Production Week 1 Continued

by Andrew

Church Exterior

Picture by Rachel Brosnahan

We shot only one day at the church exterior in Port Clyde, Maine, which proved to be more than enough time for what we had scheduled. After getting through the first three days of the shoot and finally realizing that we were going to be able to make our days as planned, I was able to relax and keep my eyes open much more effectively.

Keeping my eyes open, or making sure I’m looking at the real people and the real landscape (and the opportunities both bring) is something I try to remind myself to do when on set. This can be especially tricky when shooting digitally with such a clear, crisp HD monitor setup. Ian’s compositions and attention to detail were terrific to the point of being seductive, so I had to work to avoid becoming complacent and too easily satisfied.

Throughout the shoot, at different times, each of the actors asked me what the production felt like – ironically the people you see on screen are often the people who spend the least number of hours involved in the production – and the feeling I wanted to discuss was not of a weight coming off my shoulders but rather a relief in my heart that dialogue was clear, that emotions were legible, that we were executing delicate material with a technically strong hand so that the ideas could be engaged.

The first such experience was inside the church listening to David recite the Lord’s Prayer, and the second was outside the church on day four, watching Haviland perform the long opening dialogue scene that establishes the circumstances that create the story’s drama. Knowing that that was legible, clear, and done without any unnecessary histrionics gave me a kind of relief that eventually turned into confidence as the shoot went on. It was not the first time I was grateful for what the others were doing for the film and the subject matter, nor would it be the last, but it was the first time I was really able to appreciate it. We were outside, the weather had cooperated remarkably well, and I felt like we were over-achieving again.

The next day was our first day off, and it poured rain all afternoon. I spent the day going over footage at the hotel with Ian.