Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Oct 26 2006


Dean found a place he liked for the two scenes that take place in the Baron’s study. The problem was that this particular location was a room in one of the most prestigious and secretive love hotels in Taipei, the place where all the politicos and celebrities go for discreet trysts. The management was known for its strict anti-photography policy. And the rooms were expensive.

So we went to take a look. Dean, Rowan and I took a cab over one night the week before and asked about a particular room featured in their brochure, the one Dean liked the look of. We were told that we couldn’t see the room at first, but eventually they relented and let us in for a peek.

It was nice. Opulent, even. All the luxuries, decorated in an extravagant style, with a jacuzzi and large-screen TV. We were told only two people could use the room. We pressed for three, and got two rooms reserved for the weekend.

The next problem was getting the crew and equipment in unnoticed. Since there could only be six of us in there at one time, we made up a plan to rotate cast and crew as much as possible without arousing too much attention. We met up at the McDonald’s across the street just before check-in. Dean, Maurice and I went to take possession of the rooms, and then we gradually brought the cast and crew in, one by one, each carrying a bag filled with equipment. Once we were inside we were ok, as long as we didn’t attract any attention to ourselves. One of the hardest props to get in was the sword, as well as the Gozen engine Rowan’s character is gloating over at one point.

The room looked good, but the lighting was crap for shooting. I had one light and didn’t make terribly good use of it, I’m afraid. We also didn’t have any time for rehearsals, so we did the scene cold, something I reconciled myself to long ago. The performances actually weren’t bad.

We shot from noon to about 9pm. At one point Rowan, wearing a Nazi uniform, is supposed to have a tailor (William) fussing over him. I thought it would be better to start out with him alone, his arm up in a Nazi salute, and then have the tailor walk in and say, “Other arm, please.” I don’t know if this is too much comedy. We’ll see how it plays in editing.

Sarah did her usual excellent Inga impression, and Norm came over later to resume his role as the eye-patch-wearing, cigar-smoking, Hawaiian-shirt-wearing henchman. The part of the Chinese messenger was played by a guy Dean met at the Taiwan Brewery named Jimmy. Jimmy is a Filipino for whom sweeping up at the brewery is just one of his three jobs.

And, of course, Dolly resumed her role as Lady X. Dolly’s actually been in the news lately, with photos from her website appearing in the Apple Daily.

When we were done I almost wanted to let everyone go and just stay in the room until midnight, when the time was up, but instead we all went for drinks at Malibu.

Next up is a series of pick-ups to be filmed this weekend while we figure out the last two big locations: the torture room and the zeppelin interior. Dean has to go back to Canada by Christmas, so we’re on a tight schedule and need to get everything done by then.

posted by Poagao at 3:29 pm  

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