After dragging myself out of bed at the ungodly hour of 5:30am, going through my morning ritual and then scuttling out into the darkness, I made the trek to the good ‘ole downtown Toronto. My destination was the Rock N’ Roll Diner at the corner of Gerrard and Yonge. After parking at the local ripoff..er, I mean – parking lot, I wandered over to the diner to meet the crew.
The flock of Ryerson Students were obviously tired, having arrived a couple hours previously to set up, but were obviously excited about getting this major project of theirs over with. I waited an additional hour while they made one more run back to their campus to get some extra materials like sandbags and XLR cables, but then we got rolling.
The premise of the short film is a teenage girl meeting her father at a diner, and them having a bit of a strained discussion about the merits of drinking Water over Coke. My character ordered water and food, the girl (Jane) ordered Coke only. I tell her that I think drinking Coke is unhealthy. Mind you the fact I also ordered a huge greasy burger and chili cheese fries makes my point kind of moot. The actual backstory is that the father took off seven years previously, and is only now trying to become part of the girls life again. She resents him for what he did, and for the fact he tries to be paternal when obviously he’s lost the knack and perhaps even the right on how to do that. This backstory is never discussed in the movie, but when you apply the knowledge of this to the lines in the script, everything ends up becoming a really cool metaphor.
I of course played the father, and a talented young girl with the cool name of Sarah Stunt played Jane. There is a third performer in the movie, a waitress, but you never see her face. A lady named Rose played that role.
We shot a few scenes in the morning: all of the scenes with the waitress, camera angles of us individually with a sideview, and a full wide shot of the entire production for reference. We then broke for lunch, and walked over to Pitman Hall for some Pasta and Caesar Salad. Yes, plenty of Coke and Water were provided. When we returned to the shoot, we went right into some different POV shots for different areas of the script, and then we got to the fun part. I end up having a certain dark beverage thrown at me. Two shots of that from different angles, and then I was wrapped. All in told, it was just less than a nine hour day, which really isn’t all that bad for a short film.
The crew were fun to work with (I’ll only post their first names in case of confidentiality concerns). Megan was great as a director, and Jennifer as producer played this fine line between commander and comic relief throughout the day. As Cinematographer, Kendra had a fun bubbly energy which is common in the professional industry…so I see her going far. Ezra and Dylan handled the sound and boom as well as they could in a little diner along a busy roadway (“Was that a truck?”), Judith was the Gaffer (“Don’t touch the lights, they’re hot!”), Kim handled the slate. And Amy…well, Amy was quiet and I never really got a chance to talk to her. She seemed to handle her job as Script Supervisor just fine.
I have pictures from the shoot that I will post when I get the chance. Just stuff from behind the scenes – nothing exciting.