...was a rough one. Our Monster was finally ready, and I was ready to put the thing in front of the camera and crank up some mayhem. I'd found the time to come up with a shot list, a pretty long one that was, in hindsight, way too ambitious.
Good news first -- the Monster looked great. Effects wizard Jonathan Thornton did an amazing job designing, sculpting, casting, and painting the Monster suit, and Trap Traffenstedt, the guy playing the Monster, was ready (as usual) to rock. Our first shot was a good one -- we'd managed to keep actress Melissa from seeing the Monster before rolling. First shot of the day is a slow zoom, Kubrick-style, in toward Melissa. The door to the room opens, Melissa sees the Monster for the first time, and we get her initial reaction on camera. Method acting for horror films.
After that, things slowed down considerably. We had trouble rigging a non-Monster effect -- Brad, Melissa's husband, came out to help us out of that jam. Another gag involved a closet with a fake floor that took longer to set up than expected. We found out that fake blood doesn't really read on our camera's black and white video tap, so we let a bloody, gooey shot go on for longer than necessary, which meant it took a lot longer to clean up the ensuing bloody, gooey mess. And it was hot, which made it tough on Mia, in full space suit, and especially Trap, who was covered in latex. The heat also made it hard for Jonathan to keep the latex attached to Trap. Sweat and effects adhesive don't mix, apparently.
So, at the end of a 16 hour day, we got maybe two minutes of usable footage in the can. The main lesson learned -- you gotta shoot your Monster, especially close-ups of your Monster, fast. Especially when you're shooting in Alabama in the summer time.
The other good news -- I think we finally got through shooting in Master Control, our main set up to this point. I hope we got everything we needed -- we spent Sunday afternoon breaking down that set and redressing it as the Meeting Room.
We'll be shooting the Meeting Room on Saturday. I have another big shot list for this weekend, but I hope it's a bit more realistic than last Saturday's.