Friday, August 27, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
The hospital takes me in and springs me the same day but the doctor is making me stay in a drug induced stupor for three weeks. I can't drive. I can't operate heavy machinery, like computers. That's to keep me from doing and saying stupid things I'll regret later. You know, like usual. So if I show up at your place gushing about how much I've always loved you and then changing the subject to leaf blowers and people who don't floss their teeth, I beg your forgiveness in advance.
And I've been on a cleaning jag because I have wonderful friends who are insisting on bringing meals. That means they will see my house. And I don't want them to know how behind I am. They never read my blog so I'm sure they have no idea. Usually, when my house is a mess and somebody just stops by I simply hide in the closet and try not to breathe out loud. Now I can't get away with that. They might even come into my bedroom. I suppose that means I'll have to move the two foot high pile of laundry I like to call my "step stool" that I use to get into my extra high bed.
I only go on this kind of a cleaning frenzy for two events: vacation and surgery.
I just discussed this with my dear, sweet friend, Christina, yesterday at church. (She was all sympathy and commiseraton but, in reality, her house is always LOVELY. Thank you, Christina for pretending it's not so I didn't feel like the intervention candidate that I actually am.) We decided women do this for a variety of reasons but not the least of which is the risk of death.
What if we died while vacationing? Others would come in to our disarray and find out how we really live. Our husbands try to counter with statements like, "You'll be dead! Who cares!" But, being women, of COURSE we care because we KNOW people will still talk and we don't want to be remembered as the ones who had to have HazMat come in before others could find our final directives paperwork.
Also, there's the issue of vacationing in lovely, clean places where there is daily maid service and no pets or pet hair. Or dust. Or accumlation. From children and husbands. (Wives don't count since we always have to clean up our own mess anyway. No one comes behind US.) If towels are thrown on the floor, they are magically replaced the next day with fresh, new ones. Unmade beds are suddenly perfect.
Now, leave that dream-like environment and go home. To the mess that was left? No thank you. That kind of shock could induce headline worthy behavior in the returning wife/mother. So you must leave your home spotless.
As far as surgery is concerned, you are forced to lay on the bed/couch/kitchen counter and look at all the work you know you should have done when you had the chance. And you know if you COULD do it right now you would. And I love that lie with all my heart. It's so very holy to be utterly willing and completely unable to do all the things you tell yourself you'd do if only you could. It's far better than any get-out-of-jail free card. But if you haven't worked ahead of time, you WILL be forced to survey your disgusting domain. And that's too much guilt for even a seasoned slob.
And so I clean. And when I clean I'm an insane perfectionist.
"Do you really need to use brass polish on those draw pulls?" my husband asks while he surveys the dust hanging from the ceiling fan, spanish moss style. I have no balance. But in a few short hours, I won't care. At least while I'm taking the drugs.
So I better go now. There's no time like the present to pretend you are a gifted Domestic Doyenne. Why can't they give you these drugs a week ahead of time so you don't notice all these things or care? Now THAT would be TRUE pain management.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
"Fatty and Skinny went to bed, Fatty rolled over and Skinny was dead." ~ Unknown
Despite the dreaded scale, Body Mass Index charts, and dire predictions from her doctor, the important point here is Fatty woke up alive and well. It was Skinny who was dead. ~ Robynn
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Uh, do yourself a favor and don't opt for the "dislike" button on Facebook. I thought it was real. Me. The QUEEN of paranoia. I offend people by never opening attachments of the latest funny joke or pictures of their pet gargoyle. I never look when an email says, "You've just GOTTA check this out!" even though it's from my mother. But I've been waiting for the "dislike" button on Facebook so I could use it when a friend said, "I'm so sick I'm throwing up food from next week." I figured that kind of status update deserved a dislike button. Don't you find it a little strange that you can only "like" something horrible? But this longing for common sense made me ripe for the pickin', as we say here in Farm Town, USA.
And just like that other fruit that shouldn't have been picked long ago, things began to go seriously wrong. Suddenly, my searches took me to places I'd never heard of and wasn't trying to go. And that was just the tip of the iceberg. My computer is so infected from allowing that ONE Facebook application that it will be hours and hours and days and days before Grizzly can undo the problem, if THAT even works. All of our sensitive information has been compromised and I'm changing every password I've EVER created. Because, really, what ELSE do I have to do with my life? Grizzly may have to wipe my hard drive but that's a last resort since my last two months worth of work hasn't been backed up. (Don't do that.)
I am informed by Grizzly and Hannah that this wasn't actually Facebook's application so I shouldn't be mad at them. Au contraire. Facebook KNOWS millions of people are waiting for a dislike button. It should have firewalls in place to alert them if a third party uses language that refers to anything with those words. An alert should then go out immediately to all users stating that this is NOT a sanctioned Facebook application and using it could be very risky (since the creator is obviously trying to SOUND like it is from Facebook). I may be just a country bumpkin but that seems like common sense to me. No wonder that firewall does not exist.
And, of course, I'm mad at my dummy self. I now have to shop at Big Idiots R Us. And I've lost ALL of my holier-than-thou credits. I counted on those to advise everyone around me. How will they go on with their lives now?
I've never been a good example. Allow me to be a terrible warning.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
My blog has never been as slow as it has during the running of these film stories and letters. But some of you have written to me privately, and here, and wanted to know the rest of the story so, I’m including all the letters left in one post. If I don’t, I’m afraid this thing will asphyxiate! I’m tired of the stories myself and a typical journalistic format isn’t my style anyway. I wanna tell you what I REALLY think, and DON’T ask me tonight because I could spit nails and clean my teeth with a certain person’s bone fragments! But I’ll leave that alone for the moment and wrap up the filming stories.
This was a herculean effort by a LOT of dedicated and loving people who worked sacrificially, gave up sleep, gave up vacation time, and gave up earning any money. Most everyone who worked on this film project actually PAID to do so in time and gas and wages and donations and MASSIVE creative effort. I think the problem is, you had to be there to see it and believe it. THE END.
And now, we stumble forward, if for no other reason than to see and remember all this happened – and it is now a matter of record. Read them if you want to hear the ramblings of an insane woman in the middle of the night. You’re used to that. It won’t be new.
7-22-10 2:31 A.M.
The latest tonight - well, this morning - is that no one is dead. It was pretty touch-and-go a few times today and I wasn't sure that would be my report tonight. What a crazy day with draggin' behinds and intense schedules. Many of us melted down today, including me. One good ten minute cry and therapy with Annalise while we went thrift store shopping, and I was back. Later on Melissa rubbed my feet - and may I say, NO ONE should EVER have to rub feet that were as gross and dirty as mine in my flip flops. But she said it "didn't gross her out" and bless her heart, my dessert after our wonderful dinner tonight was a life-saving foot rub. Melissa? Annalise? You ROCK!
The Lori, Kaylee, and Connor came to our rescue early today and did our shopping and re-shopping and then shopping some more. Then they put all the shopping away or helped apply it to the house. I was gone with Annalise during most of it but was still singing their praises at midnight as we staged the last room and I was able to use the curtain rods they bought and get our Diane-made-curtains on the windows. Thanks for more boxes, Lori! They saved many a scene in our box room. And Karla? Thanks for just jumping in and picking those up along with pies and giving me a hug - because I NEEDED IT!
I wish I could tell you about the crew. They have been so inCREDibly amazing through long, LONG hours and very warm conditions. They all deserve medals. And that's not even the TINIEST bit of hyperbole. I told Evan, our AMAZING TO THE NTH DEGREE CAMERAMAN, that they say when the Apocalypse comes, only roaches will survive. I believe now that it will be roaches AND Evan.
Dear, Patient, LONG-SUFFERING, and hysterical, ST. EVAN. (He was “sainted” as well):
Kim has kept us well supplied in food and water and coffee and NUTRITION and wise council that is never heeded. She and I have agreed many times on what should be done and how absolutely insane the hours are, but that's about as far as we get and we both keep going like demented and limping Energizer Bunnies.
Okay, on to business. We will need extras tomorrow. We are shooting coffee shop scenes at a coffee shop across from Teazers in the Tower District. I wish I knew the name but that, along with my brain, escapes me. I only know the location. I don't know the time of the shoot but it will be after eight a.m.. If you're interested, text or call Kim or Rod for details. I will be sleeping in tomorrow till at least nine. If I don't rub five or six hours of sleep together pretty soon, I'll be taking a vacation at the Funny Farm. If the scene has NOT been changed - and I wasn't in the scheduling meeting tonight - we are shooting scenes from three different days meaning we need different coffee drinkers in that shop. We could have a few repeats because people are regulars at these types of places but it would look pretty Stepford Wife if everyone was exactly the same. I don't know how many we will have but there is always the risk of there not being enough. We also would ask that everyone buy a coffee drink to support the kind owners who have allowed us to take them over. We want to bring them business, not drive it away. :-)
Our nephew, Jeff, has GENEROUSLY given us his way cool house in the Tower District to use as an apartment scene. I'm really looking forward to this one. It requires very little set design and/or shopping or creating or moving because his home is gorgeous. I think Rod would say a hearty "AMEN" to being excited about a set that needs no work AND has air conditioning!
So, we hope to see you tomorrow even if you only want to come to one of the locations to check out the last 48 hours of filming. I just hope it's not 48 STRAIGHT hours!
Also, tomorrow night is our scheduled prom night out in Easton. We will need extras in prom dresses (think early 90's) and guys in suits.
7-24-10 2:50 A.M.
Thank you so much, Dave. Your family has single-handedly saved my family today. Nacoya has worked faithfully and lovingly to assist Hannah in every way she can. The scheduling became Hannah's and it is a daily nightmare that she hates with every fiber of her being and fills ill equipped to handle. It's a high stress position in which nothing EVER goes as scheduled or exactly the way they want it. In a perfect world she could confer with Shaun but the perfect world has left the building. These kids are toast. We just butter 'em and drive 'em around. Which leads me to my next big thank you. Reg, I can't tell you how much it means to me that you are willing to pick up Hannah at 5:45 in the morning so that I can sleep and she doesn't drive off the road. My sleeping in this morning was a pipe dream and four hours seems all I am destined to get. I'm pretty sure I'd be a "walk-on" for Night of the Living Dead. And thank you for being my pilot car on the freeway tonight. Your rear end guided me home. I've never said that to a friend before.
And, once again, our friends (not that we'll have any when this is over but we're grateful for them while they last) have come to our desperate rescue. (A movie should be made about this WEEK!) Diane, in all her splendor, went to the 70's house and gutted that rotten food that sat in a warm fridge and on the counters for 24 hours. And we purposely had gross food as that house was a pit and was made to be disgusting. It was a VERY depressing and oppressive place and returning to it tonight to pick up Hannah's painting was horrid. I HATE THAT HOUSE. I was SO glad we wrapped it last night. The scenes are HEAVY and if it wasn't for the spirit of our Christian friends and crew, I don't think I could have made it.
THE 70’s house. Deliver us from evil.
Jason showed up tonight and went over and did even more cleaning. We have to take all the props out next week and I'm considering just blowing it up and being done. It was PERFECT for the scenes but that's where any goodness ends, in my non-humble opinion. Thank goodness for redemption and beauty in the movie!
We also wrapped the coffee house scenes today and are VERY GRATEFUL to those of you who were able to make it to serve as extras. We also had a few people off the street and ended up having just what we needed. I think we ended up with about 30 extras which was amazing. And Pam and Karla just put up with us when Kim and I yelled at them to "hurry and run and get 40 lbs. of ice and three flats of water!!!" And they did and kept people from falling into dead heaps in the hot room. Karla, I thank you profusely for helping with food and you, too, Diane, and for cleaning Jeff's house when the rest of us vanished suddenly like it was the rapture.
Tomorrow we need fresh extras to walk the sidewalk scenes in downtown Fresno at Tulare and "O" streets. If you were in today's scenes you could be in these as well because the coffee house has people who would be walking to it on these streets. I know many of you can't come due to prior commitments but don't stay away JUST because you think you couldn't be in these scenes, too. NOT TRUE! If you couldn't make it today and can help us out tomorrow, yahoo! Extras' call time is 7:00a.m. but if you can't get there until 8:00 you could probably fit in at the tail end. Many different days will be shot tomorrow. The one thing you won't see is ME there. Yes, I'm going to try out the theory of sleeping yet once again. I didn't melt down today but certainly glued together a few who did. We are keenly aware that our witness as Christians is key to those around us who are hurting and in need. We want to be there for them so please pray that we meet the challenge and show kindness, patience, and love to them and each other. Long days and little rest bring all emotions to the surface - tears or anger. I even saw the veneer crack on one of the most stalwart so - hello - the world is tilting on its axis. Pray that this doesn't cause yet more climate change and that Al Gore doesn't feel compelled to make a sequel movie.
Okay. That's it. I'm going to bed and I'm putting my daughter in Reginia's capable hands. Please pray for me, and Hannah, because I have to call work for her tomorrow and let them know that she will be gone another week. I don't expect that will be happy news for them but shooting will continue through Wednesday and then the child must rest or her work will be the least of our worries. Please pray that she will still have a job and that, if not, another one will open up. God is in control. The kids feel that the message of the movie is too important a ministry to fail to finish it now.
We love you and are completely befuddled as to why you love us!
The Cast and Crew of the S.S. Minnow who thought we were signing on to a three hour tour but then the "weather started getting rough."
7-25-10 2:35 A.M.
Well ya and HOO, I'm on vacation! Thanks to Reg, I got six hours of sleep last night and found out we have Sunday off. We all look so burnt but Rod officially wins the "Most Sleep Deprived" contest. I hope he gets some serious sleep tonight because, as per his routine, when we leave at ridiculous hours, he's STILL there. I know he'll be busy readying the grip truck tomorrow for the return to L.A. on Monday. That doesn't mean we're done - just that the rental time is expired. The schedule is now to continue Monday night with the prom scene and wrapping Tuesday night or Wednesday morning - not sure.
7-27-10 2:47 A.M.
Just another day in paradise. Why does nothing move at a normal speed with any of this? We hit the ground running, trip, skin our knees, and then Marie hits her head and goes to emergency. You better be okay, Marie! Your daughter had her big debut tonight and did a GREAT job opposite our lead, Cameron. You will love this. She even slapped him!
Hey, on a far more practical note.....we have LOST a shirt of Cameron's. He last wore it at the Revue on Saturday. It's a dark green, long sleeved cotton shirt, in case anyone inadvertently picked it up in the mad dash to exit. I wasn't there as I was taking Jessica (our adult Anna) back to her house and I missed all the wildness to get out of there. But it's gone and we need it in a scene in a few hours. If anyone has been wondering where in the heck they got this green shirt, please call or text Shaun or Hannah. Thank you! It's pivotal.
Thanks to our well-worn friends for showing up with your sons and daughters to play in our prom scene. It was awesome and I think it turned out well. The girls were beautiful and the guys handsome. The highlight of the night was seeing Evan and Shaun crammed into one toilet stall in the girls' bathroom with a camera above their heads. This falls into the category of "things you can't imagine yourself saying." And I have photographic evidence.
Rod got the equipment returned to L.A. today and was still at the church when I left with Hannah for Easton at 1a.m. We headed out to see if someone left that green shirt out there. Unfortunately, that was a wasted trip and it wasn't there. We did manage to keep the 70's house still in tact today and good thing we did. It turns out the DO need to film a scene there tomorrow. You KNOW I can't wait to get back in there. I'm wearing my garlic and a cross.
Okay. I'm headed to the barn for my well deserved two hours of sleep. We're due at the Rocca compound at 6:00a.m. I'm thinkin' with this missing shirt and no sleep everyone should be in a great mood. I don't think Hannah's going to bed. She has decided to give up and just stay up and work. Not me. Two hours is better than no hours.
Please pray for our last day and for the discovery of the SHIRT!
7-28-10 12:34 A.M. (I never realized this was the time. My favorite numbers on the clock.)
"And it's a wrap!" Shaun uttered those beautiful words tonight after the last scene was shot in front of the Revue. I can actually sleep, lay in bed and think about sleeping, lay in bed and think about whether or not I WANT to sleep. Sleep and I are going on a romantic getaway wherein I snore, drool, and wear my rattiest t-shirt and sleep thinks I'm the bomb. Of course, I AM, but it's nice to be appreciated for my TRUE talents.
Since we lived, I have to say this has been one of the MOST interesting and educational weeks of my life. I have gotten to meet some awesome people who will be long remembered. Henry, our audio genius, and Evan, our miracle working cameraman, have been dubbed St. Henry and St. Evan for their grace under fire. They worked in deplorable conditions of heat, being cramped and nearly standing on their heads sometimes, and kept hours a soldier fighting for his life shouldn't endure, but did they ever snap at anyone, anytime? Nope. Not even once. They smiled and brought grace and humor to every situation. I am richer for having known them. It is said you meet yourself in adversity and find out who you really are. We met Evan and Henry, too, and they never changed.
Most of us wore multiple hats and Angela Aro, (plays Cameron's wife), was amazing. She did makeup, hair, set dressing, and even helped run audio in a pinch. We quickly discovered there wasn't much she couldn't do and she was frequently called on to do it all. Jessica (our older Anna) smiled and gave many much needed hugs and words of encouragement as well as bringing her whole SELF into her role. She brought Anna to life and let us see Anna's pain. What an actress! Jason (older Cameron) was the king of patience. He put up with our seemingly endless wardrobe issues and was always willing to go along and do whatever without ANY complaint. Last night his suit/tux was not forthcoming and he was willing to be in anything we offered. Fortunately, St. Henry lived right nearby and came back with a gorgeous suit, three shirt choices, and ties. They fit Jason perfectly. But I think my most heart-rending moment came tonight as I packed Emma's (young Anna) wardrobe items away. Many of these were purchased for her at thrift stores and were done on the fly, in a rush, and in an effort to achieve a certain look. As I looked at outfits she had worn again and again, I realized the hard paper tags with the staples they put in at the thrift store had never been taken out. Most kids don't want a REGULAR clothing tag rubbing against them and she wore her wardrobe with these mean things attached and scratching against her neck. I was horrified but she never complained ONCE. We were all blown away by how professional and cooperative she was in every scene. And only nine-years-old. As Hannah said, it will be fun to say they were the first ones to get her in a major role at such a young age. We all see her going very far.
Harriet and Bob, Rod's parents, were the best hosts we could ever have asked for and served as ground zero for all of our flurry of activity. They would give you the shirt off their backs, and nearly did. And the dear woman makes LACE! I turned a corner tonight and saw her in her chair crocheting the finest lace I've ever had the privilege of seeing. Lace making is nearly a lost art. And, of course, she dismisses it as "no big deal." She didn't even get flustered about us taking M.A.N.Y. lovely family heirlooms out of her house and just smiled when we brought them back in. No angst over whether they were alright or not. Just grace and faith and warm, reassuring smiles.
I got to visit the 70's house twice today. The first time I realized it had been torn apart before the kids were done shooting it. Knowing the house, it probably accomplished this on its own. The second time, I had to retrieve some things and it bit me and gouged my arm. Yes, I DID forget the garlic and my cross. I even took Annalise and Hunter but they couldn't save me. They did help me get out fast, though, before it absorbed me into the abyss. Reg and Christy are headed in there in the morning. Don't be fooled, ladies. It is not tamed or intimidated by the light of day. There will be one more visit as I go in to clean. Somebody tie a rope to my leg.
Thank you to our wonderful caterer for the week, our own Kim. Nobody goes anywhere or does anything without water and good food and she supplied plenty of both as well as treats for motivation. It kept me from having to cook the whole time and I AM GRATEFUL. Not that I COULD have cooked. I can't find my kitchen. For that matter, I can barely find the house. It looks like 10 frat boys live here and are using it as a flop house. All we've done is grab and go and then run in and dump everything. Maybe that's why I detest the 70's house so much. Reminds me too much of home.
Thanks to all of you for sticking with us through this whole thing. You've been kind, motivational, self-sacrificing, and WILLING. We do COMPLETELY understand, though, if we call you and you have disconnected your numbers with no forwarding. I will now be entering the "phone silence" zone as I unplug and turn-off. I've gotta run. Sleep wants me and I hate to keep such a hot date waiting.
With Love and Many Thanks from the Young and the Restless (Hannah) and the Old and the Breathless.
The End FOREVER.
Friday, August 13, 2010
Kim couldn’t make it this night so I stepped in first with this post:
Hello and Goodnight!
I canNOT tell you how much you all mean to all of us. I'm not feeling deeply appreciative because I'm rummy and it's late. I am simply keenly, KEENLY aware how all of this could not take place without support. Diane has worked BEYOND BELIEF and brought her three fantastic helpers with her to try and ready our 70's house (NO SMALL FEAT!!!!!) She has personally sewed and covered our windows and OH SO MUCH MORE. Marie, Jason, and Samantha showed up tonight just when we desperately needed fresh horses to help us complete the impossible. Tim smiled and did everything he was supposed to in all the scenes today. Teresa made us look beautiful with hair and make-up and encouraged us with words and laughs and when she had to leave, Maddie, another angel of mercy showed up and stayed longer than we could have ever expected. Her presence encouraged our main actress, Jessica, and Angela, another AMAZING assistant. Yesterday was emotionally wracking for Jessica and today was even harder on only two hours of sleep (very heavy scenes). Claire and Eli were wonderful extras and Eli's goofballing kept one of our crew quite entertained as she watched him in the monitor. Christy and Randy were everywhere all at once and brought Katie's Mustang, and Katie!, and drove in our pick-up scene. Karla Baker helped Kim with food and kept us all smiling with her beautiful, bright face. And she also saved my make-up by escorting me to the walk-in fridge (axe included in case she locked me in!). :) Christina brought us FOOD and smiles and hugs. Reginia helped corral and feed the masses and gave us her INCREDIBLE Nacoya to be Hannah's Personal Assistant (NO.SMALL.JOB.!) Lori Myers has shopped for us on a ONE MINUTE notice and is filling our 70's house extra room with her moving boxes. (Thank you for moving, Lori and Mark!). And I know ALL of you are praying for us because I can't tell you the miracles of crew and help and amazingness (not a word) that take place daily. If I'm missing anyone I apologize but throw myself on your mercy as you consider my sad mental state. THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!
Please continue to pray for Shaun and Hannah. They had an hour-an-a-half sleep last night and five hours tonight will seem like a lot compared to that but it's not nearly enough. Sleep is the most desperately needed thing. Our first call is at 5:30 tomorrow morning - wait, that's later THIS morning - out at Harriet and Bob's. I am headed to the 70's house and could use any and all help getting it ready to start set-ups by 10a.m. These are our needs:
I need one person to pick up boxes from Lori M. - on her front porch - and have them to us by 8:30 for staging.
I need someone to shop for groceries - I need a few boxes of non-descript cereal, a half gallon of milk, instant coffee, loaf of bread, peanut butter, some bananas, lettuce, a watermelon. Just stuff to stick in the fridge (and maybe lunch box) that won't violate Trademark laws.
I need silverware but can probably borrow some from Harriet. I need an old rug for in front of the kitchen sink.
I need someone who can pick up photos - or take a cruiser - to a Walgreen's, etc. and get photos developed in an 8x10 format and stuff them into cheap looking black or wood frames and have them to the 70's house by 10:00a.m. Hannah will send them wherever you tell her to and you can pick them up and by cheap, ugly drug store frames.
Rod, please bring your pants and not the ones you're wearing! The 34's are the ones.
We need an old nightgown - like a sleeveless one, nylon, from the 70's like our mother's wore. We need 80's paraphernalia for a teenage wall if anyone has anything like that. We also need a couple of old robes to choose from - I mean ratty - and/or house dresses or mumu-type things for our depressed mom.
As you can see, a few things have hit us suddenly and we'll do the best we can. I will be available by phone from 5:30 on if anyone wants to call me and can take care of any of these needs. I will be at the 70's house or running around like a crazy woman somewhere.
Thanks again and finally I say, goodnight!
Yours truly in my scene with our actor, Michael Barnard (who just this week landed work with a brand new tv series! Congrats, Michael!). This is not a “star is born moment” for ME - only the heat from the star and the sweat that accompanied it in my mom’s old car with no a.c.! But even worse was Henry, our Audio Engineer (front center, kneeling). Right after this he had to crawl in the BACK seat without even the benefit of an open window (and it was over 100 degrees that day), and mic the scene while he nearly laid on the floorboards. He never stopped smiling and being pleasant, however. He’s now known as St. Henry.
Angela, our all around cowgirl who could do ANYTHING, and did, entertains our kid-extras between filming scenes:
Reginia, our sweet and thoughtful friend, pictured here with Kim, getting ready for the feeding frenzy:
Diane, our “point me in the direction and I’ll do it gal,” gets her hair done for her scene as an 80’s teacher extra, by our smiling and joking hairdresser and friend, Teresa, who kept us laughing (as did her funny guy, Eli – see below). Diane was in character because she IS a teacher – both public school and as a homeschooling mom. This prep is probably the longest she got to sit down all week. I lovingly call her Mary Poppins because she can pull ANYTHING out of that bag of hers!:
See? And we LOVED her 80’s glasses!
Annalise, Angie, and Hannah, and I decide what’s needed to dress our school room. One of the many hats several of us wore as the “Art Department.” Hannah squeezed this moment in between her Assistant Director duties – WHICH.WERE.MASSIVE.
Another fabulous make-up artist, our dear Maddie, gets the kids ready. The boys just, uh, LOVED this. This is Andrew, Diane’s son, getting the old “brush off:”
Tim gets the same treatment. Don’t smile too much, Eli. You’re next!:
Marie, (Tim’s mom), and Gretchen, both dear friends, were ready, willing, and able. Gretchen was an extra (teacher) and loaned us her children, and Marie and her husband, Jason, tore apart sets and came at the drop of a hat – oh, and ALSO loaned us their children! Both their older kids are in our prom scene:
I had to throw this one in because it still amazes me:
Hunter (my son) should NEVER have a megaphone. This is Ben, one of his best friends and Diane’s oldest son. He and Hunter learned Grip duties all week and were GREAT hands (without the megaphone):
Melissa, Kim’s oldest daughter, in 80’s garb for a driving scene. This girl saved my feet. More on that later:
Christy, The COOL!, ready for her driving scene in her 60’s Mustang:
And finally, the legs and feet of the Assistant Director and Director. They were also part of the Art Department the night before and Hannah’s still wearing it. Check out the feet as well. My dirty little girl. Hey, showers are for people who have time on their hands:
I’m sorry I’m not visiting all of you right now. I can’t tell you how crazy it’s been here. I’m too busy telling you how crazy it was during filming! I’m finishing THIS post at just past 2:00a.m. I will sleep after surgery. For three weeks.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
The office scene was shot on the first day and here we are planning and strategizing a million things that were incredibly important so, of course, I can’t remember what they were. Check out the intensity on all the faces, though – even the little ones. And Nacoya with the pressed cheeks? Priceless. (That’s my head right over Hannah’s – on the far right - and that’s our dear Kim right over me. She needs to start a blog – in her spare time. Okay, Kim, stop laughing!)
Ready, willing, and ABLE. Our FAITHFUL friend, Diane (center) was always there and did anything and everything asked. She brought her kiddos, too, Andrew (left) and Emily (to her immediate right – Ben isn’t pictured here). On the far right is Kim’s daughter, Annalise, who was an AMAZING right arm to me the whole time. That girl can do anything. I’d steal her in the middle of the night but Kim would know where to look.
Here she is in action:
Hannah has a moment:
Nacoya, her friend and Production Assistant Extraordinaire, does too. I love the “ARE you KIDDING me?” face.
Zeina with Miss Emily, (another of Kim’s daughters) prove there were moments of levity:
Amid the brevity:
Setting up the office shot – Evan (center), our Genius Cameraman and Chief Lighting Technician, should have run, right here at this point, while there was still time to save himself from endless days and sleepless nights.
Evan’s closest friend. Not the pretty blonde (Hi Susan!), the camera.
Matt (left) and Hannah knew each other from school. They didn’t know they’d be working together until they met on set. Matt was a very capable and intuitive Grip (Key Grip? Best Boy? Best Dancer? – I can never keep all these terms straight) who also stuck with us nearly 24/7.
And, of course, there was John (Grip? Key Grip? Best Boy? Boy Wonder?) who, along with Evan’s deadpan looks, kept us laughing when he wasn’t suffering from heat stroke. (I have a better picture, John, but your underwear was showing. You're welcome.)
And finally, there was our beautiful Jessica, who played the adult “Anna.”
I skipped out to a doctor’s appointment I couldn’t miss and frantically called my aunt to come down and play an extra in the office scene. She heard my desperation and agreed and was there in 45 minutes. Because I was gone, there is no picture of her but we’ll see you in the movie, Aunt Sandy. I heard you were terrific!
Kim wrapped up our day for us again and I tagged on:
Hello to everyone,
Well, we survived the first day with only a few mishaps and some very important lessons:
Lesson #1 - NEVER leave home without your cell phone charger. By the end of the day, Rodric, Robynn, and myself all had dead/dying cell phones. Only my husband thought to bring the car charger for his phone:) We have all been constantly on the phone! Some of you may have been relieved when mine and Robynn's no longer had battery power:)
Lesson #2 - When using an unfamiliar oven, do NOT leave to go shopping at Costco and assume that all will be well. I did and it was not.
I popped my frozen lasagnas in the church oven and went to buy more groceries. While out, I called my dear friend Diane to check on their progress. She did not have the heart to tell me that they had BURNED to a crisp in WAY less time than the directions stated. Thank goodness for DaVinci's pizza!
Lesson #3 - Never underestimate the power of a good sense of humor which allows you to laugh at unforeseen problems instead of losing it! (although I did have a momentary lapse over the lasagna - ask Diane).
So, as I type, work is still going on in Easton. I managed to get Emily and Callie to bed by 10:15, but the rest of my family has yet to return. I decided against baking, so if anyone wants to contribute dessert tomorrow night, it is all yours!
Thank-you to Reginia for giving me the laugh of the day when I saw you in that wonderful little short, ruffled skirt (I never did find out where it came from) because you had to give our actress your business casual pants.
As Robynn said, you literally gave the clothes off your behind for the movie - lol!
If any of you have the time or desire to be an extra, I believe Robynn sent out the complete schedule. If you prefer behind the scene help set dressing, or even just want to drop off cookies or a bag of chips, let one of us know.
Thanks so much for your incredible love, prayers, help, and friendship. I'm going to bed now!
Once again, AMEN to all that KIM said! I never knew this fat old lady could still move and groove this fast and this long but maybe it's just my swan song.
Shaun, Hannah, Annalise, Melissa, Ryan, Rod, and I all worked out at the Easton house until about 20 minutes ago. Miraculously, no one is yelling at each other even though we are bleary eyed with exhaustion. Rod will be laying carpet in the mock-up apartment in way too few hours. The camera crew shows up at 8:00. We need the twin bed brought over from the 70's house in the morning. We have a table but could use a chair and maybe a little side table (fairly modern - this scene takes place in the here and now). We need someone who might be willing to just see to it that it looks like she lives there, though it is supposed to be pretty sparse. The kids are MASSIVELY busy trying to coordinate the actors and crew and the other nine million things that throw a monkey wrench in the works on a daily basis so they can't set design at the same time. It probably doesn't sound like it would be much but you honestly have to see it to believe the energy and logistics of this whole thing.
I will be out at my mom's collecting items for the 70's house and cannot be in Easton until later in the afternoon because of that. I had planned to do it today but was drafted into service at People's for today's work. Tomorrow I will get a gun and shoot my phone so it ACTUALLY dies!
We appreciate all that has been done for us and with us and are frankly amazed that we still HAVE any friends. Please pass the word about the extras needed and the mid-80's and before cars that are needed on Wednesday morning. THANK YOU!
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Hi All! Many of you seemed interested in our behind-the-scenes communiqués that went forth each night after long days of filming, or set dressing, or planning, or all of the above. My daughter, Hannah (Bo), and her friend, Shaun, created this project. Shaun had the concept and approached Hannah nearly a year ago about working with him and, perhaps, writing it, though he thought he wanted to give that a try first. They are both proud geeks who love the creative and technical aspects of all that would be involved. Shaun realized writing wasn’t his first passion – but he LOVED the technical and directorial aspect of the work. Consequently, he asked Hannah to write the story, screenplay, and be Assistant Director. The film is now in post-production and that is a creative, lengthy, and intense process in itself, though it doesn’t take nearly as many bodies to make it happen. Logistically, it’s more manageable but it is an expensive process and incredibly key to telling the story the way both of these young people want to see it told.
And did I ever learn a lot about making a film. I will NEVER watch a movie the same way again. This is especially true where my own efforts were concentrated: consulting, set-dressing (exciting and horrible work when you’re on a tiny budget and an even tinier time frame), caring for actors, finding movie extras and extra crew to help out, photography, planning/coordinating, and chauffeuring. And did I mention wardrobe nightmares, not just for me but for anyone who was turned to and asked, “Where’s the (fill-in-the-blank)!? Who knew wardrobe should actually be a SERIOUSLY assigned job (it was technically assigned to no one and everyone) because outfits have to reappear in subsequent scenes? I do wardrobe at home. It involves telling kids to put on whatever’s fairly clean and hasn’t been walked on, that much. That doesn’t work on a movie set. Who knew? You WILL drive all over town to look for ONE item that someone may have inadvertently taken home because its loss changes everything and you will have complete and utter cardiac failure over that small fact.
It also dawns on me now why movies cost approximately eight trillion dollars to produce. They actually hire individual people to carry out EACH job that needs doing so that it can be done well. Most people involved in THIS project did at least ten different things, like my dear friend Kim, Shaun’s mom, who was and is the CFO and ultimate caterer, telephone operator, chauffeur, last-minute-change facilitator, wardrobe consultant and gatherer, and stand-in actress for running lines (along with more things than anyone will ever know), and also mother of five children who have OTHER lives and activities they are involved in other than THE film.
Our days were long and many of us worked 20-21 hours a day, and that’s not even hyperbole. And most of us worked for free. And I’m talking seriously professional people (well, apart from ME) who are actually and usually PAID, really WELL, for the services they render in these capacities. But they all loved the project, the film, the statement it makes, the people involved, and well, being able to say they survived. If we were Navy Seals, this would have been “hell” week and we would now be able to swim to Antarctica and rescue everyone stationed there whether they want to be rescued or not. Instead, when we were done, we went to bed, thereby proving that we are NOT Navy Seals.
So, here we go. The first letters are pretty straightforward but they digress as the week, and the hours they were written, progresses. I will include some pics from the set, too, starting with the next letter.
The first part is a letter from Kim, Shaun’s mom, that I tagged on to and that’s how this daily mail got started that went out to each friend who volunteered to help or was interested (they all regret that now). I’m including Kim’s letter because, a. She’s a good writer. b. I can. c. She captures our sense of desperation and utter reliance on God and his provision. And he DID provide in HUGE ways, not the least of which was: NO.ONE.GOT.SICK.OR.INJURED. Amazing.
Sent: Sunday, July 18, 2010 11:11 PM
Subject: ready to roll (almost)
Well, it's been a very busy week-end with both major progress and setbacks, but God is in control and we will start cameras rolling tomorrow!
Rod and Annalise arrived home shortly after midnight (from Hollywood – editor’s note) on Friday with all of the equipment and Rod's brother Russell went to LA for us today to get the camera (thank goodness for family!). We had our first cast and crew gathering tonight, complete with a read-through, and had a great time getting acquainted. God has brought a lot of really great, talented people our way!
We are still trying to dress a house for the 1970's, but have until Thursday to do so. An area where I will need help in is with food.
I need desserts every day and salads, too. Wednesday we will have our largest cast (50-60) including children and extras for a school scene. One of us can pick up anything you'd like to prepare. If any of you, or your kids, would like to be extras, let us know. We need extras on Wed, Friday and Saturday. Contact Robynn or myself and we'll give you the specifics.
Again, thanks so much for your love and support. Please pray for open doors and a chance to share God's love with those we're working with.
THEN I TAGGED ON:
Yes and AMEN! to all that Kim said. We do need our friends! Kim and Rod have all this going on IN their home and at every home of every relative they've ever had, I'm pretty sure. Tomorrow, Reg and I (and you, too, Diane?) will be out in Easton at the house that will be used for the 70's scenes. I need someone, probably a couple of someone's, to contact Lori M. and pick up empty boxes they have left over from moving. Tim, we need two 8 ft. tables from the church if we could borrow them. We need them out at the Easton house if anyone can pick them up and deliver them. (Call Kim or Rod for address and directions.) If anyone has items (maybe from our parents' houses?) - I know I'm tapping my mom - from the 60's/70's era - clothing, bedding, magazines, paperbacks, pictures for the wall, dishes, curtains, nick nacks, rugs, lamps, etc. we are in desperate need of them. They will all be returned within a week. We also need 80's clothing if anyone's still hangin' on to that jacket with the shoulder pads and the dresses with the big belts!
The days are long and the eyes and shoulders of the parents of this team are droopin'! It's FAST AND FURIOUS! But if you can help in any way with food or know other friends who might be willing to lend a hand as an extra or just because they want to help, I don't think we can have too many at this point.
A shooting schedule will be forthcoming tomorrow so you will know where to go and when, when it works for you. Just for fun, plan to come by and see at least one scene being shot. The camera and crew and equipment are pretty amazing. (The Writer and Director aren't too bad, either!)
THANKS TO ALL OUR FRIENDS FOR YOUR LOVE, SUPPORT, AND PRAYERS!
Monday, August 2, 2010
Before I proceed with the filming posts, I know I'm overdue posting Bo's last painting. I showed you her hands while she was working on it in this post My Own O'Keefe back in May. Sorry to be ridiculously late getting the finished product up.
It’s hard to picture the size dimensions here but the painting is 3ft x 4ft. She has the side edges to finish, unless she decides to frame it, and she’s not sure yet so she’s punting. And maybe it's because there was the screenplay to write for the film and her other duties on set. Finishing the edges of her painting so I could post it here hasn’t moved to the top of her priority list. Consequently, I’m going ahead and putting it up in all its edgeless glory.
But I LOVE it. It makes me happy every time I look at it. She had taken a picture of an iris (she also loves photography) and then brought the colors up and out on the computer. She liked the photo so much it inspired her to try and paint what she saw. The orange that appears in the center of the painting (which in its own way seems random) was absolutely present and exquisite in the photo, too.
Yep. Love my girl.
But she leaves me to go to the dorms in a few weeks. College is starting again. And she doesn’t even try and ACT sad. In fact, she reeks of happiness and exudes an effusively ebullient demeanor (I have now satisfied my big word quota of the month). She did casually add while we were out shopping on my birthday, “I’ll probably miss you guys.” Probably? That actually made me laugh right out loud. “Come on now, Ms. Bo, don’t go gettin' all sentimental and SAPPY on me. A mother can only take so much gushing.” That’s okay. I was nineteen once, I'm pretty sure. I know you’ll come home. I’m holding your painting hostage. Yeah, you'll miss THAT.