Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jun 26 2006


Last weekend we filmed our first scenes with Alex Chou, a co-worker of Dean’s, as well as Azuma’s wife Jane. We originally cast Tony Lee from the first film in the role of PLA General Song, but Tony’s disappeared. We think he may be in Hawaii. In any case, Dean had to have another uniform made for Alex, who is a bit bigger than Tony.

We returned to the train station on Saturday morning, early because Alex had to work later, and we only had the car, a black Cadillac almost identical to the one we used in the first film at CKS Hall, until 1pm. So we had to hurry, but by now I guess we should be used to it. Almost every shoot we do we’re in a hurry.

Dean and Jane were already at the station when I arrived, still half asleep. Dean and I went over the storyboards while Jane changed into her PLA-esque uniform, but then we realized that she’d forgotten to bring her “billfold” hat. I liked the hat. I like hats in general. I think more people in films, if not real life, should wear hats. So I told her to go back and get it, since she lives close by.

While we waited the Caddy pulled up, with Alex inside. We had to make room in the taxi line for the car, but just before we started filming a cargo truck pulled up perpendicular to the curb and started unloading, so we decided to just add it to the scene. We do try for a reasonable amount of continuity, but I’ll be the first to admit there are large gaps here and there that we can do nothing except hope they aren’t too glaring or distracting.

After I got the exteriors we all got in the car and headed off to the Xinyi District. Except I’d wanted some interiors at the train station, so we circled back again to get those. Then we were off, to the building a block from the world’s tallest building, where we’d filmed some scenes before, and, unfortunately, where the security guards had called the cops on us.

This time our shoot was cop-free, and I managed not to fall on my ass whilst jumping over the curb. Even a shot where Dean comes running out of the building and falls as if shot while I filmed from the Caddy window came out well. And no cops. Heaven forfend a real shootout occurs around there, though.

Alex was done for the day, though he forgot his pants and had to come back. We took the caddy back to the train station and sent it on its merry way so that Dean, Jane and I could get the rest of the interior shots there. At least we’re done with all of the car shots for this film, which is comforting.

Sun was shining through the skylights, creating some nice lighting. We were lucky it wasn’t storming like it has been every day recently. I shot Dean and Jane walking through the station, getting as few gawking people in the background as possible. We’ve figured that carrying the camera on the tripod, folded up, is just as stable as using the home-made glidecam, so that’s what we’re doing, since the floor doesn’t work with the dolly.

And so that was a wrap for that part of scene 14, which is a real monster of a scene; really confusing and convoluted but hopefully cool and very suspenseful on screen. Next week we’re all going to be busy with various national holiday events, but the weekend after that we’re planning to film the final bits of scene 14 at various locations in and around my apartment complex. Shirzi and I went over some action sequences downstairs in the parking garage this morning, and it should be pretty exciting.

posted by Poagao at 4:04 pm  

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