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Everybody has a Plan, until...

Former heavyweight champion Mike Tyson has been quoted as saying "Everybody has a plan, until they get punched in the face".  I'm here to tell you, it's true gentle reader.  It is true.

Yesterday was the first day of principal photography on my latest film project "Relationship Rewind".  This has been a project a long time in the making.  It took a little over a year to write the script (Not because the script took that long to write, but because there were short periods of writing in between long stretches of dreaming of what it would be like to film something I had already written).  So in short, the script took a year to write because of my old friend, procrastination.  Preproduction, or getting all the pieces into place after the script had been written, has taken a little over eighteen months.  I'm sure there was some procrastination in that time table as well, but far less than when writing the script.  As I mentioned in my last post, there were endless phone calls to be made.  Phone calls that usually resulted in, "oh yeah, let me check on that.  Give me a call next week".  Just four calls like that take about a month to complete.  There were parts to cast, (which is a blog post in and of itself).  There were locations to secure, and just a whole lot of different moving pieces that had to be locked into place before the actual shooting of the movie could commence.

But finally the day had arrived!  My new camera had been purchased, new lenses had been secured.  The actors schedules had been coordinated, and they would all be able to be at the same place, at the same time.  I was finally going to get my chance to stand behind my camera, point at people and call "ACTION"! (Though I've noticed I don't actually call "action".  I usually start the camera and then say "anytime".  I'm not sure why).  And you had best believe I had a plan, gentle reader.  I had a "behind the scenes" camera on a small tripod that I was going to carry with me to catch all the BTS action.  I was going to use Periscope to broadcast live via the internet, so people could watch all that sweet BTS action live.  I was going to spend extra time, and take extra care to light every shot of every scene.  I brought every light I could get my hands on, with the idea that I would at least place three in each scene, but I had six with me, just in case.  The art of audio was not to be forgotten.  I had rented a preamp/digital recorder just for the shoot, and had three different microphones to switch between, to capture the crispest, cleanest audio that I could.  I planed on using them all.  My plans were detailed, and they were grand.  Then I got punched in the face.

There were a great many punches thrown that found their mark that day, but it was really the first one or two that threw the majority of my game plan out the window.  The first might be described as a lazy jab.  Not a knockout punch, but a very sharp, stinging jab, right across the bridge of the nose.  A punch just hard enough to make your eyes water involuntarily.  I should have been ready for this punch.  I knew it was coming, as a matter of fact, it was necessary, but nonetheless when hit by it, a lot of plans went out the window.  "What was this jab?" you ask, well, it was when people started showing up.

Yes, I know, it sounds ridiculous, but it is actually true.  I had all these grand plans, and then people started showing up.  I had to start making the magic happen.  All of these people were looking at me to make it work, and I had promised I would have them out by a certain time.  A promise, by the way, that I was locked into.  We only had the location for one day, and we had three major scenes to shoot there, followed by some smaller shots, it had to all get done in one day.  I had to finish on time.  Not just to keep my promise to the people that had shown up, but there were people who were going to be showing up, and I had to be ready for them.  So we got the room set up, and I framed my first shot.  I saw instantly that there was no way to hide the boom mic, and my biggest light was too far away to get the effect I was looking for.  I then looked at the twelve to fifteen people who were waiting for me to get started, and POW! that first jab hit me square in the face, and I went into survival mode.  I was ducking and bobbing, square on my heels and pedaling backward.  BTS camera, forgotten.  Periscope, over with.  Different mics all placed to capture primary dialogue from all actors at all times, plus a dedicated ambient mic, all on separate channels to be mixed to perfection, see ya later.  Lighting, no time, available light was what we had time for, and it was going to have to do.  All of this was after just setting up the first shot.  It was when I moved to my second shot, that I got hit with a straight right hand.  This punch to the face definitely made everything go dark for a second.  It wasn't a knock out, but I did get knocked down.  When I unplugged my camera, to switch angles, and  went to turn it back on, the screen just flickered, then turned black.  I felt as if I had been knocked to the canvas, and I wasn't sure I was going to be able to get up again.


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