Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Apr 16 2006


The night before we were scheduled to film the temple interior scene, Dean told me he wanted to do his lines for that scene in Chinese, instead of in English as we had originally planned. For the first film I’d recorded the Chinese lines for him to practice, but obviously we didn’t have time for that this time. We were having dinner at JB’s and looking at storyboards at the time, so we took the script and translated all his lines into Chinese, and I wrote down the pinyin romanization for him to read the next day. I figured we’d just fix the inevitable pronunciation problems in post, which is more than Firefly did, anyway.

It was just a small thing, one of many small complications involved in doing a scene in two languages. This is in addition to filming in a temple, which means trying to be as discreet and low-key as possible. Actually, this is a big part of indie filmmaking, as we just don’t have the funds to close off any areas for filming, much less the money to hire enough extras to populate said areas. So far we’ve had both good and bad experiences at temples in Taiwan, from being made quite welcome to being refused entrance. We’d filmed an exterior at this one, the Taiping Temple in Bitan, and I knew the manager, Mr. Xie, so I didn’t think it would be a problem.

Another concern was an actress Maurice had found for us, an older Taiwanese woman to play a fortuneteller at the temple. I’d never met her and didn’t know anything about her. I was hoping she wasn’t one of those strange older Taiwanese woman who insists on dressing and being treated like a schoolgirl.

It turned out I needn’t have worried. The woman I met at the temple on Saturday morning, Liqing, was very courteous and professional. She looked the part and did some fine acting for us. Mr. Xie was also fine with our being there, despite the fact that the head of the temple association was in the next room drinking tea. I had been hoping for sunshine and the resulting hazy shafts of light beaming down through the skylights, but instead a solid downpour outside endeavored to soak everyone and everything outside. I hoped that at least fewer people would be at the temple due to the inclement weather.

Nonetheless, the temple interior still looked very good, very atmospheric, and I decided against the added disruption of using lights, as the natural light, supplemented with candles, was good enough. Another advantage of digital video. I’d brought the dolly and got some nice tracking shots of Dean walking around the temple. Azuma was there as well, in his police uniform, and Maurice held the microphone in between getting water for Liqing. Darrell came along as well but had to leave early.

Shooting the scene went very slowly at first as Dean couldn’t understand Liqing’s lines. She couldn’t really understand him either, so nobody knew when their lines were; even with Shirzi there to prompt the actors we got lost very easily, so I decided to film all of Liqing’s lines at once, and then all of Dean’s lines, and then cut them together later. After that things went pretty smoothly, and I got some nice shots and fairly powerful moments in the can. Afterwards we ended up at Rosemary’s Kitchen, down by the river, with Maurice buying his customary wine with lunch. The rain, which had stopped when we were in the temple, resumed as soon as we were finished.

Next on the list is a cornucopia of April’s scenes, which we are going to attempt to wrap up in various corners of Dean’s house next Friday night after work. April’s leaving this summer, so we have to get all of her stuff done as soon as possible and get her looping done. After that and some car/airport scenes we’ll have most of the good guys’ stuff done and can concentrate mainly on our baddies.

posted by Poagao at 11:31 am  


  1. Nice shots. Nice DOF on the last shot.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 16, 2006 @ 1:12 pm

  2. Hey!!WhatsUp!!How are you feeling me!!This years i am coming back for Singing do as well!!Yup!!Well i always did though about it like always did you know!!So!!We useally know that everything had changes us even twices then me do!!Thats was very cool!!Yup!!Well this years i would be here all of my fans do!!Yup!!Where did i shot my movie Angels of my sweets eyes, I shot it near in New York City and also in New Jersey also!!Yup!!I always did though about it how i feel right now!!Yup!!Well this years i would even say it how i feel right now!!Noope!!Thats was like a differents ways just like me!!Noope!!Where did i shot my video No Scrubs, I shot it near in Los Angeles ,Ca!!Yup!!!WOW!!Thank you for Writting me!!P.s Keep Writting me!! Well sya you all my fans out there!!Have a great time!!
    From the groups of TC HERE!!!

    Comment by Nickolas — April 19, 2006 @ 3:21 pm

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