whenever i'm up for a long period of time, i like to keep track of how many hours it's been since i've slept. i think i'm somewhere around 40 right now.
'yesterday' [being saturday] was a hard day--we had 11 pages to shoot and worked about 13 hours. we were in an office building all day long, but with trending lighting that was too dark to do much for the camera, meaning that for several shots we had to essentially relight the whole place ourselves. for some scenes it worked alright, including our biggest scene which actually went quickly and nicely, but there were other times, often just one shot of a scene, when i wanted to just go home and curl up on the couch.
at the end of it, though, things were feeling alright, and the inches of fallen snow finally made it feel like Christmas time. i got home around 9, having decided not to sleep, since we were meeting to leave for the airport at 3 in a. i planned to get the house cleaned and take care of a few things, but ended up just sitting down on the couch for a moment and watching a movie on tv. i'm always interested in watching movies when i'm making movies, because afters hours and days of composing shots and designing lighting, i'm more attuned to how the big time productions do it.
becky and brady stopped by around 10 and i was finally able to give them their wedding present, now that they've been married for six and a half months. they loved it as i hoped they would, and i was glad i could give it to them before i left for hawaii. and we decided we had time for another part of the bbc's 'planet earth'.
on a movie a few months ago, a friend of mine mentioned that he had just bought the 'planet earth' dvd set and that it was amazing. i'd seen it commercials for it when it played on the discovery channel but didn't give it much thought. but at his recommendation i put it on my amazon list, though i could never find an excuse to buy it. when 'dadnapped' wrapped, i used that as my reason and grabbed it from a third-party seller just as i noticed it was rising on the bestselling lists. for the past few weeks, it's been among the top three or four selling dvds on amazon, and with good reason, too. this series is incredible: 40 crews, 200 locations, 2000 shooting days, and a look at the world like i have never seen. the first part is a 'pole to pole' look at the different environs of the earth, then each of the following nine 50-minute episodes is dedicated to the arctic, mountains, fresh water, caves, grasslands, deep ocean, etc. as long as the circle of life doesn't bother you, i cannot recommend this series highly enough. amazing footage of rare siberian leopards, underground water caves, glow worms, birds of paradise, otters ganging up against a crocodile, and, of course, elephants! and we've only watched the first four of ten. as a bonus, after each episode is a ten-minute 'planet earth diaries', looking at part of the production and how much work it took to get just a few of the shots. let me just say, i am glad i wasn't on the cave crew....
earlier that day i called my dear sister and asked her if she had time to pick up a pair of sandals and a sun hat for me, since i've been shooting all week and my trip to wal-mart last night was futile. becky pointed out that it is snowing and not really sandals weather. nevertheless, she and her husband showed up at my door with an early Christmas present of nice size 11s and a perfect hat. the best part about the sandals is that they say 'ocean pacific' on the bottom, so that if i ever forget what that large body of water is, i can just check the soles of my feet. oh boy.
having five hours until we left seemed like a long time, yet i somehow found myself throwing the final clothes into my suitcase as anthony knocked on my door. we all met at brian's parent's house on a very cold and early morning, commenting on how none of us had slept. even my new camera assistant had just wrapped a previous movie about three hours earlier.
i'm surprised how much we were able to take aboard as 'carry-on'. you know those little size-measuring things that help you determine if your suitcase/backpack is too big? forget that entirely. our camera assistant brought on the hd camera in its case, which was at least three times the theoretically approved limit, and i carried on a large imac in a carry case. i think paul had to make a small argument for the camera once, but that was the extent of it.
we flew from salt lake to l.a., from l.a. to maui, and from maui to kauai. from maui to kauai the lady next to me noticed my script and asked if i was an actor. i explained i was a cinematographer [i'll admit, part of me doesn't feel worthy of saying that and part of me really likes saying that], and we ended up talking throughout the whole flight, from religion to hawaiian history.
hawaii was pretty much what i thought it would be like, akin to japan or thailand. but with chickens. ryan says he read a sign that explained there was a severe hurricane 10 or 15 years ago that pretty much wiped out all of the farms and their fences, leaving the chickens to roam wherever they desired. waiting at the rental car place, paul the camera assistant offered $10 to the first person to catch a chicken in the open. ryan and ephraim tried with no success, but we've got twelve days here.
it's funny; once the sun is up, one's tiredness goes away. even still, after so many hours, you remember how tired you really are. i think i 'slept' a total of three hours between the flights, but sleeping sitting up like that is hardly rest; i didn't feel any better, and as far as i'm concerned, it's been 40 hours.
here's to shooting a movie in hawaii.
one last thing: we stopped at the nearby grocery store [where milk is $8 a gallon] and noticed their video rental machine. among its selection was 'turnaround', the movie that we had made back in april.
and it was rented out.