Production Week 4

by Andrew

 

The dolly goes here.

The dolly goes here.

We traveled from the island on our day off to a new hotel on Route 1 in Rockland. The new hotel was more comfortable than our previous mainland spot, more spacious, and modern. I appreciated the mattress especially, given how grueling the schedule on the island had been and the amount of sleep I felt I’d need for the scenes we had yet to shoot. I find clear thinking at the end of these days is usually directly connected to how much food and sleep I’ve had, for better or worse.

We soon learned that the snow plow guy we’d paid a fairly handsome sum (by our standards) to plow access to a critical outdoor location had given up about 150 yards from the spot we’d told him to hit. This was unfortunate, given that there were no other roads to this particular place, and made especially unfortunate when I saw what a great job he’d done up until that point, not to mention the thigh-deep snow that covered the remaining distance. It was clear we would have a long day in front of us, given that our 300-pound dolly and about 30 feet of dolly track would need to make the trek through that snow along with us.

So David Call and Ian Bloom and I went to Home Depot and fetched some luan board, which is the seemingly unbreakable cardboard-like material that goes on the back of cheap bookcases. In addition, we bought four nice shovels and drove back to the hotel at ten miles an hour, holding the luan to the top of the rental with our very cold hands poking out the windows.

The grips has a not-so-funny laugh at the sight of the brand new shovels the next morning. No laughs at all for the luan. It was indeed a little slow going, but soon enough the team was able to roll the dolly out over the 150 yards of deep snow by laying down one sheet of luan, rolling the dolly, and leapfrogging the other sheet to make a ride-able path for it.

So out it went while Andreas, our intrepid Swede, built the platform and 30 yards of track the dolly would have to ride for one of our six shots scheduled that day.

And we got the shot. So, all in all, the luan scheme was a good one.

I remember, before all that happened, standing on the dirt and snow, waiting for Danny Burstein to arrive from the airport for his first day of work, realizing only then that if he showed up and wasn’t absolutely clear on what it was we needed from him, the entire film would fall apart that day. I’m being purposely vague at this point, but Danny’s character has a particular characteristic that makes him distinct from the others in the film. I hadn’t really had the time to ensure that Danny would know this side of his character as well as I needed him to, but my fears were allayed on his first take. So thanks, Danny.