Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Platoon of the Dead Production Diary - October 22

Five Days Until the Shoot - Holy crap. Things are getting ridiculously busy as I try and get things ready for the shoot at home and have a major project due at work the day before I leave for the week off for the shoot. Have tested the camera and microphone and everything seems fine. Still working on getting a boom fixed up. Put a new bulb in my broken light and repaired some connectors on the light kit poles. Planning to buy a new set of worklights as my old set are broken. Started gathering stuff for my "box" - flashlight, towels, gaffers and duct tape, etc. Going to use a toolbox to carry it all in. Need to set that up, clean up/out my car, get the cooler down from the loft, and a zillion other things!

I worked most of Sunday getting the food plan together. Once I did the math, the amount John hoped it would cost for food averaged about a buck a person per meal. My wife helped with suggesting some cheap meals to make for big groups - chili, sloppy joes, spaghetti, lasagna, etc.

We went shopping at Winco and I bought a ton of stuff and only spent $108. Plan to buy lunchmeat, bread, fruit, and other stuff that doesn't keep too long right before the first day of shooting...which is this Saturday! John is picking up bottled water, soda, paper plates, cups and plasticware at Costco. Tonight my wife and I cooked 12 pounds of ground turkey! I originally volunteered to plan and handle the food to make sure we didn't eat bologna every day. Note to self: never do this again! It's going to be way more work than I had thought about. John didn't get the money when he thought he would so I'm having to front all the money to buy the food. John said should be able to reimburse me the first day of shooting.

John said that the hotel refused to take his reservation for Ariauna's room over the phone - they said he had to come do it in person. Bizarre! He said he considered asking me if I would do it for him, but didn't want to impose. I told him since I was already fronting the money for the food, I just couldn't front the money for the hotel room as well. He understood and just plans to go to the hotel when he gets to town on Friday.

Had dinner with Rob last night and he asked me to bring over that effects list I'd put together. He asked me a ton of questions about the effects - but I mostly had to tell him I didn't know exactly what John had in mind and that the two of them should try and talk about it before the shoot. With his limited time, Rob's not going to read the script - just wants to know what the effect is and when he needs to do it. After I got home, I e-mailed John to tell him to call Rob right away to get all of those details worked out. Sounds like most of the make-ups and effects planned during weekday shoots will fall to me as Rob can't get any time off.

Talked to John several times on the phone and a flurry of e-mails have been going back and forth, working out small details. John is having trouble getting extras to commit to certain days to play zombies and zombie soldiers. He may cut a few scenes down from several EMS (living room full of them, several trying to get in bedroom window) to just one, depending on who he can get to show up. John picked up three toy guns this week for the soldiers. I asked about what we were going to do about the big zombie war scenes and John just said the gun budget is spent, so we'll just have to pass the guns around to whomever is in the shot.

John cast Morgan Mayhem (whom I worked with recently with on DEADLY PREMONITIONS) and her kids as a victim and zombies respectively on the Monday that I will be directing. They are thrilled to death so it should be a fun time.

I'm set to meet potential actresses for the part of Jill tomorrow night after work. I was going to meet three but one has had to cancel before I even met her! The track record of meeting actresses down at the deli is awful - all have been no-shows thus far. I hope someone shows up as we shoot in five days and this major part is still open!

Well, it's after midnight again - need to take a shower and get to bed. Had cub scouts den meeting tonight, meet with actresses tomorrow night after work, scouts pack meeting on Wednesday night, then shopping and cooking meals on Thursday and Friday nights. Also on Friday our friends from Seattle arrive. Since I'll be shooting the movie the rest of the time they are here, I blocked out Friday to see them. Call time is 7-freaking-thirty in the morning on Saturday!


Tim Shrum said...

You know there should be a cookbook for indie filmmakers on how to cater to a cast and crew for less than a 1 dollar per person. And how do you cook 12 pounds of ground turkey? My guess is in batches, but now I'm really curious.

Dr. Squid said...

The dollar per person was just the number that came out once I took the budget number John gave me and did the math with number of meals and number of probably cast/crew each day. That initial $108 didn't include several packages of lunchmeat, fruit and vegetables that I bought during the shoot. And as I mentioned, John bought cases and cases of water and soda. I don't know what he spent in the end. My total is somewhere in my computer....

Oh yeah, the turkey was in batches in a giant skillet. Used it for the lasagna and the chili and the sloppy Joes (which I called Sloppy Toms - like Tom Turkey - get it?).

The big batch recipes came from a binder my wife got at one of those "big cooking" classes where they teach you to cook a couple weekends a month and freeze everything for later.

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