Day 1 of Shooting Trailer: Pizza, Emotional breakdowns and Chasing the sun


Andrew in emotional/physical agony in a crucial scene.

Sat. 12/21/13

One thing’s for certain, this ten-fifteen minutes late thing with me was solved with call time for shooting at my house being at 9:00 a.m. Matter fact, I served breakfast at 8 (No time to get distracted into anything else that early in the day). Andrew and everyone was on hand – almost everyone. Darlene, who had been hard to reach all week, was not in place as of 9:10. Her working nightshift and coming directly to shoot most likely has something to do with it (I’ve got some dedicated people).   This is was stressful because the whole day was about shooting Howard and Tiffany arguing, etc. (as you can see on the shooting schedule). She showed around twenty after. While she got fitted for her belly (I had to get one specially made for her so it wouldn’t look like a pillow stuffed under her shirt), I moved dining room tables and Christmas trees. Meka was out at the library. Ashanti was about to head for work. All I had to do was keep Amiri quiet for the duration. You figure “how hard could it be to keep an eight year quiet for the better part of 5 hours,” right?

Hah! Anyway…

But wait, can’t even go there yet, because Ashanti’s car had been acting up the day before. It needed a tight fitting radiator cap. I had been all over town for that and a tail light covering, did all that so the next day of shooting would be carefree. So in the middle of shooting, he locks his keys in his car (and yes, his car was behind mine, so me pulling out for batteries or anything else was out of the question. I paid for it last time. I refused this time. They gotta learn the hard way – eventually.

So, while Amiri is threatening to get loud in the office on the computer, Ashanti’s in and out the front door – all of which is murder fir the audio. I realized so much about audio. We had to cut off the air conditioning, the refrigerator… pacemakers so that the boom mics wouldn’t pick up errant noise. I held the boom mic for a perfect take and ruined it because my wedding band brushed along mic’s pole. In the words of that psycho banger in the bathroom scene on Training Day: “This some trippy $hi+ homes.”

Never knew how many shots it took for a fluid scene. I know now. Andrew really brought it. He was emotionally distraught right when he needed to be. I mean dude got congested and everything. None of that dry, crocodile tear mess. Maybe the diary in the cheese pizza I ordered for everybody helped (gotta feed your people to keep them focused). All I know is his performance  changed the playful atmosphere. Meka walked in as he did the scene over. I was glad that she saw it. I wanted her to take what I was doing, what we all were doing, seriously.



I’m telling you, doing the slate to start takes is hard work. That damn thing doesn’t snap right every time.

Andrew demonstrated his dedication yet again when we went out for the jogging scene, when time was at a premium. The sun was falling quickly. We had little time to shoot what we would need. We hurried out to the edge of the subdivision with the camera mounted on the top of Fred’s sunroof car. With jogging being a metaphor for the things Howard has run away from dealing with in his life, Andrew ran a few miles after over 5 hours of shooting so we could film him and take pictures. And I mean running at a jog, full speed, collapsing in emotional distress in the grass. Cars and minivans were slowing down around the cameras. He was soaked with sweat.

We finished just as the sun went down. I felt accomplished. I have newfound respect for the filmmaking process.


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