Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Day One: Clapboard Boy!

I wrote a long entry about day one, but I think the old Sidekick II is giving up the ghost. I hit post, and it just went away, said I needed to be logged in. I was logged in, but so it went, and here I start again.
Yesterday was long. 12 hours on the set, not including an hour of travel both ways to and from the airport. Educational, that's what I'd call it.
I jokingly said all I want is to do is run the slate. You know, the clapboard, the one you hold open in front of the camera before each take, shut, and yell "marker". Well, appearantly somebody heard me, because I was manning the slate all day.
I learned a couple things. Believe it or not, there is some technique to it. Never put your fingers over the chevrons on the clapping part when you're closing it. Hold it visible, in the light and at the right distance. Don't close it till the cinematographer says so. Don't pull it out as you close; close, then pull. When marking the scene, like "5-A" or "5-B" on the slate, never call it "5-A" or "5-B". Call it "5-apple" or "5-barney". Don't ask me why they don't use the military alphabet. I suppose these artistic film maker types want to do things differently.
That's another thing I noticed. They practically have their own language. There is so much lingo, nobody has a title they actually use. The 1st assistant director is the 1st A.D., the Script Supervisor is the Scriptie, etc. You catch on pretty quick, though.
We were filming in the belly of this old ship, the SS Lane Victory, a veteran of WWII, Korean, and Vietnam Wars. It's now a museum, but is still a seaworthy vessel they take out a few times a year. It's an interrogation scene, with an ethnically ambiguous interrogator toking a huge stogie, and our American protagonist, refusing to comply with the enemy. I think it's all pretty cliche, not film making brilliance, but it will be a quality product in the end. Just wish we could have done it without the cigar, I don't think any of us were enjoying the smoke.
Long day, interesting crew. Rough around the edges, almost all of them. But, hey, welcome to L.A. The guy who has charge over the ship itself is a fellow named Chris. Chris doesn't wear shoes. Hasn't since '76. Honest. He has some strange footness going on that prevents shoes, but I have to wonder if he stopped wearing shoes and then got the foot problem, or vice versa like he says. Regardless, he walks toe-to-heel on his left foot. Very strange.
Tiring. Educational. I'll get back to you later on day two.

4 comments:

Steve said...

So who did you get? I might be able to come do it after this deposition.

Austin said...

Nobody you or I have ever heard of. Just some guy's who've done bit parts in TV shows. They're pretty good, though.

Austin said...

Nobody you or I have ever heard of. Just some guy's who've done bit parts in TV shows. They're pretty good, though.

Nancy said...

Are you talking about the actors? Is there anyone famous in this film?