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9 Days to Production – Single Digits!

June 22, 2012

Kat was telling me that I should be posting some of what’s happening in rehearsal and pre-production on Sympathy Pains, and of course, she’s right. And, look at me! I actually have a moment to do it in!

First off, I wanted to talk about a shot that Mike (my DP) and I were discussing. I’m a pretty simple storyteller. I don’t generally look for a bunch of complex shots that metaphorically tell the story. I let the actors and location and set design and sound do that. Not that shot selection isn’t important (it IS!), but that I generally look for a simple, straightforward way to tell the story through the angles.

As we were discussing a scene where Stephanie (who’s pregnant) is getting an amniocentesis, which involves a very long needle inserted into her belly, we were trying to figure out what the scene was about and how best to express it. What we realized was that, while visually interesting, the needle isn’t what the scene’s about – it’s about Danny and Stephanie, and what this test might mean to their future. The amnio tests for birth defects

We have a great set design team, who could make a fake needle for us, and we scheduled in a “belly double” who could stand in for Courtney, or actress, in a close-up of the belly and needle, but in the discussion, we decided to scrap all that. We don’t need it. What we need is a two-shot of our two leads, because that’s where the moment is. What’s it like to look into each others’ eyes and face the real possibility of your child having a serious problem. While getting a needle lodged into your stomach. It’s not about the needle, it’s about our characters. We’ll see if we made the right choice when we get into editing, but I feel confident that we did.

Moving to rehearsals – they’re going GREAT! We’re constantly ahead of schedule because our actors are knocking it out of the park! Wish I had stories, but they’re all just stories about people doing a good job, and those tend to be pretty boring.


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