Monday, April 24, 2006

Finally, the Hydro Shoot is complete!

Corey and I left later than usual, eight instead of seven, and we stopped at Merrit's for breakfast. We were underway, driving in my Mother's Chrysler Town and Country, cruising at 70 mph and listening to the Gorillaz, Bowling For Soup and Type O Negative.

We arrive in Hydro at nearly 11 am, and the first thing apparent to me are the changes to Lucille's, the historic abandoned gas station. The pumps are gone. The building has been painted (for the most part) white, and the entrance has fresh concrete. Not my original visual.

There is nothing I can do. I've tried this shoot several times since we first shot this scene over a year ago with Matthew. And now, we are here and behind schedule, so we are going to make this work.

Initially, I captured some static scenery, images to fill space and add depth. Whenever there is wind, you can make a still subject come to life, eerily, with only one small element commanded by the wind. Aside from that, I captured...myself! Not an easy task. I set up the camera and tripod, found a fixed spot on the ground, zoomed in and focused, then pulled back. It was then up to me to remember a reference point, a marker, on the ground. I could then take the shot. This gave Corey the chance to read a book.

Another thing to mention, since we have multiple tapes (and since we are on a budget!), I found two tapes that still had room; one tape had thirteen minutes, the other, twenty-six. I began to use these before opening the fresh tape...the last tape!

The wind was as ferocious as the wind we encountered at the Gloss Mountains. Fighting it every step of the way, we tried to consult the script, capture performance and stay hydrated. I watched the weather for Hydro for two days, as it climbed a little higher each time. It came to rest at eighty-nine degrees, and my character is wearing a sweatshirt and corduroy pants where Corey is wearing a full suit.

The opening performances went very well. We took multiple takes; I do not plan on a return visit! The interesting thing is, I did not know if we would be asked to leave. I thought, that if someone did own the property, they would show up at any moment and that would be that. This was not the case, yet we did have several visitors!

Truck after truck after truck pulled up beside us and asked about our adventure; a man and his son, an older gentleman with a striking resemblance to Chuck Yeager, Louise and Tom (Louise liked Corey’s tie!), a truck full of two young men and a girl who smelled of WD-40…and finally, a woman who asked if we were with the Oklahoma Gazette or something. Countless cars, from Alabama and Arkansas, stopped to take our picture in the presence of Lucille’s. We were interrupted continuously.

As with many or most film shoots, the script becomes a guideline, really. It succumbs to new ideas and realizations, or necessity, the mother of invention, if not complete desperation! We combined a few scenes, augmented others, but they are all complete. I was very happy with the framing of each shot. I always like to make it interesting, as much as possible. We moved from one point of view to another and back to the same, only this time, it is just a little different.

We left the peanut country for our more familiar realities and by eight o’ clock, Tulsa was in sight. I had captured the elusive footage of “Awareness” in Hydro! The tally showed that an hour and twenty-six minutes were used. I have ten minutes of footage left. Now, my next dilemma is to buy more tape.

Corey had fun. I had fun. I listened to Rush on the way home. Upon my arrival, Fae greeted me with a nice Earth Day feast of her design. Oh, and I acquired a dashing sunburn for my very own!


  • what a waste. I hope this movie is worth it this time. Don't be so hard on the good ole USA. There is alot of good people out there, even in Tulsa. 30 years from now you may see what I mean. And cut your hair and get a job. Signed , Lovingly your Dad. Just wanted to raze you a little.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:24 PM  

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