Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Fifth Shoot.

We shot with Steampunk Legend Jake Hildebrandt (pictured above) on Saturday. Tom's uncle, Mike Brennan, was kind enough to let us shoot at his collision shop, B & K Collision. Dearbornites might recall that B & K has sponsored the annual homecoming ceremonies and fireworks several times over the last few years.

So it wasn't completely surprising to us when Mayor Jack O'Reilly showed up. I mean, it was still totally random-- one minute we're shooting, the next minute we look out at the parking lot and there's the Mayor on his cell phone.

Between takes, Mary went out to chat with him-- they had been neighbors growing up, and of course, since Tom ran against Mayor O'Reilly in the 2007 Special Election, he knew who we were.

Because both Steampunk Legend Jake Hildebrandt and Tom are employed as part-time civil servants, and because the local newspaper recently printed some rather troubling remarks about the future of our department that someone is purported to have overheard the Mayor say at a rotary club, Jake suggested we "Michael Moore" the Mayor and ask him to set the record straight on camera. Tom declined.

During one the takes, the Mayor and Uncle Mike stood outside the building, chatting indistinctly, occasionally laughing boisterously, no doubt unaware that our mike could pick them up as background noise. Amusingly, a number of technical errors resulted in only one usable take-- which was, you guessed it, the one guest-starring Mayor Jack O'Reilly and Mike Brennan as Background Laughing Guy Numbers One and Two, respectively.

Now, we had promised some screen-grabs from our January shoot, and intending not to disappoint, here they are. This was the scene that introduced David Schonscheck's character.

Friday, March 19, 2010


So, it's been awhile. From technical issues to personal issues to scheduling conflicts, we haven't shot a lick since January. We have, however, been preparing-- trying to firm up some actors, locations, props and effects, revising portions of the script, lots of stuff. We've been busy but we haven't felt particularly busy, and as two people who need to keep busy to ward off bouts of moodiness and depression, it's been a hell.

But! On Friday, we had a shoot and a rehearsal. In less than twelve hours, we'll be shooting another scene, one that functions as a sort of experiment in comedy, using obscenely long pauses between each character's lines of dialogue as our main joke. We've been looking forward to this one for a while.

We cut together today's shoot shortly thereafter. Running under the opening credits, it's an audio-only sex scene. The first cut of it ran about a minute and twelve seconds, the last cut under a minute. Usually, we're the sort that's shameless about extending a moment, drawing it out-- we are, after all, the people who made Son of a Seahorse, which starts with a 22 minute phone conversation-- but this particular sequence needed to be compact and tight.

We're getting better at this, better at making these kind of precise decisions, more confident in our abilities as filmmakers, more comfortable with making comedies and entertainments instead of genre-less drama-comedy-slice-of-life stuff. Experimental in some aspects, yes, highly personal and idiosyncratic, certainly, but still comedies, still unafraid to embrace punchlines, sight gags, and surprises.