Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 10 2004


UPDATE: Paul put up a page with his description of the day as well as some screen grabs from his camera.

Getting up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturday was not easy, especially after staying up late the night before getting ready for the shoot. Maurice had called earlier saying the weather reports were not sounding good, that a cold front was coming in and the weather would be cold and wet on the only day Dolly was available, i.e. Saturday.

When I looked out the window, however, I was happy to see blue skies with only partial cloud cover. The shoot was on. I gathered up my camera, tripod and glidecam and set out for Dean’s house, where we were meeting.

As it turned out, I was the only one meeting Dean at his house, as Maurice and Dolly were going to Keelung directly, and Tommy, who was up in Taipei visiting and who had said he wanted to come along on the shoot, wasn’t able to make it. Dean made eggs and toast for breakfast, something I hadn’t eaten in a long time.

At Sungshan Station we bought tickets for the slow train to Keelung and proceeded to the walkway entrance, where a young female caretaker was trying to get an elderly man onto the escalator. She finally managed, but the poor fellow was whimpering in fear and grabbing at the wall. I thought for sure he’d get his hand caught and we’d all come tumbling down in a heap, but he made. Why she didn’t just use the elevator I have no idea.

Maurice and Dolly, the former wearing a typically Maurice-like shirt with a red and black pattern resembling a Mandelbrot fractal, arrived in Keelung just after we did, and Paul was waiting in front of the station in his Toyota, which is more rust than car these days but still does the job. We squeezed in and were off, out of the ugly city, through green mountains and along the coast. Everyone seemed happy that the weather was so nice; I know I was.

We reached Fugui Point at about 10 I guess. I was worried when I saw a tour bus parked at the entrance to the beach, but luckily the tourists were just ending their visit. As we approached the beach, construction equipment came into view. Apparently they were building some kind of structure down on the sand, but fortunately not where we were planning to film.

I set up on the cliff overlooking the little cove as Dean, Paul and Maurice lugged a tree trunk to a better location on the beach. I watched as a Taiwanese couple came over, the man helping with the log as the woman looked on. Perhaps she was revaluating her opinion of him.

I got the cliff shot, and we started filming the closer shots with Dolly, who had purchased a new, even more revealing bikini. Although the weather was good, we’d get an occasional cloud making shooting a bit tricky as far as timing was concerned. I worked though most of the storyboards I’d drawn, making only a few changes based on the conditions. Everything looked very nice. I used a high shutter speed, 1/1000, so that we could use software to simulate slow motion if needed. Other shots I did at 1/500, which looked the best.

Shooting at the beach can be a pain. Sand got everywhere, the feet of my tripod were most often buried in it, and I’m sure my polarizer got a bit on it as well. I’d bought suntan lotion but forgot to bring it, so after a day of shooting with my usual aborigine doo-rag, my face is now dark only from my forehead down.

Another problem was props. Dolly’s fake red nails kept unsticking, invariably falling into the water or getting covered with sand. I ended up having to tell Dolly to move her hands so that the loose nails didn’t show. Also, Lady X’s hat kept blowing off in the wind. I was about ready to staple the damn thing to Dolly’s head, but we finally got the shot without having to resort to such measures.

Maurice was handling Dolly’s sun protection with an umbrella, while Dean was handling the boom and chain smoking when needed. Paul was taking pictures of the shoot, both with his Sony PD150 and my little Canon, and he got some good photos. It’s interesting to see how short we all look from Paul’s point of view.

Our last shot involved Dolly coming out of the water. The waves were really high, but there was a bit of area near the rocks where she could do it. Both Paul and I were wading out into the surf at one point, and the waves soaked me to the waist in the process. Thankfully I’d handed my cellphone to Dean just beforehand. My wallet wasn’t so lucky, however. At least the water wasn’t cold. If I’d brought a swimsuit I would have gone swimming.

After finishing the shoot, I had some fruit Maurice had bought on the way, and sat on a piece of driftwood waiting for my pants to dry. “What are you smiling at?” Dean asked me, but I wasn’t smiling at anything in particular. I was just happy to be doing what I was doing, that everyone was having fun, and that things were working out.

As we trudged back up the sandy cliff, a couple of guys working on the construction shouted out “Hello! Hello!” to us. “Have some Whisbih!” they called as they held up the bottle of sweet purple liquid. Up on the cliff, soldiers standing on ladders behind the barbed wire surrounding their military base called out as well.

I’m happy to have the only weather-dependent scene out of the way; if we hadn’t got it this time we would have had to either go down to Kending or wait til spring. For our next shoot, I think we’ll try to do the scene with Dean and Gary at (hopefully) Peshawar (I still need to talk with them about it). The jail scene would also be nice, if we can find a place that looks enough like a jail cell, the door being the key factor here. I also need to get my new DVD burner to work so I can start capturing and editing.

Anyway, two scenes down; many, many others to go.

posted by Poagao at 5:32 pm  


  1. 哇!美腿啊!

    Comment by Anonymous — October 15, 2004 @ 3:13 am

  2. no kidding, more Dolly, please…

    Comment by Anonymous — October 17, 2004 @ 7:17 am

  3. Oh, do behave! But the pictures are…uh..rather nice. 🙂

    Comment by Darrell — October 18, 2004 @ 1:49 pm

  4. See the update at the beginning of this post for more pictures, etc.

    Comment by TC — October 19, 2004 @ 9:34 am

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