Holding the Production Hostage

While we’re waiting for the Negotiator to arrive, let’s try this

8 a.m. Saturday. A 2-bedroom apartment in Chicago that serves as the primary location for an independent film on which Blood and I are working as production sound mixers. The residents of the apartment have been living there during shooting, and the strain is beginning to show. The fact that the production is paying their rent for the duration of the shoot has long since stopped balancing out the inconvenience of having a film crew invade their home each weekend.

Blood and I arrive on set. The director, line producer and executive producer are standing in the living room, looking mighty concerned.

What’s up, guys? we ask.

“J___ has locked himself in his room and won’t come out. We have to shoot the bedroom scenes today and he won’t let us in.”

This is the second bedroom stuff, the scenes between M___ and K____?

“Yeah. We’re totally screwed if we can’t talk him out of his tantrum; we’ll have to send the crew home and lose a whole shooting day.”

Have we shot anything in that room yet?

“No, we just shot some stuff in the other bedroom, for the other scene.”

Does it have to be THAT bedroom? Why don’t we just re-dress the other bedroom, the one we CAN get into, maybe move the furniture around and put different sheets on the bed, make it look like a different room?

“um…we didn’t think of that.”

They’d gotten so bogged down in the specifics of the problem (how to talk the angry tenant out of his room) that the relatively simple solution (just shoot in another room) hadn’t occurred to them. Just needed a fresh perspective. Eventually J___ came out of his room; he’d made his point and we were out of his way, well into shooting in the other room. The rest of the day went off without a hitch, we got the shots, no one got hurt.


About toxicbag

Toxic Bag Productions, Inc. provides sound effects and music for independent films, animated shorts, theatrical productions, dance performances, podcasts and video games. They work out of their studio on the north side of Chicago.

Posted on March 17, 2009, in Confessions of a Guerilla Filmmaker and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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