Saturday, August 22, 2009

Restless in Seattle Part III

Dear Reader

We were shooting at Gas Light Park in North Seattle off of Lake Union. In the summer you can see sailboats tacking up and down the lake, the scene is surreal. There is a large hill in the park that has an incredible view of Seattle, as the sun fades, one can see the city turn into a hue of cascading lights that transcends some of the best city lights I have ever seen.

Gas Light Park used to power Seattle at the turn of the last century, the unusual rustic equipment line the park, creating an eerie relics from the past. From a photographers perspective one can find some interesting backgrounds that are unparalleled to any location I have ever visited or seen.

The park could be used to create a Fellini style film with it abstract objects, the grayness of the sky, as rain pours from the welkin. The winding path that leads to the hill, like a puzzle, disconnected imagery, perplexing awash in a whimsical poetry. Gas Light Park lends itself to many shooting options, several pictures cannot capture all of the possibilities.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Restless in Seattle Part II

It is late afternoon in Seattle, we are shooting at Hidmo Restaurant off of Jackson and 20th in Seattle. The set is hectic with the Director discussing with the DP the next shot, a nervous energy ensues, people with various titles run around the set, the first AD yells "quite on the set, roll sound and action". The real drama begins, for the crew of $5 Cover, it is just another day at the office. To plan for a feature film, it takes month of preparation, rewrites, casting, locations, hiring the above and below line crew, it all takes time. By the time I am hired, the start date is usually days away; the producer, the UPM and other crew members have been working on pre-production for weeks.

We work on a five day week starting on Saturday and going through Wednesday, with Thursday and Fridays off, long days are the rule, but no one complains, we love our jobs. This is what makes working on films so special, we all have one common bound to make a great film.

What attracted me to this project was a chance to work in Seattle, and a chance to work on a feature film. The projects I work on are commercials, music videos and photo shoots, which I enjoy. Feature films are a rarity because most features use trailers and my speciality are high end motor homes. This is my first time in Seattle, what I like most about it are the people, everyone who I met so far are very nice. Working on $5 Cover is one of those projects that working on is such a joy, not only because of the crew and talent, the film itself is so interesting. The film is about local bands performing, and the story behind the group, it is more like a docudrama with music and comedy brilliantly blended in like hot mocha on a cold Seattle fall morning.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Restless in Seattle Part I

Dear Reader

It is early Tuesday morning in North West Seattle, the air is still, a marine layer hangs above Peuget Sound, and seagulls make their way for their favorite eating-places. The city of Seattle is slowly waking up, one by one people emerge from their cocoons and brace themselves for a slow commute to their jobs. For me, I am in search of a good breakfast and some of Seattle’s famous coffee. Tully’s Coffee house meets those needs, a mild blend of coffee, just enough caffeine to wake me up and a nice warm croissant to satisfy my hunger.

This is the first time I have been to Seattle, and the first time I have been to the North West since September of 2006. The opportunity to work on a feature in Seattle came unexpectedly, initially I thought I would not be able to do the job because of scheduling conflicts, however such problems were resolve and a day and a half latter I arrived in Seattle from Los Angeles. When I arrived in Seattle the last week in July, Seattle was experiencing one of the worst heat waves in a century, from my LA perspective, this was just another reason to get a suntan and drink an ice mocha with plenty of whipped cream.

To get a sense of the city I decided to take a bus into Seattle, as intimating as I thought the streets of Los Angeles are, Seattle streets resembles San Francisco, a series of one way streets with hills that can wear out brake pads in a matter of hours. On James and 4th, the light turned red halfway down a steep incline, a Hail Mary and good brakes allowed me to stay motionless until the light changed to green.

Google Maps and two GPS units have been the most important tools for me to navigate my forty-one foot motor home around the tight, tree-laden roads. I am learning to scan my route in advanced using Google Maps, and the advice of our location manager, who has assisted me with my daily route to location. My in dash GPS has made me a little nervous several times, forcing me on small roads and making me make U-turns at the worst intersections. But I surmise I am a professional, I can handle the streets of Seattle, and GPS don’t let me down now.