Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Nov 20 2004


Dean and I looked all over Taipei for a suitable hotel for scene 11, but all we found in our price range were crappy love hotels (“No, it’s not a pr0n flick”); all the major chains were booked up due to some conference in town. In the end we decided to change the location from a hotel to a safehouse and use someone’s nice apartment.

I called my friend Bret who has a really nice place in Nangang, but he was laid up with a sprained ankle. Next I called James, a museum curator from Great Britain who recently purchased and rennovated a nice place near Da-an Park. James had to work, but his friend Andy was there along with a large, overly friendly dog who pissed itself it was so happy to see us.

We’d gotten off to a late start this afternoon, and I was worried I wouldn’t be able to deal with the inconstant light. We started filming around 2 something, the screens on the windows down. By the time we finished the screens were up and I was shooting wide open. Hopefully, with a little help in post it will come out ok. The light coming in the windows was quite nice, as this still of April shows.

This scene was mostly dialogue, so I had to think of ways to make it visually interesting without resorting to incongruous action shots. I used the dolly on one section I think came out rather well; it will still need quite a bit of creative editing, but I think it will be quite nice when it’s done. As usual the actors did a splendid job. Joshua even managed to convince me he loved to eat chicken’s feet, and Maurice did an equally job in convincing me chicken’s feet were straight from the devil’s sink disposal trap itself.

We had some fun with ad-lib arguing which resulted in not a few Freudian moments, and of course there was the massive faux-pas of Maurice and Dean showing up wearing the same suit. (the shame!) All in all everything went smoothly, and we retired to Bongo’s for dinner afterwards knowing everyone had put in a good day’s work.

Next up on the list is the jailbreak scene, which is considerably more complicated than anything we’ve done so far. It requires at least four locations, two of which we’re still looking for. We did find a nice old jail cell near Nanhai Road, and an equally good rooftop at NTU, but we’re still looking for a suitable hallway and stairwell. If I can find something good we might be able to shoot it next weekend, but I don’t know how good the chances are.

We’re going to meet with one of Darrell’s students on Tuesday. He’s at the top of our list for big mean-looking jail guards. That means we need to outfit him soon as well. Lots of work to do, as always.

posted by Poagao at 3:31 pm  


  1. The shots look nice. The lighting, especially with the picture of April, is very flattering. And we see enough out of the window to make the shot interesting without it being distracting.

    Comment by Darrell — November 21, 2004 @ 4:02 am

  2. Hey yeah, those frame grabs look great! But when you first posted them yesterday, they were much darker, so I’m wondering what you did to balance them up without further blowing out the overexposed areas. And also if the clean-up technique only works for the jpgs or whether it can be applied to the video too (cos I’d really like to know how to do that!)

    Comment by Wendy — November 22, 2004 @ 7:52 am

  3. I only posted the stills once, Wendy. Perhaps you changed your monitor settings? I do adjust some of the stills for color balance, contrast, etc., but all of these are easy to do in Premiere with filters.

    Comment by TC — November 22, 2004 @ 7:56 am

  4. Well that’s weird then, because it wasn’t just me that noticed a big change. For instance, the one of Josh eating the chicken feet with Maurice in the background was ‘originally’ so murky that it looked like Maurice was sideways on and turning his head to the right (ie toward the camera); whereas in the image that’s up there now, it’s immediately clear how things are configured.

    And I’m pretty sure that no-one snuck in at our end and changed out monitor’s settings!

    All very odd. But anyway, it looks fine now.

    Comment by Wendy — November 22, 2004 @ 11:46 am

  5. I downloaded the pictures Sunday morning and they don’t seem to haven changed since then. Maybe Wendy is on some heavy medication? Hehe 🙂

    Comment by Darrell — November 22, 2004 @ 1:09 pm

  6. Well, OK, that may be so — but it’s not just me: Roger saw it too.

    And although the cats have sometimes been known to make international phone calls, they’ve never yet been seen tampering with the monitor settings.

    So this is all very odd!

    Comment by Wendy — November 22, 2004 @ 2:30 pm

  7. I, for one, suspect the cats.

    Comment by TC — November 23, 2004 @ 6:43 am

  8. It was the sun! It really lights the shit out of this room early in the morning — and makes everything on the screen look murky by contrast! The fix of course is simply to stay in bed and do nothing until, say, 11:00 am each day, by which time the sun will have obligingly wandered around to the other side of the house.

    This also means the cats are off the hook too. Not that we ever had them literally on a hook or anything. Well, not except Mr Weasel, but he probably deserved it.

    Comment by Wendy — November 24, 2004 @ 1:32 am

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