Filming: Weekend Nine

I’m still fighting off a few remains of whatever crumminess attacked me following our final weekend of shooting, and that seems as good enough a place to start as any.

I’m not surprised it didn’t happen sooner. I’d have several post-shoot Mondays where I’d feel plenty pummeled, the result of not getting enough food/water/rest/etc. while on set, but now, with the shoot officially finished, my body apparently was able to tell itself “OK, folks, no reason to repair so quickly this time. Let’s shut ‘er down.” The same thing happened with Kayla, who’s had the misfortune of juggling filming, work, and school, making my own crash seem wimpy in comparison. (Rounding out the set: Shane got hit with an unrelated illness this week, and Brad mentioned something about a respitory something or other. Long story short, we’re pleasant people to be around this week*.)

The shoot itself was rough but enjoyable, par for the course for the past few weeks. The weekend was devoted to pick-ups and reshoots, little odds and ends of filming that either needed filled in or completely redone due to previous problems. This can make things difficult to follow – every shot we’d get was removed from the big picture, producing a disjointed feel to the day’s work – yet at times relaxing – instead of needing to cram in an entire scene, a piece here and a bit there is all we needed, allowing for a more casual pace.

We started at Madeira’s Sellman Park, where we set out to toss together a couple “heroes walking in woods” shots that would effectively make up for the deletion of a funny but ultimately too long and too complicated action parody sequence – the dreaded “log scene.” We originally had to scrap filming it due to weather (as detailed here), and the ever-tightening reshoot schedule made ditching it altogether more and more acceptable. To fill that hole, some quickie dialogue was scraped together at the last minute, our stars wandered around in the trees for a couple minutes, and suddenly our movie’s ten minutes leaner.

We also attempted to redo Joe’s monster makeup, with which none of us were satisfied the first time. The good news: the new makeup, tossed together by my wife using costume shop supplies and more of our patented Brown Not-Meat Oatmeal® to hide the seams, looked pretty damn good on camera. The bad news: we could only shoot from the neck up, meaning most of the wides and mediums will remain unusable. This was all my fault – turns out I had forgotten to wash Jacque’s costume in the month after it last got goopy, and you can imagine why we opted to leave the costume in a garbage can at the park. Ick.

A rain delay and some miscommunication with the hosts of our next location led to a lengthy lunch break at local burger joint Sammy’s, whose burgers are delicious enough to make up for our scaring off everyone else in the restaurant.

And finally to the set of Billy’s house, where we managed to cram in all the bits we were unable to film last time (read about it in the same post linked above). Despite (or perhaps because of) the chilly weather and the “screw it, we’re almost done” on-set mood, the cast improvised some wonderfully oddball moments, some of the funniest stuff we’ve filmed so far.

We kicked off Sunday at Josh’s house for another go at the “upstairs at the abandoned house” sequence. Originally needed to simply get one line of vital dialogue we failed to get last time, we decided to redo the whole thing to make it snappier. (No big deal, since the scene only runs a minute or so.) Of more interest was the discovery of an ancient, ramshackle, (hopefully) deserted brick shelter hidden in the middle of the woods behind the house. Jokes about Hobbit holes and serial killers were rampant, as were, for reasons I have yet to comprehend, the cast’s eagerness to touch – with bare hands!!! – everything that place had to offer. Enjoy the hepatitis, kids.

A crosstown drive later, Ryan’s parents’ house served as our final location for the movie. Once again, it was a matter of “well, if we have to redo one shot, let’s redo the whole thing,” this time the “whole thing” being the film’s closing scene. An unusable final shot (detailed midway through this post) got us thinking about restaging the scene in a more residential area. No problem, unless you were Brad and had to once again endure not just all that caked-on oatmeal, but all that chewing, too. (The scene calls for him to shove an entire sandwich into his mouth in one bite. He didn’t have to swallow it, but he did anyway. Repeatedly. Oh, Brad.)

A couple messy, sticky, grody hours later, and Inhumanwich! had officially wrapped. And then everyone got sick. We suffer for our art.

And on the danger of repeating myself: I dumb-lucked my way into a cast and crew that’s far better than this movie ever deserved, and they’ve made the movie far better than I could’ve ever imagined. It may all fall apart in post-production, but any problems will certainly not be the fault of my stars, terrific people who were as fun to be around as they were to have on camera. If you see any of them on the street, feel free to give ’em a surprise hug. Tell ’em I said it was OK.

* Update: I’m reminded that Matt got sick during the weekend’s shoot itself, perhaps due to some sort of food poisoning, and Jake, while not currently ill, often landed headaches and nausea throughout the shoot. Yay, us!

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