I spent a few hours on Thursday putting the set together. I had to take out the carpet in that area of the studio and then the dance mat that had been underneath that for a long time. It gave us the floor we needed and helped create the feeling of confinement in an old abandoned place. Added wooden crates, an vent from a dryer, and girder to make it look good. I think it came together really well. Last thing I did was scatter book ashes around the room before I left.
The first thing we did was just sit down and read through the script. That way we had one definitely good soundtrack of the dialogue in case there was any loss or contamination that we missed on the set. It also worked out some of the kinks in the script and got everyone in to the flow.
After that it was make up and costume work for a few minutes. I felt bad because we had talked about putting stage blood on Chelsea's hands. I was just going to smudge a bit but it all came pouring out and completely covered her right hand with blood. Holy shit! It was all over the place. Luckily we were outside so it didn't stain anything but it'll look like something really bad happened for a few days. Had a green army jacket for her to wear. It was a bit big but it fit the character and gave the nice feel of someone on the run. Alice gave herself some bruises with the make up and it looked like she took a hit or two on the way down. Yes, she wore it home when we were done. I'm not surprised how many actors do that. Honestly, I would do.
We started shooting on the set about noon and just kept going. Josh took over the camera work, he's forgotten more about the tech side then I will ever know, so I could concentrate on the performers and we covered a lot of territory. It's much easier when I can trust someone on the camera side. This was the most experienced cast with professional television and stage work. They knew that there were times you just kept going. It also was a benefit because Danny, who plays the State, knew to keep his locations continuous so he's saying the same thing in the same place every time. He also kept the actresses on guard and I remember Tera admitted being actually frightened the way Danny grabbed her hair at one time. Perfect.
I had divided the filming in to four blocks. The second and biggest block was the actual interrogation. We spent most of the time on that one so there are lots of opportunities for editing choices. Then we set up a dolly and just went through it once non stop slowly moving the dolly back and forth for establishing shots. One point I thought it looked so good I just let it sit there awhile to film them. There are very few shots with all four characters on the screen at the same time but I wanted to make sure there was at least one. I purposefully want to hold of an establishing shot to give it a nice Hill Street Blues feel.
About 3:00 or see we finished the actresses and cut them loose. Literally. As prisoners they spent most of the day zip tied to the chairs. They really gave it their all putting up with it being uncomfortable for much of the day. They were really professional.
After that there were just a few shots with Danny. We had talked about how the State would react to everything and we shot it several ways so I'll have more choices in editing. Danny also gave it a lot as we don't see his face so 99% of his performance is in his voice.
Finished the last shot about 3:30 and spent 20 minutes tearing the set down, transferring footage, packing everything up etc. We ran a bit long but I had spoken to Ray, who had the studio after us, and he was really cool about things. There might be a few pick up shots to get later but I think they will just be details of the set. It's just be close ups and easy to do without having to build the entire room.
Off to editing!