Poagao's Journal

Absolutely Not Your Monkey

Jul 12 2006


I had a gig on Saturday night, so I didn’t get to bed until 5am. This made getting up at 8am on Sunday for the shoot at my apartment complex difficult, but at least I didn’t have to go anywhere this time. As usual, I was a little nervous before the shoot, but confident at least that we wouldn’t face the danger of being thrown out, since I live here and all.

I waited in the air-conditioned goodness of the 7-Eleven’s interior until Dean, Alex, Jane, Azuma, Shirzi and Darrell arrived one-by-one. We then went inside to the AV room of my building, which I was renting for NT$500. Alex and Jane changed into their costumes, which were pseud0-PLA uniforms Dean had patched together from various sources. The dolly seemed to work on the carpet, and the varying color temperatures of the room’s lights were somewhat of a challenge to deal with. I ended up bouncing a light on the table top for some angles. The place had a really low ceiling, but we wanted the claustrophobic feel of an underground room.

The shooting in the room went well; Jane, Alex and Dean all did good work, and we were inside and comfortable, a rare thing in my experience. But that was only one part of the shooting we’d scheduled for the day. We still had to shoot some elevator exterior, stairwell and a big fight/chase scene in the parking garage, which we’d rehearsed beforehand.

We left most of the stuff in the A/V room, gathered up the necessary stuff, and headed over to the other building in my complex, over the footbridge between the two entrances. We were almost to the door when I heard shouting coming from behind us. It was the building manager, a mainlander who is normally a nice guy.

He’d seen our actors in their PLA costumes, however, and was nearly epileptic with rage. “STOP! STOP RIGHT THERE!” he yelled as he ran up. “What do you think you’re doing!”

“We’re filming, like I said before,” I said.

“No, you’re not! Not with people in PLA uniforms!”

“Uh, those are actors.”

“I don’t care! They can’t be seen! Can you imagine how much trouble you’re causing!” He was apparently afraid that certain mainlanders in the complex would see the uniforms and have strokes.

“We’re not even showing them in a good light!”

“I don’t care!”

“They’re the bad guys! They meet horrible fates in the end!'” This wasn’t strictly true, but I was still stunned by his irrational reaction to the costumes and was grasping at straws.

“Listen,” I said. “Whoever gives you a hard time about it, just send them to me. Let them give me a hard time about it, ok?”

But he was adamant. We had to shut down, immediately. Even if we had an official GIO permit, he’d turn it down, he said. To buy some time and think the situation over, we said we’d go back to the A/V room to collect our stuff. When we arrived we hurridly took down all of the PLA propaganda posters Dean had purchased online, for fear that the manager would see them and fly into another rage. Our fears were well grounded, for he showed up soon afterwards, apparently determined to keep an eye on us until we left. It was obvious that we would get no more filming done there. Alex stood there smiling at the building manager as he watched us.

“What are you smiling at?” the manager challenged.

“Nothing, just you getting into such a state over all of this,” Alex replied.


“Ok, ok,” I stepped in between them. “Cut it out, we’re leaving, all right?”

So. Obviously, we didn’t get to shoot the parkade/elevator/stairwell shots that day. Fortunately we got the A/V room stuff done, which was the most difficult location to find and the one we would have the most trouble replacing. We’re going over to Azuma’s building in two weeks to try to film the rest of the stuff there. This weekend, unless we’re visited by a typhoon that’s heading this way, we’re going to get some pick-up shots of Maurice and April in separate places. Doing what we can, as always.

posted by Poagao at 3:41 am  

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