Production Week 4 Continued

by Andrew

February snow in Maine

A still from the film; February snow in Maine

The two days of interiors at our last multi-day location went much more smoothly than the first, thanks in no small part to the location’s owners, who we had been convinced would kick us out at a moment’s notice, but who in fact turned out to love our presence and stayed up with us until 4 or 5 a.m. each day to see us off. As I mentioned previously, these last days were a terrific run for Danny Burstein, who plays a pivotal role in the film and who delivered in ways above and beyond what I had hoped.

After wrapping the location in Hope, Maine, we finished our principal photography in Thomaston, Maine, at Athens Mediterranean Pizzeria in Thomaston, Maine. Funnily enough, we had scouted long and hard for a proper pizza place, but wound up choosing the one right across the street from our primary church interior location (where we had begun shooting a month before). Athens also happens to have a friendly and amenable owner (who makes his own brief cameo in the film) and the best pizza in the neighborhood. Not everyone hears Hamburger and Mushroom and doesn’t blink – so thanks to Josh and the many extras who turned out that night to help us along.

We wrapped at about 3 a.m., and my mother delivered more booze than I knew what to do with, so I drank as much of it as I could and then slept through the wake up call at 7 a.m. for our ferry and boat pick-ups. Ian also slept through said call, as did Veronica, I think. David Call, our intrepid lead, was the only one who woke up for our splinter crew shoot and managed to wake us all up by slamming on each door for about ten minutes a piece. We wrapped the shoot that afternoon with stupid hangovers and celebrated with a fairly obscene dinner up the coast at a lovely restaurant I can’t remember the name of.

I do remember sitting at the table with Ian, Veronica, and David, knowing that they had been the most significant collaborators I had had throughout the shoot and being grateful for having found each one of them in their own ways. I embarrassed myself again by ordering probably twice as much food and drink as anyone else at the table (I remember the waitress being surprised twice by the “and then…” look on my face as I was ordering), but looking down at my steak and onion rings and beer I felt grateful and happy, confident that we hadn’t left anything behind and that I would eventually be proud of whatever it would be that we would carve out of the hours of footage sitting back at the hotel.

Ian and I drove back to New York the next day to news about the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. It rained non-stop from Rockland to New Haven, Connecticut, which was about six and a half hours. That was all I needed to know that fighting to shoot in February in Maine had been worth it, despite the brutal cold and the basically insane logistical problems that it gave us. The shoot is forever, and snow looks better than mud, and that’s that.