This has been an insane experience. Today is our last day off – we film tomorrow and Thursday and then we’re wrapped. We’re almost wrapped! That’s an absurd thing right there to get to say and think about. There have been four hundred or so distinct moments when I thought this would continue happening forever. Production is insane. I’ve never had to think about so many things at once (god, costume continuity alone has given me a succession of minor panic attacks), think about feeding so many people for so many days, think about paying so many people for so many days. We’ve weathered bizarre plumbing emergencies. There was an accident to the cube truck that three different insurance companies have found a way to avoid paying for. The blizzard hit when we were meant to shoot a ton of exteriors. The location we shot in for Paul’s apartment was lost in a fire a few days ago. I was punched in the shoulder by a homeless veteran who hassled us on the street on the lower east side. I’ve definitely been yelled at on the phone at least seven times.
I mean it when I say that making this film is the hardest and best thing I’ve ever done. I look around at Serena and Dan and Alexis (not just them but especially, especially them) and think with gratitude that I am getting the chance to make this film, and that is a gift. When I look back on this, I know I won’t be thinking about the long hours or how cold I’ve been or how tired. I’ll think about the lunch break dance parties and crew code names. I’ll think about how many smart, talented people have come together over a script that fell out of my head. I will work with these people forever if I can.
This was taken yesterday by my very good friend Keith Goldberg. We had just filmed the last shot of the movie and Alexis and I are watching it back on the monitor to be sure we have it. Serena is on the right in her amazing hat that I covet. I look like a tenant farmer out of Grapes of Wrath. It seems to sum up everything.
So many people have demonstrated that they believe in the project. By giving to our funding campaign, by reading a draft (or six) of the script, by having drinks with me and saying that making a feature on our own is not a terrible idea. We wrap Thursday, I’ll sleep in on Friday for approximately 25 hours, and I expect to have a rough cut in a month. I can’t wait to edit a teaser.
I’m exhausted but buoyed by gratitude and excitement. Thank you for following this process.
I admit I’d hoped to be better at posting to this blog while we film. But it’s so overwhelming! We’ve had six shoot days, and hit our schedule each day and come home with footage that I think is amazing. I want to devote
the rest of my life many blog posts to the talent of the rest of the cast. And the attitude and ability of the crew. I’m floored and grateful and having the time of my life.
I’ve already started cutting it because I literally cannot resist. Here are some stills I’ve pulled.
Tomorrow is the first day of filming.
Yesterday my mom arrived to cook for the crew for the duration of production. I met with the costume designer, Lindsay Kleinman, and the two actors playing police officers for their costume fitting. Last night I rehearsed with three of the other actors and was reminded that they are not only so gifted (so, so gifted) but they’re all also perfectly cast. Today, Lindsay and I get to distress a batch of clothing and make two sweatshirts look bloody. Alexis and Serena are meeting with the Parks Department right now to secure our shooting locations next week.
This morning was the first time I woke up feeling excited and joyful and not just worried about all the things not yet done. The people around me are killing it. They’re extraordinary and kind and capable, so capable, and I’m feeling beyond grateful most especially for Lindsay and Sara Walsh (our miracle-producing production designer) and Dan Keezer (our intrepid AD, my sanity-maintainer) and Serena (who is getting shit done like nobody’s business) and Brendan Swift (our AC, who is also doing two hundred other necessary things with a smile and charm) and of course my husband, dear Alexis, who is going to shoot and direct the hell out of this movie.
It’s almost the day of the show y’all.