Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What's Nathan Up To?

I've been somewhat neglectful of the blog for a couple of days now. I feel bad about that. What have I been up to?

Well, on Monday morning I got the script for the Movie that shall remain un-named here. The first step when I get a script is to do a breakdown. I need to know which scenes (or parts of scenes) take place in which locations. For example, you might have a scene that includes a phone conversation. If the entire conversation takes place in one location, (i.e. you only see one character and you either get to hear or only infer the other half of the conversation), you only have to shoot the scene once in one location. If however, you keep cutting back and forth between the two characters on the phone or show both simultaneously in a split-screen, you've got to shoot the entire scene twice, once in each of two locations.

So anyway, now I have a document that details every location (Int. SoAnSo's Apt. Includes, Kitchen, living room, master bedroom, guest bedroom, etc.), which and how many scenes will shoot there, which scenes are day and which are night, which locations will be built as a set on a soundstage, and where each location will shoot. (Most of this movie will shoot in NY, but there will be a couple of days shot in Washington D.C.)

Since we're "cheating" most of the D.C. interiors here in NY, if they're known entities like a retail store, I've got to make sure it actually exists both in NY and D.C.

So what will I be looking for?
  • 4 apartments
  • a college campus with admissions office, classrooms and library
  • an indoor olympic sized swimming pool
  • a diner
  • a chinese restaurant
  • two synagogues
  • a medical center (with a bunch of various interiors there)
  • a couple of offices
  • a high-end retail outlet
  • a high-end salon
  • a top-of-the-line jeweler
  • a cinema
  • a gourmet market
  • a furniture store
  • a mansion for a diplomatic recpetion
  • some other stuff
One thing that complicates things is that this script has a number of locations that only have one scene scripted there. And some of those scenes are really short. That works fine if the place with the little "nothing" scene is around the corner from a place we're shooting for a full day or more. If you don't have to move the trucks, it's a do-able move. If, on the other hand, you've got to go across town to shoot a scene that'll take up 20 seconds in the movie...that's a problem.

I suspect I'll get a few re-writes and some of these locations will get consolidated out of existence, so I'm not really concentrating on any of the small stuff yet.

I have now spent enough time pretending I'm waiting for someone to return my call and I'll get back to trying to get them to answer their phones.


neurondoc said...

Would you be at any of the DC shoots? If so, I could potentially meet a real fellow-UCFer in person!


Nathan said...

I'll only be there if the Producer decides to do me a favor and give me a little working holiday.

Shooting in D.C. is a specialty in its own right due to the fact that there are so many places under multiple jurisdiction. It would be a total waste for me to try to figure out the place for a two-three day shoot, so they've hired a D.C. guy to do those few days.

neurondoc said...

The only thing I could is a house in the suburbs -- not on your list. :-)

Jeff Hentosz said...

Ooh, ooh -- for "Some other stuff," have 'em walk around the Barnes & Noble at Lincoln Triangle. Lot of fond memories of pleasant visits to that part of town, plus that's the company that pays my mortgage.

Also, the Red Flame Diner on W. 44th near the Algonquin is pretty good!

What's the minimum number of suggestions I need to make to get an "Assistant to the Location Manager" credit?

Nathan said...

What's the minimum number of suggestions I need to make to get an "Assistant to the Location Manager" credit?

At least one usable suggestion, at a minimum. Either that or fetch stuff for me.

Jeff Hentosz said...

Whatcha need? Here's a 12-foot tape measure...and there's half a roll of black electrician's tape over by my cutting mat...and a Muppet Show Magic 8-Ball up on the shelf...

And I was serious about the diner, btw.

Nathan said...


not to be pedantic, but I will probably be looking for the diner to be near some other location. The diner scene is one of the ones that occupies little screen time. Also, diners are notoriously difficult. They all seem to think that selling $300 worth of tuna sandwiches is more important than taking $1500 to shut down for 3 hours.

It's low on the list right now.

Jeff Hentosz said...

Okay, okay. Smooth that back hair down. I'm new at this. XD

(I bet you get this kind of stuff all the time. I do. No matter what someone does for a living -- administrator, engineer, caterer -- one thing I can count on is, they can also do my job and aren't shy about weighing in. I mean, designing a layout is just picking some fonts and nice colors and running a Photoshop filter or three. Right?)

Oops, gotta go. Tornado sirens!

Ilya said...

I find it most fascinating that the list includes not one but two synagogues. I can't think of a movie off the top of my head where it was ever clear that two different temples were in play...

Jim Wright said...

You ever need a really great Alaskan woodshop, I've got the perfect location. Hell, I'll even make coffee for the crew


Oh, and I really want your job.

MWT said...

Weren't you going to become a transportation manager in a few more months?

Nathan said...


All will become clear when I reveal what movie it is.


As soon as I get a movie in Alaska, you and Tania are my very first calls. And don't offer to make coffee for 125 people. You come out and get yours off the catering truck.


Huh? Not so much.

MWT said...

I meant Jim. I vaguely recall something about how he'd be an excellent cold-weather transportation specialist.

Nathan said...


I remember that too, now that you mention it. The recommendation and the list of contacts is still on the table.

John the Scientist said...

Nathan - you may pay $1500 today, but pissed off customers don't come back tomorrow and buy $300 worth of tuna. In a competitive market like NY, you can't afford to offend regulars.

Nathan said...

Actually John, I think we're making the same point. I'm the only one on a movie who's job it is to see the real world's point of view. Everyone else thinks you should be able to shut down a place for the promotional value. Producers refuse to acknowledge that their movie might stink like week old...smelly stuff.