Sunday, March 24, 2013

Wacky Questions with Wackier Responses

It takes a lot for a film related question to make me blink. Last week, I was asked if I knew anyone that could give them a price on a cow milking machine rental. I barely raised an eyebrow. All I wanted to know was whether there were insurance issues (that would be who and/or what they planned on hooking to the machine). I never got any specifics on that question. Someone else found the answer. When these Q&A exchanges occur ringside on social media, I can almost feel the questions coming from family and friends back east. There is much in the way of incredulity and confusion. It's not the questions in and of themselves that cause those states. The lack of reaction confused them.

Filmmaking is full of questions. Three quarters of them are mundane – maybe even 80 percent. But much of filmmaking is telling stories of the out of the ordinary. That sort of task is bound to produce some really strange questions.

“Do current model cars have releases inside the trunk?” Jon asked me over dinner a couple of weeks ago. My life has been really dull of late. My kidnappings had dwindled down to nothing, so I had no idea. I was also puzzled about why Simon would need an escape latch to get out of the trunk. If Joe couldn't open it for him, something had gone terribly awry that would course Simon to burst from the trunk, sending it high in the air. He had something else in mind, it turned out. I asked one of our more mechanically inclined friends and occasional set elf, Randy. I was informed that recent makes of cars do have a release latch built inside the trunk. That caused me to wonder just how many kidnappings and/or really goofy accidents had been happening worldwide to cause such feature to be built into autos.

While Jon adjusted the script for the physically realities of current car trunks, I had questions I need to ask our insurance company and members of the cast. No matter how safe the car companies believe the release mechanisms are, insurance companies may still not like the idea of closing an actor in side a real trunk without a big premium to cover any problems. There weren't any. Next, I had to ask the actors if they minded us locking them in a car trunk. I ask actors lots of questions in the run up to a shoot. Those questions generally focus on the logistics of traveling to the location or whether or not they have food allergies or strongly held food preferences. There is nothing that will ruin morale on the set than getting the food wrong! Strangely, the question of whether an actor will go for nudity is decided long before any of these kinds of questions. I nudity is a problem that is not something a production needs to learn once pre-production or production has begun. Have we asked the nudity question in regard to Demonspawn? That would be a big spoiler, wouldn't it?

At any rate, I realized that I needed to ask that question of our current actors and for any ones we cast in major speaking roles. It was one fun email to write as I had to include assurances that none of this was for our own personal entertainment. It has been implied that some directors and producers enjoy doing things like hanging actors upside down and putting their heads in casts just because they can. We never do anything that isn't for the film. Fun is purely a coincidence.

The next set of questions I had to research was could we build a camera rigging that could move it through the car past the back seat back into the trunk. The rigging would have to be sturdy enough to keep the camera safe, have smooth movement and still be cheap. A few questions on the frugal filmmakers network of websites and youtube channels soon gave me a few PVC pipe related options. Those guys are awesome. Naturally, we will document the rig as we build it.

If you have any questions that you want to ask us, let us know!

1 comment:

  1. You realize of course, the *first* question most readers (on this blog, anyway) are going to want answered is regarding the nudity issue ; )

    Peace, Juli