Baltimore, July 29, 2005
I just returned to Baltimore from a south-easterly corner where waterways are full and land is little. The 90-min drive took three and a half hrs. Never mind. I like driving. Rainstorms and rushhour when I got to downtown. A firemen's excercise and a baseball game made me be stuck there a few blocks from the hotel. Not just enough sleep after several days of shootshoot.
The film 'MENTOR' is so low budget we even kept shooting when all local power was lost. During a wild and colourful rainstorm we shot some material as well. Not to mention two white swans and a big coloured moth visiting our scenery there. But most of the time the weather was just amazing. Amazingly sunny that is. Blazingly so to speak. Lots of scenes inside as we kept shooting inside and thus having to shut the airco off for sound. Even the temperture in the pool was close to boiling nuts instead of cooling them off. Hello. Excusez le mot. This is the smallest crew I have worked with. Some fifteen people. That's it. You get to know people .And they work so damn hard. I wish I could bath them in champagne but no time for that sort of thing.
Shootshoot. Rehearsel 9sec and shoot. Survive,improvise ,live. Be free. It's crazy and it's what I love. The script has sunk in deeply and Ifeel so comfortable plus the fact that alternitive ideas just pour out of. Shoot. The director is the best doll and I would eat him alive but need him. He's quiet. I understand where he lives. His eyes or smile are my compass. We discuss a few things in a day but it is minimal. I have worked with directors who just don't work verbally and it is such a wonder sport. Sam Peckinpah was one. David Peoples. One lives in constant uncertainty while on the pointed toes mostly. For actors who don't exactly know it is harder. My colleagues - Dagmara Dominczyk, Mat Davis and Susan Misner have found their separate niches and are stepping up to the plate. A little nippy dippy here and there but so much joy and we always find solutions. Always.
Or catch eachother in a cooperative safety net. It's a very unusual way of making a movie. They all hold ground, which is the hardest .It is a warzone and lovely.T he writer William Whitehurst is young and one of the producers. He's flabberghasted and shocked about what happens to the script as it gets tweeked and then lands on film. He loves it. It scares him. But it will be fine. The end will be a ravaging story with delicious performances that are under their skin. The styles are all in sinc.
You will hardly see the acting. Icing on my favourite cake and so damn hard to achieve. Mat plays the lead and his colours wave in an out and it is wonderful to see him grow more confident without turning precious. He is starting to hit the beef now and I don't mean a woman's flesh. We work extremely well together and I feel many connections but I won't interfere. A fishline now and then to perk him up. I must say I felt isolated and lonely the first week because the two writers, my director and the great assistant who rammed our brainstorming on the script on the page were suddenly gone. Noone left to dwell with. Just shootshoot.
I felt it was good, even better that way. The actors all exploded into their work and were just to busy. Of course I did my own share but I was there already the first moment. Way ahead and still. I feel as if I am one of the very few who has an idea where the work will end up. Will see.
I had a few misjudgements and they serve their purpose just as well. What a process. The story keeps getting stronger and the colours of love and character more interesting and real.
Finally a movie that works with the great human qualities. Damn.
Day out of Days List