Production Week 2 Continued

by Andrew

Vacation House

Photo by my brother

Week 2 ended with scenes 86 and 87, inside the “vacation house.” Nor’easter’s midpoint is marked by these scenes, which feature the three children in the script – a brother, a sister, and her boyfriend – breaking into a house that’s been left under wraps for the winter. We shot the scene day for night, which is to say we blacked out the windows to simulate night while shooting in normal daylight hours.

Scene 87 is the longest in the script, and I was glad that we had a full day to shoot it. Our vacation house was actually a vacation house’s guest quarters, a single room that our production designer, Lisa, had expertly set up for us the day prior with a lot of opaque plastic and some big, fat lights that the owners had lying around. Ian, the photographer, flipped when he saw the enormous, warm sources that she’d found, and incorporated them into the scene, putting them directly in the frame a lot of the time, giving the scene a unique look. Coupled with the hanging plastic, these lights added a lot of gorgeous haze to the scene.

The weather was clear and relatively warm that day so I was amazed to find myself shivering as we started shooting. Blacking out the windows quickly turned the location back into a meat locker, so despite the break in the weather, we weren’t able to loosen up. The day went smoothly, but we had to make the most of our twelve hours. At the end of the day, we shot a couple of night exteriors showing the brother and sister’s approach to the vacation house, which gave us an opportunity to show off our fog machine and a few of our bigger lights. Ending the night in the snow-covered, moonlit woods, yelling back and forth to each other, was a memorable capper. I stared up at the trees while people found their places and celebrated the fact that we had shot out the primary locations on the island already and hadn’t left anything on the table.