Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Sep 06 2004


We had our first shoot at DV8 on Sunday night. I got there at about 11pm, but contrary to the predictions of the owner, the place still had quite a few patrons. Only one of our actors, Gabriella, was there when I arrived. She sat at the DJ booth correcting Spanish homework.

Slowly but surely more crew arrived, and the patrons showed no signs of leaving. I sat and went through the storyboards I’d drawn out for the scene; I’d figured 50 shots, which seemed almost impossible to get done in only a few hours’ time. The dance music wasn’t helping my thought process either.

Da Shan, our lighting guy, drove up in his ratty van and started unloading equipment. I began to pace back and forth, throwing evil looks at the patrons who seemed to be staying around just to see what was going to happen, not realizing that nothing would happen or could happen until they left.

Finally, at around 2am, we had the ground floor section of the bar to ourselves, and as we set up I asked the guys playing bongos in the basement to quiet down. Why they felt the need to be playing bongoes at 2am I have no idea. The owner had left, leaving a young woman in charge of making sure we didn’t trash the place.

Dean and Paul Jackson had been going through their dialogue while we were waiting, and Maurice put on his Severe Suit. Da Shan set up the lights, giving the place a whole new feel; Slowly but surely, we started plowing through the lengthy shot list. I had to make some changes based on last-minute considerations. I started out thinking that we’d have to come back to finish the shooting, but as the evening wore on I realized that our chances of getting permission to return for filming there were slim indeed, so we decided to slug it out until we got pretty much everything we needed.

At one point, after I finished filming one section that only required Maurice and Gaby, I returned to find everyone else strewn out on benches, asleep. “Oh, no!” I exclaimed. “My poor crew! I’ve worked them too hard and now they’re all dead!” Well, they weren’t dead, but everyone did work very hard, and it was most gratifying to see people put that much into a project out of sheer enthusiasm for it.

As the sky lightened outside, Da Shan shut off more and more lights. We wrapped at around 6am. Dean looked terrible. He was supposed to look terrible; it was in the script, but even he’s not that good an actor. It turned out he was feeling sick. I couldn’t blame him after going 27 takes with the same slice of pizza.

We cleaned up the place as best we could, and everyone mumbled their goodbyes before stumbling off to find taxies home. I was the last to leave, along with the girl who worked there. She and her little brother got onto a scooter and rode off. I decided to walk to the MRT, a poor piece of judgement as I was carrying all my equipment. I was beat by the time I got home. After a shower and a nap I was ready, sort of, for work, but my sleep on the subway was so deep I nearly ended up in Danshui.

So that’s it; our first shoot of this project. Next I think we’re going to work on the scene to (hopefully) be shot in Peshawar (the pub, not the place). In the meantime I have to go over tomorrow to pick up the handle-gimbal thingy for our handmade glidecam. I really hope this thing works. Stay tuned.

posted by Poagao at 3:43 pm  

1 Comment »

  1. […] for it, rather than just sitting amid the clutter of the Water Curtain Cave. For one thing, the first scene we shot was at the original DV8, and Gary, who runs the place these days, also acted in the film (in a scene […]

    Pingback by Poagao’s Journal » 101ity — June 30, 2015 @ 11:22 am

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