Posts Tagged ‘Rehearsal’

And… scene

July 5, 2012 Comments off

Had a really good rehearsal today (last rehearsal – yay!) that I thought people might be interested in. We were going over the big “action” sequence of the film, which is a basketball game between Stephanie and her dad. Before you start to think “Father of the Bride,” think more like “Raging Bull.”  They play a little rough with each other.

In approaching the scene for rehearsal (and for eventually for filming), I treated it like any big action scene – I broke it into the smallest pieces I could. For this scene, each piece ended up being every basket (or attempt at a basket). We divided up a four page scene (without much dialogue) into seven pieces, then we staged each of those.  That kept each small piece as a manageable section – and makes it easier to do them all together when you only have to remember seven sections. The first is “fake out” the second is “fake and turn,” rather than remembering each moment of the whole scene in order. It also just makes it manageable for me!

I also got in touch with a basketball coach, (thanks, Natalie!) who helped me to choreograph the scene. We went over the scene previous to today (a little – not enough, if I’m gonna be honest), and Natalie helped me to keep it looking like an actual basketball game, when in reality it’s three theatre people pretending like they know how to play.

Because of our inexperience, we started rehearsal with some basics – how to throw, how to dribble, and how to shoot.  Then we took each piece of the scene at a time, made a LOT of adjustments to how it was written, and then put it all together.

We paid very little attention to the dialogue at first, the thought being that we’d get the blocking down, and then add the dialogue. That worked at first, but we needed to bring the dialogue in sooner than I anticipated so that the actors could get a sense of where they were in the scene.

But overall, it went really well – and just reaffirms my belief in whether I’m writing, rehearsing, filming, or editing, the solution is always to break what you’re working on into the smallest bits possible. Wrap your head around those small pieces, then use that understanding to make sense of the next larger pieces, and use that to make sense of the next larger, until you have a whole piece that can know at many levels.


9 Days to Production – Single Digits!

June 22, 2012 Comments off

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.


Countdown – 20 Days Till Production

June 11, 2012 Comments off

What a Weekend!

Just had our table read for Sympathy Pains, and man, do we have an awesome cast! It’s so cool to hear real people playing the voices in my head. Found some tweaks to be made, but overall, the script worked, and we got some really good laughs.

But seriously, casting is everything, and we’re loaded for bear.  Let the rehearsals begin!

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