Film Journal: Week 6- Location Scoutin’


At the end of production last weekend I had this mistaken idea that I would suddenly find myself with free time for things like catching up on my writing homework and possibly doing some housekeeping. In retrospect, this was probably a naive assumption, considering that I’ve never been able to cut together a film in “just a few hours”.

The week took on a strange, grey, twilight mood. on the plus side, I stopped crying every thirty six hours and my heart rate stopped doing panic induced wind-sprints, which was a relief, but on the minus side my tolerance for human company took a nosedive as well and I found it necessary to find quiet places to be alone during meal times and sometimes between classes. I relieved that I didn’t have to try to follow the two-steps-forward-one-step-back-jump-jump-jump-slide-to-the-right dance of Producing anymore, but I still had the sensation that I was running as hard as I could and just barely keeping up.

Part of the trouble is that my focus is beginning to split in three directions. I still have Producer duties to follow up on: building the production binder, doing the cost report, gathering receipts, sending thank you notes to locations and inventorying what we have left over for P2; but now I also have Editor duties which are taking priority and taking up a lot of time. I am also making the effort to be proactive about my upcoming director duties. It is a little bit like being Cinderella and trying to stitch a dress to wear to the ball while trying to manage a household: it is fun and exciting but has to be squeezed in once the Real Work is done.

But really I have no complaints: the sensation of barely keeping up with a workload is a familiar one, so while I like to complain about it I have a lot of practice working through it.

So Friday was location scouting day. Our next script is a story about a priest taking confessions in a strip club bathroom. Naturally enough it has scenes set in both a church and a strip club, which makes for some pretty schizophrenic location scouting. We began by scoping out churches and potential locations on campus which was an interesting exercise considering that not all the church shaped buildings on campus actually house churches anymore.

In the afternoon the producer had lined up several meetings with the owners of strip-clubs in the greater Los Angeles area: it was very important graduate school research after all. It certainly was educational, anyway. Strip clubs, unsurprisingly, are not cheap locations to acquire. Our first stop, The Body Shop, was (no pun intended) a complete bust. The owner wasn’t there after all and the manager who was there deedn’t gnow anythink about meetink. He waved a business card from a scout for the TV show “House of Lies” in our direction and said it usually cost “couple thousand dollars” but he wasn’t really the person to talk to.

Our second stop, The Gentleman’s Club, was situated on the border between Los Angeles and Glendale between a metro track and a brewery. This was more successful: the owner was there and was willing to speak with us in his lavishly decorated office that looked like it wanted to belong on an upper story of a historic, downtown skyscraper instead of in an out building thirty yards behind the club itself. He seemed friendly, in a handshake businessman sort of way. He sat behind a battleship of a desk that featured a trophy for being a good donor to the LAPD and was “willing to go as low as $500 for six hours, strictly six hours” because he had once been in the movie business and knew that it could be crazy. This was dubious progress, but progress nonetheless.

Our third stop, somewhat later in the evening was the “World Famous” Cheetah’s up in Echo Park. This was the most promising of the three: the space was better laid out and the atmosphere much friendlier. By this time our location scouting expedition had turned into a bit of a social outing with a group of other students joining us. Cheetah’s didn’t seem to mind this. We weren’t able to get a final answer since the club had two owners and only one of them was on the premises that night. If nothing else, a good time was had by all.

~ by Gwydhar Gebien on February 10, 2014.

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