Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Dec 06 2004


We’d arranged to film the prison break: part 2 on Saturday, and wouldn’t you know it? A typhoon chooses that day to become the first December typhoon in, depending on which newspaper you read, 40, 60 or 100 years. On the other hand, rain would make it seem like we had the budget for a rain machine. And I’d also brought blueberry muffins to make dripping wet cast and crew feel better about things in general.

Because of the weather, I was afraid that some of our locations on the NTU campus wouldn’t be available, so before we did anything else we took a trip over to the old Japanese building I’d picked to be our jail hallways and stairwells to make sure it was open. It was, but a construction crew inside told us they were finishing up, so I went upstairs and talked to a couple of graduate students who could let us in in case the doors were locked when we got back with all the equipment.

The first order of business involved Joshua emerging from a grate in the floor. Underneath the building, we found, was a kind of bog littered with old wine bottles that looked like they were salvaged from the ocean floor after a shipwreck, and about a gazillion mosquitoes. It was hard enough to support Josh, but we got some scaffolding down there for him to stand on just in case there was quicksand anywhere around.

The shots we got are kind of dark, but they look pretty good and will look better with some post-production adjustment.

The next thing was me following Josh down the hallway with the glidecam, which didn’t work as well as I’d hoped. I’m beginning to wonder if the swiveling head was such a good idea.

After that we got some stairwell shots, with Dean standing in for one of the guards. Nick Yang, who was going to be another guard that Josh fights, arrived with his girlfriend at that point. I’m always a little worried when people who haven’t been on a set show up, because they tend to think it’s going to be a lot more exciting than it really it.

Anyway, my little flashlight came in rather handy throughout the shots, both as a prop and as a lighting source. Josh then ascended a ladder to the roof level, which concluded our shooting in that building.

We then adjourned to Paul’s office building for some rooftop shots or Josh and Nick going at it. Lighting was a problem. We were going so fast (you guys who were there laugh, but we were really going fast, believe it or not) and the extension cords were so short that we had problems getting the best lighting, though I think I could have done better in that regard.

The rain had stopped by this point, the typhoon meeting its match in the cold front on its way over from mainland China, and the temperatures began to drop. Luckily I’d brought jackets for people who needed them.

We moved upstairs to the upper roof and did a neat dolly shot of Josh coming through a door, and that was all for Nick, so he could go home. By this time it was about midnight, and everyone was tired. It was becoming painfully obvious that we weren’t going to finish the shoot that night.

The last shot we got that night was a special effect shot in which we stuffed a door maglock control console with fireworks and set them off. The effect was really cool, but we only got one angle because we only had one camera.

We wrapped at about 2 a.m., and arranged to meet again Sunday night to finish up. Everyone was bushed, but we got a lot done.

Sunday night was more rooftop stuff, as well as more props, balloons and green screen shots that, from what I’ve seen so far, may work out really nicely. The cold front had arrived in force, though, and Josh was bundled up an a ski jacket and fuzzy hat between takes. Luckily it wasn’t cold enough that his breath was visible.

Some of the shots involved Dean and Josh on the lower roof level while Darrell and I shouted instructions from the top level. Costco lights stood in for prison searchlights, which worked pretty well. We started at 6 p.m. and finished at 10 p.m. Not too bad, but still a long, tiring weekend. Josh, at least, can take the next couple of weeks off. The rest of us have to be on the lookout for a warehouse and some ham radio equipment for the next shoot, hopefully next weekend.

posted by Poagao at 5:13 am  

1 Comment »

  1. it’s a great movie

    Comment by Anonymous — May 19, 2006 @ 4:38 pm

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