So, we got up around 5:00 a.m., packed the cars with the equipment and headed to the Cinema Cafe where all but one page of the script were to be shot.
In tow were my wife, Dea, my kids, DC and Gabe, as well as my daughter’s dear friend, Mary, who had spent the night so she could be ready on time.
Before leaving the house we stopped, got in a circle and prayed that we would be honoring and serving the Lord with our work today. That our message, our story would speak His truth and that the Holy Spirit would use our work to His advantage. And, I offered the challenge of shooting so many pages in such a short period of time to the Lord. After all, he controls time… if he wants to bend it on our behalf, who am I to argue?
My wife picked up bagels and we waited patiently outside of the Cinema Cafe for the owner to arrive. He arrived around 7:10 a.m… ten minutes! We lost ten minutes! Ugh. The weight of each second burdened me.
We all trudged the equipment into theater #2 and setup the first shot, an establishing shoot of Brian as Stephen, the comedian, entering “Club God.”
Dea on Set
We were going to shoot in chronological order… it was the most efficient shooting process and allowed us to keep track of just how long we had to go.
I asked Mary to alert me of every half-hour that had passed, so we would know just how little time was left. I trimmed the already limited amount of shots down to a fewer, more encompassing number of shots.
Brian and John rehearse
The day flowed very well. The actors, reveling in the longer takes, were allowed to explore subtle, humorous layers within their performances. It also allowed us to check off large chunks of the script at a time.
The biggest challenge that morning was a nearby refrigerator that rattled loudly when it turned on. At one point we were a little ahead of schedule when the clanking began. In the hopes that it would turn off soon, we used the time to block and rehearse the remainder of film. Eventually the rattling stopped and we continued on at a very brisk pace.
The day continued along, again, with the feeling of the wind on our backs. Even faced with using light setups we’ve never used and having to copy off the captured footage onto a laptop and backup drive, which we never had to do before… in spite of all of that, we miraculously finished the shooting at the Cinema Cafe with 10 minutes to spare. Ten minutes to spare!
Fourteen pages in four hours doesn’t even fit into the category of “challenge” to the Creator of the entire universe.
God was good to us this day!
After re-packing the cars we said a fond farewell to John and his family as they went off to enjoy the rest of their day… a well-earned bonus for having invested the gas and time to drive all this way just to make this film.
The next stop for us was to shoot between 12:00 and 3:00 p.m. at a local school that had a large stage at one end of their gymnasium.
One page to shoot in three hours? That’d be effortless, right? With plenty of time to spare, right?
Well, thats’ what we thought…