Wednesday, February 6, 2008
“Fuck me, he cleared it!”
So says Christian Slater in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and so says I after completion of principal photography for The Mountain, The River and The Road. Except I says “Fuck me, WE cleared it!” Somehow, we all survived this shoot and managed to capture some really great stuff in the process.
Sure, we’re not out of the woods yet. Just as Robin Hood still had to face Alan Rickman and his creepy witch, so do we have additional photography, editing, and quite a bit of “cross your fingers that nothing’s wrong with the film negative” in front of us. But we made that leap of faith, we made it to the other side. We faced our own sneering guy from The Crow, got a little battered and then we jumped into Christian Slater’s catapult and went back for more, muttering witty things along the way.
We’ve got our war stories: broken down vehicles, questionable planning, clashing of egos, unsleepable beds soaked with urine, frozen toes, and broken flashlights. But it wasn’t any Filmmaker’s Apocalypse. In the end, to me at least, everyone seemed happy and proud of what we had managed to accomplish. Or maybe they were just drunk. Either way it doesn’t matter. We made a road movie under extremely trying conditions. We shot it on film with a relatively tiny budget. And we kept it together.
This cast and crew braved long hours, long drives, hands crushed in car doors, involuntary vomiting, crippling allergies, the freezing cold Kern River, driving to and from LA with just my dad for company and still they came out smiling. Mostly. I’m extremely grateful for their hard work and dedication and unfailing spirit. Those smiles, persistent through the toughest of times, helped keep me going. I kept waiting for the floor to drop out from under us as it so often threatened to do. But it never did. Sitting here at home writing this, I’m just as amazed as I am relieved.
A huge thanks goes out to the cast and crew of The Mountain, The River and The Road. It was a difficult journey, but I think we were all participants in something special. Your hard work made this adventure possible. I really could not have done it without you, my band of merry men and women.
[Photo by Kirsten Barber]