, we spent about a half hour in there shooting and then moved out to the main area to figure out what we were doing next. This is when the owner (a lady from whom I took art lessons as a child) came out and started asking us some questions about our company, the film, etc. She then asked to see what we had done. This is when things started to go downhill. Turns out, there are a lot of health laws we were violating by being back there (though we didn't touch any of their equipment- I wrote the script so that we wouldn't have to actually make coffee, etc.) Another long story short, though there were some scary moments when we thought we were going to be thrown out, the owner is very forgiving and in the end was helping us work out shot angles that wouldn't show the equipment and gave us props to use. She even made me a little barista magnet with my character's name on it to put on the barista board!
All of these new rules meant that I had to rewrite a lot of the script on the spot. There was an adorable metaphor moment at the end of the film where one character cleans up the others mess, literally and figuratively, but there was no way, after all we had already done, that we could show a smashed coffee mug on the floor, even if we didn't actually break it in cafe. Also, the entire film originally took place at the counter or in the back room, neither of which we could use, so I rewrote it so that we could be moving around the entire time. Because of all these changes, what was meant to only be a three/four hour shoot has turned into six to eight hours, as we're going back tomorrow (can you imagine? The owner actually encouraged us to come back. What forgiveness!)
All I have to say is, though all of us are pretty similar, thank God we have our differences, too. Because while the director and I were freaking out, our camera guy was totally chill, letting it roll right off him; he saved the director and me from having complete breakdowns on the spot!
Now time to go rework that script for tomorrow!