by Ruth Witteried
It was with great excitement I received my Call Sheet from Ampersand Productions Assistant Director, Anthony Forsyth last week, sent to all cast and crew involved in the FiLMLaB shoot . As an Executive Producer, I would undoubtedly be one of the least useful people on the set, but I was going to try my best to be helpful and not just in the way during the two day, nearly thirty hour shoot at the Parkside Pub in Portland’s Kenton Park neighborhood.
I was, in fact, mostly in the way of the talented team Director Christopher Alley assembled. Their collaboration in the weeks leading up to the filming of Barbara Thomas’s short script INSPIRATION, left our on screen talent, the wonderful Greg Alexander and Brynn Baron free to do what they do best: act. With degrees in Dramatic Arts, both actors have extensive stage performance backgrounds; a particularly useful skill set for this project.
If you followed our real time progress on Filmlab‘s Facebook page, or Twitter (@sityourassdown1), you’ll already have a sense of some of the challenges we were up against. Parkside Pub was open for business during filming. It was hot. It was humid. Pedestrians ruined our shots. Cars blocked our view. The sun didn’t filter through the trees when it was supposed to. A blizzard of cottonwood pollen assaulted us for two days. Nightmare traffic on the interstates delayed Craft Service by more than an hour, which you probably think is funny. It’s not funny. There were lots of things for this crew to complain about, but no one did. And in spite of the heat and humidity, Donn Eaton-Quist of Conception Artistry kept our stars looking fresh, even if the rest of us, in the words of Emily Wahl, went from “dewy to glue-y” in short order.
Although the director called it a “Wrap” at 12:16 a.m. Saturday morning (which did not include striking the set, packing up and resetting the location to its original state); the film is far from finished. After a restful weekend (I hope!), Christopher Alley will shepherd the film through post-production editing, color correction, musical scoring, etc., before being called back to the set of GRIMM. In the weeks leading up to the Willamette Writers Conference, we will try, in this column, to do justice to the commitment, hard work and sheer stamina of this dedicated crew:
- Director of Photography, Eric Macey
- Production Designer, Emily Wahl
- Assistant Director, Anthony Forsyth
- Hair & Make-Up Artist, Donn Eaton-Quist
- Gaffer, Jake Lyon
- Production Assistant, Marupong Chuladul
- Craft Service, Lindsey Alley
They say filmmaking is a collaborative medium and ‘they’ are correct. Rarely, though, do we take into consideration the collaboration and cooperation of the public whose neighborhoods we invade. Special thanks to the Parkside Pub and Kenton Park community for patiently supporting our efforts. INSPIRATION debuts August 2, at the Airport Sheraton Hotel at 7:00 p.m. and is open to the public.
Next week, guest blogger Randall Jahnson (THE DOORS, MASK OF ZORRO) will share his impressions from the FiLMLaB set.
Ruth Witteried is the Film Coordinator for the Willamette Writers Conference and teaches screenwriting at Clark College. She Executive Produced FiLMLaB’s 2012 short, ALIS VOLAT PROPRIIS written by Haley Isleib. You can follow her on Facebook at SitYourAssDown; Twitter @sityourassdown1, or as RH Cohen on her Young Adult website zombienoel.com.