Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 08 2004


I got a chance to finish the Iraq scene by using the kitchen at Bongos. Dean, Fuad and I went over on Saturday morning, climbed over the small fence and waited inside for Andrew, the owner. I was a little concerned that Andrew would be a bit miffed to find us already on the balcony, but when he arrived he didn’t seem to mind at all.

I got shots of Dean bursting through various doors, and then we arranged Fuad’s body on the kitchen floor…hopefully the place’s excellent reputation won’t suffer too much from images such as this. Believe me, the food is excellent, no matter whose dead body they happen to have on their kitchen floor.

Then, the D.C. shoot: We met at Dean’s yesterday and went through it a couple of time, which involved me having to re-draw some of my storyboards to accomodate part where we decided it would be better for the actors to sit down for part of the scene that did actually work better with them sitting down.

Those of us who didn’t ride scooters or bicycles then piled into a cab, which was driven rather aggresively down to the NTU campus gate, where we met up again. A couple of student lovebirds fled the monument as we approached, but I did notice a couple of other students bowing to the big block of granite inside, so I assume it’s an actual tomb for the founder of the university. Kind of spooky, but I wouldn’t have hesitated to film at Lee Chapel in Lexington if I thought it was the right location.

Anyway, we set up and started filming. James and Paige from WDEVN showed up a short while later, and James filmed me and Paige took pictures of us as mosquitoes expressed their delight at our presence. I guess they don’t usually get such a varied banquet. The shots looked really, really good, with the light coming for the most part from the monument and reflectors. James helped out on one shot with his camera light and some gels.

The actors were doing an impressive job as well once we got into it. I think the location really helped put them in the mindframe they needed for this scene. I hardly needed to direct at all, they were so good. All of our rehearsals paid off, it seems. Maurice is getting better and better in his transition from stage to screen, though, like Sir Alec once did, he’s getting used to not doing the projecting that stagework requires. Both Josh and April were in top form as well.

I was setting up for one of the last shots just after 10 p.m. when the lights went out. Probably on a timer. None of the guards knew when or if the lights went out. Argh! I was hoping to get that one shot -five seconds more and I would have had it!- and a couple of others. I have all I need, but I’d like a little more. We might go back there some night, since it’s easy enough to arrange. We’ll see.

And now, for your amusement, a snippet of conversation I had with my friend Clar about moviemaking, in which I make a shocking admission:

Poagao: I actually don’t know a whole heck of a lot about films or filmmaking.

Zhara: huh?

Poagao: There’s tons of “must see” films I haven’t even heard of.

Poagao: My technique is elementary and rough, quick and dirty.

Poagao: Most of what I do is experimenting and hoping to get away with something halfway decent.

Zhara: how many of those “must see ” films have been studies by the directors you admire?

Poagao: I don’t know; every time I talk with people who are into film, it’s always “Of course, you’ve seen ‘The Fire within the Barking Cat’…” or “What do you think of Reparioux’s use of Elemental Reverse Spartanism in ‘The Frog Gesticulates’?”

Poagao: And I’m all like “Huh? I’ve never heard of any of those.”

Poagao: and then the film person looks at me funny, shakes his or her head, and walks away to find someone more interesting to talk to.

Zhara: and are any of them actually making movies?

Poagao: Not that I know of.

Zhara: Well then.

Zhara: I don’t think I need to say much else.

Poagao: But it makes me wonder, if I were actually talking to people that do make movies, it would just be like that, but worse.

What’s next? Not sure. It depends on what locations we can find before next weekend. Stay tuned.

posted by Poagao at 2:50 am  


  1. Those shots look really really good! And Because I was there, I know the performances were great, too. Nice job everyone.

    Comment by Darrell — November 8, 2004 @ 4:03 am

  2. Yeah, the footage looks great. Thanks everyone. Oh, but if I’d just gotten a couple more shots!

    Comment by TC — November 8, 2004 @ 4:26 am

  3. Dude, what are you saying? If those shots aren’t a perfect example of Elemental Reversed Spartanism, then I don’t know what is!

    Comment by Wendy — November 8, 2004 @ 9:25 am

  4. Damn, you caught me!

    Comment by TC — November 8, 2004 @ 12:41 pm

  5. Plus, Maurice looks a bit like a cat that could bark. And I know he can gesticulate.

    Comment by Anonymous — November 8, 2004 @ 2:26 pm

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