Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Birds and The Bees

This weekend I worked on a short film that Hosea's friend was directing. It was my first time really being on a set since moving out here, which was a bit funny considering that being on set was my whole motivation for making the move in the first place. But that's a whole other thing.

The actual shooting experience was fine, nothing spectacular, nothing that made me too sad that I'm not much a part of that world right now. I do like filmmaking, but working on this made me realize that the vast majority if what I like about it has to do with liking the people I'm working with (and having a true sense of team work going on) and working on a project that I believe is solid creatively. With the exception of being happy to spend a weekend working on something with April and Hosea, which is always fun, neither of those elements were really in place, so it wasn't brilliant, it was just fine. But I'm glad I did it.

A couple of weird things that I will remember after I've forgotten almost everything else about the weekend:

There was a woman and her two kids who were in one scene of the movie. They were friends with the writer, whose house we were shooting in, so they brought their dog, Timmy, to the set with them. Right before we started shooting the scene, Timmy shows up with a live bird in his mouth. Much yelling at the dog ensued before we could get him to drop it, and of course by then it was too late for the bird, and one of the fine gentlemen on set had to put it out of its misery. I hate stuff like that. It makes me really sad and hangs over my head long after it's over. I know it's the circle of life and all that, but I can never get over feeling sad for the poor birds or other little creatures that are just going about their days and suddenly find themselves trapped in the foamy mouth of some other animal.

An hour or so earlier, we were shooting a scene in the back yard and had already started to roll camera when suddenly the actress who we were shooting said "Oh my God!" and her eyes got big as saucers and then there was this horrible sound, like a plane on fire, only softer and more organic, and I heard April gasp beside me and finally I looked up and there was an enormous swarm of bees coming towards us. Literally thousands of them. We all took off running for the house, and everyone made it in without being stung, and within a minute the bees were gone. Their target was clearly something else, something they hadn't gotten to yet, but for a few brief moments I felt pure fear and a rush of adrenaline like I don't think I've felt in years, if ever.

Before all that though, there was a moment when we were shooting a very uncomfortable scene, physically, and we were all hot and in a cramped space and there were sound issues because planes kept flying over head and dogs kept barking, so we all had to stand there sweating a lot longer than we wanted to, and then on one of the last takes I noticed a hummingbird in the bush I was standing next to, so I watched that for the rest of the time until I felt calm, and it flew off.


Doug Worgul said...

Three slices of pie! Thanks, Kid.

Aunt Jan said...

"Timmy" is a funny name for a dog. I had to read it twice; at first I thought it was a BOY with a bird in his mouth. Which would be horrible.

Claire said...

It's amazing the things in nature that can relax you, I've never actully seen a hummingbird but can imagine why it was so relaxing to watch.