PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY V

In last week’s entry in PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY, the freckle-faced filmmaker found himself kissing another man. Making out with a guy. Full on the lips. On camera! In front of his giggling crew! Nothing will stop Pete from getting his vision to the screen and he continues to forge ahead against the odds. This week, Pete talks about his first time…

The worst thing about being a first time director with Stolen Summer — other than getting the somewhat deserved shit kicked out of me on national TV — was listening to the studio, producers and crew always discuss strategy with the caveat of “…he’s a first-time director.” In front of me. As if I wasn’t there. And it annoyed me. After finishing my third week of shooting on “Doubting Riley,” I truly understand. The first-time director tag is unavoidable. It shouldn’t be used as a crutch or as an excuse. But a first-time director, especially the entry level director, has no idea what to expect and as much as people prepare you for the experience, only the experience can really teach you.

For example, the time it takes to light a scene. Last time, it took me four weeks to figure out that the crew sort of falls into a pattern and that lighting an interior generally takes an hour, with five minutes of tweaks after the first take, ten minutes to change to singles, and forty minutes to turn around for the reverse. I would sit there the whole time watching these guys maneuver the lights as my stomach churned instead of doing something more productive. Like figuring out exactly what I was looking for from the scene. Or how to shoot the next scene? And if all of that seems a bit gung ho, then at the very least, to bullshit with the crew so that I’m in the right frame of mind to evaluate the scene. This crew is obviously different this time, but with Pete Biagi back as the DP and Bruce Terris back as the Assistant Director, the system is pretty similar. So it only took about a week to figure out the process. And after three weeks, we’re in a groove. Which we better be considering we only shoot for a total of four weeks.

Get the complete story in the next part of PETE JONES’ “DOUBTING RILEY” DIARY V >>>




Posted on September 10, 2003 in Features by

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