Day 1 of production on EROTICIDE is in the can and as far as first days on productions go, this was by far, the smoothest and most well-organized ones I’ve ever been a part of.

Now, that’s not to say the shoot didn’t have its fair share of hiccups. Our production sound mixer for the first part of the shoot never showed up on set. When my Assistant Director called him to see what was the hold up, the guy said he was on another shoot, and thought that that was our shoot. Let me just let that sink in for a minute. The guy thought this other shoot he was doing at the same time as ours, was EROTICIDE. I wasn’t sure whether to be angry or laugh uncontrollably. Needless to say, he was fired but I’d still like to get together for a beer with him some day and ask him, after meeting me in person at a rehearsal and knowing full well what I look like, who did he think “Matthew Saliba” was on the shoot he went on thinking it was ours?

Thankfully our AD stepped in to do sound, until our head production sound mixer returned from a wedding he attended in the morning to record sound for the rest of the day.

Unlike previous shoots, where I had a tendency to sort of “wing it” as far as coming up with shots go, I had an elaborate and detailed shot list going into EROTICIDE and boy did that ever help. I can’t stress enough how important it is to plan your blocking and shots in advance. Of course, having said that, there’s still something to be said about having an “organic” experience on set and leaving room for some improvisation.

So much to the chagrin of my AD, we did change a few things on the fly. But in the end, he couldn’t complain too much as our changes resulted in the number of shots needed to get being drastically reduced to a couple. For example, there’s a rather intense scene in which our two leads return home from a contentious dinner and fight as soon as they get home. This was supposed to be captured in a series of “coverage” shots. However, I decided that from a creative standpoint as well as an acting one, that we basically film an epic long take that follows our characters getting on an elevator, going up 20 floors, getting off the elevator, walking down the hallway, entering the apartment, having their fight, and then walking off onto the balcony.

The shot looks absolutely amazing and Jocelin Haas and Stephanie Van Rijn absolutely nailed it with their performances.

Needless to say, it was fairly complex and lots of curse words were uttered by yours truly when things like boom shadows and unwanted appearances by members of the crew (well, ok, me) appearing slightly off frame kept creeping up take after take. But sometimes it’s worth taking extra time to get the shot right, and I think you’ll see when the film is released, that it was worth the extra time we put into it.

The highlight of the day for a lot of people was unquestionably the food. On non-paid indie shoots, aside from a completed copy of the film, food is more often than not, the source of “payment” for your cast and crew. Unfortunately, a lot of shoots are very stingy when it comes to that department, often relying on takeout pizza, KFC or Subway sandwiches.

This time around, I had my amazing wife handle catering for my film and she cooked one of the most delicious meals I’ve ever had – Penne Vodka. I may ask my wife, Andree-Anne, to write a guest article on here where she can share her recipes to help spruce up your indie shoots.

Well, that about covers the events for Day 1. The footage looks great, the performances are strong and I couldn’t be happier. Looking forward to what Day 2 brings about.

#SinemaSaliba2013

 

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