Haemophobia- Mid Production, filming, getting Directorial "sea legs"

I'm doing it. I'm doing it. I'm doing it. I am directing a film... not a short little clip with puppets, but a live action film with a real cast and a real crew. I'm still wowed by the fact that after six and a half years I've made it!

My debut project is of course, Haemophobia. 

Since coming back to Orange County from NYC I've been working day and night to assemble as team of players to help Devon and I realize the film. These hot summer days have seen me bent over working on all manner of gory goopy special effects. 

Perhaps one of the greatest challenges I had to face before we began filming was casting. With a miniscule budget falling under $1000 we knew it was going to be difficult to find actresses willing to work for little to nothing. My main concern however, was the skill our actresses did... or didn't have. I realized however, that one of my favorite directors and one of the directors whose work proved massively influential upon Haemophobia, David Cronenberg, has worked casting wonders on his films. He is able to draw out engaging performances from individuals such as Debbie Harry, Jeff Goldblum, Marilyn Chambers, Jeremy Irons, and Robert Pattinson, that to a casual moviegoer might seem dry or dull, but to me, they seem perfect and cold representations of Cronenberg's steely world or shifting identity and corrupted form. 

From the very first day of filming I found myself pleasantly surprised (and relieved) by the performances each actress gave. *Whew*

We began filming one week ago on July 9th. The first scene we shot was in the parking lot of City Hall while I was on a 45 minute break at my day job. That night I arrived early at our office/warehouse location with Todd, the DP and helped set up for when the rest of the crew arrived. Our progress was slow and ungainly. I was thrown into the pool without a floaty you could say- that night I found myself trying to find things to do and hide a little bit. I was unused to being in charge of so many people (or anybody at all!) 

The second night went much smoother, but we ended up running late and needed to schedule a makeup date. I had a better grasp on what I needed to do on set. The third night would have gone much better, but we got started late and one of the actresses was in danger of falling asleep at any second from acute exhaustion. I'm amazed by the performance she gave in her state (I felt a little bad, but we had fallen too far behind already...) 

Our fourth night of filming was cancelled unfortunately do to conflicting schedules and unanticipated setbacks. We are set to film again on July 24th, but will not be able to complete shooting until early August. 

I know now what I need to do and be as a director. I know from the technical side and from the scheduling side how crucial it is to have everything planned before you ever reach the location. It is imperative to see the locations with your crew before you begin to film. It's also important for others to communicate with *you* how they are feeling and how they are doing not just as far as their role in the film is concerned, but it is also important to have an open dialogue about other personal matters that might set things back or bog people down. It can be tough and awkward especially for people you don't know very well, but it's these little things that help production move along smoothly. 

This has been a tough and educational week. I filmed and handled production matters four days and nights in a row, then worked my day job four days in a row. I finally find myself at a nice pause tonight where I can drink iced coffee and watch someone else's movie. 

Stay posted for photos and updates. 

The Haemophobia trailer will drop sometime this week I expect...

 

C. Rimbeaux