Friday, June 24, 2011

Shoplifting from American Apparel Film Crew Shoots in Ohio & NYC: Film Stills and Brief Commentary

(Above: cast and crew peak around the corner for our pre-shoplifting scene "Three Stooges" stylee.)

I didn't get to post too much during our filming of SHOPLIFTING FROM AMERICAN APPAREL these last two weeks, so I'll just do a monster posting now with brief commentary.

I scream an improv song with friends.

We shot a scene where Brad and Jordan are drawing graffiti with chalk on some walls in Brooklyn. The NYPD showed up, so we had to clean up our mess pretty fast.

Drew asked if he could get a shot of the cops. I wanted it, but I didn't want to be so blatant. Luckily, Aaron ignored me when I said, "Don't film them!"

We did a reading/filming at Melville House. It was pretty fun, but, man, was I tired. The whole crew was ready to kill me. The night before Derek, our AD, said I was micromanaging way too much. I'm just glad this was the last night. I needed maybe three days of sleep. But I didn't kill anyone. That's a good thing. And no one killed me, so we survived.

We shot an impromptu performance with some people from Ohio. They managed to make a gripping scene in under an hour. I didn't even expect to get this scene, because we didn't have any actors for it. But these guys rocked it.

Mark Parsia (DRUNK GUY) and Daniel Genalo (SKINNY HISPANIC) square off in our first jail scene.

We came up with an additional bonus scene of flipping back and forth between Jordan Castro and Mallory Whitten playing two roles, and then putting in Brad Warner and Joan Wolkoff. I have no idea if this will work, but Steph, our editor, said she was excited about the idea.

Jordan Castro reads some of his poems at Melville House.

The people at Melville House were really chill. We had a good time drinking with them. We went to some dive bar called Pedro's down the street. It was fun to let loose after so many days of being tired. My friend, Kayvon, was even in town from Hong Kong, so there was a extra celebration besides just finishing the film - Kayvon is getting married in November!

Brad Warner and Joan Wolkoff discuss stuffed animals in the bedroom scene.

The cast is in full gear here, taking threats from our DRUNK GUY. Officer O'Grady of the Boardman Police Department was kind enough to offer his services during the shoot. He gave tips on how the scene would go, and even gave our DRUNK GUY (Mark Parsia) a nice bruise for his acting chops.

Afterwards, Officer O'Grady apologized and said, "I just went into gear."

That's a testament to Mark's performance.

Jennifer Bishop did a fun bonus scene with us in Brooklyn, where her character meets the "real" Brad Warner outside of shooting. Basically, we had their relationship come to a halt when Brad finds that one of our camera crew has gotten cozy with the leading lady - yes, it's all part of our faux documentary, etc. Of course, we have lots of real documentary elements in the film as well, so it might be tough to tell the difference.

Erin McCarson reads tarot cards as Tasha in of our apartment party scenes. She did this great improv in the picture above, where she tells some of our extras they are going to not make it as a couple, and have "difficult" children. I can't even say what she really said because it's so politically incorrect, but let's just say it was some funny shit.

Daniel Genalo contemplates how to get rid of the DRUNK GUY during the jail scene.

Daniel Genalo and Alfred Rutherford square off during the jail scene.

(The actual character names in the script for the two of them was taken directly from the book. Alfred [pictured right] was playing the BALD CAUCASIAN, and Daniel [pictured opposite] was playing the SKINNY HISPANIC. Obviously, I don't care much about ethnicity when it comes to roles, but Alfred was really excited for his credit to read "Bald Caucasian.")

Joanie and Brad observe the tarot reading during the party scene in Brad's apartment. Well, Joanie's character observes slightly.

Brad confronts me after I make him go into American Apparel with a helmet cam and he gets thrown out. He threatens to leave the film.

Brad going into American Apparel and getting kicked out by the manager.

Officer O'Grady and Chief Nichols were kind enough to let us film the squad cars during the jail scene. We got some nice exteriors, and some cool dialogue between Officer O'Grady and Brad.

Alfred Rutherford and Brad Warner await the jail scene to start filming. Actually, I think they are in the middle of the scene. Yeah, I think I can see Mark swaying along in the reflection of their irises.

Brad Warner reads from Sex, Sin and Zen at the Melville House reading on our last day of shooting.

I have a million pictures, but that's all I'll post for now. We'll have a new trailer up once we start our fundraiser for post-production (editing and color correction, etc.) on IndieGoGo.

We're actually kicking editing, etc. into high gear because a lot of our post production crew seem to think the film has a chance to make some big film festivals. I have no idea. I heard the word "Sundance" thrown around. That made me go: Hmmm. I don't know about that. Still, I believe in all the people involved with the film. I also know it's possible to have a great film because of the great job Andrew Crighton did as a Director Of Photography, and all the great performances from Brad Warner, Mark Parsia, Jordan Castro, and all the rest of our cast.

Who knows? I have no idea. Maybe we can make a big film festival. Maybe not. I kind of don't care though. I've sort of given up on that kind of stuff. I just want to make a good movie for all of us to see. You guys who read this blog, and all my friends and family.

At the same time, if everyone wants to give it a shot, I'll throw it out there. Who knows? Maybe some other people will like this movie too.

All I know is that I'm glad to have worked with so many talented people to make this movie.

Now I'm off to sleep and eat for two days before I go back to work to pay off all my credit card bills.

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