We got in to the Lotus Club on Monday (211 Gold SW, open Thursday thought Sunday I think – go check them out, it’s unlike any club I’ve ever been in!) with the intention of shooting our 4 strip club scenes there. It was cool, we actually had a pretty decent sized turnout for extras, all of our main actors for the day were there (including Becky, our Candi; Arielle, our Scantily-Clad Waitress; Billy, our Badly-Dubbed Kung-Fu guy; Dennis, our Soup; and Adam, playing Smart-Ass) and pretty much ready to go.
The problems came when I toured the club with Steve. I made the mistake of NOT seeing this location before we got there to shoot. I had these scenes all planned out in my head; camera angles, movement, etc. were all ready to go. Then I got there, and saw that first off, the place was not set up at all like I had imagined, and secondly, we did not have real tables and chairs. The Lotus was formerly OPM, and they have remodeled and re-designed the place with an Asian flair. Therefore, all of the chairs are very short stools, and all of the tables are coffee tables. So we spent quite a bit of time setting up and I spent quite a while trying to figure out how the hell I am going to do the stuff I had planned in my head. Also, with the “intimacy” of the club we had set up, most of the extras I had begged to come out and play patrons were unneeded, because I just didn’t have any place to put them (sorry guys, but thanks much for coming!!!). We had to add some dialogue – “Welcome to Albuquerque’s smallest strip club” – and generally just rework a lot of stuff. I’m used to compromise on this flick, it’s not like this day was the first where thing didn’t go as planned. But when you’re making movies at this budget, you can’t NOT roll with changes.
So we got the first scene out of the way, and then went in the bathroom to shoot the shortest scene set there while we waited for the lunch to arrive. By the time lunch was there and eaten and we began to set up for the next stuff it was already 3:30, and we had to be out and gone by 5. Steve and I asked Brian, the manager who has been nice enough to allow us to use his club, what our chances were in coming back another day. Brain let me know that he felt his club was being disrespected, and told me why. I agreed, and if I had seen the stuff Brian had told me about, I would have cracked some skulls. However, I was in our shooting area, not our waiting area, so neither I nor Steve saw what Brian was concerned about. We worked out with him that if we left the place immaculate, we’d be allowed back, and we did, so we will be.
So only ½ of what I wanted to shoot was shot, and that’s ½ if you base it on number of scenes, not pages. We actually shot out about 2 of the 7 and change pages we had to shoot. STRESS. STRESS, stress, stress.
However, on the stress front, we have decided to break for a while. Our decision was made for a couple of reasons; first, we wanted to let everyone have the holidays off. And secondly, the climax of the flick takes place on the “hottest day of the year,” and as the leaves are betraying the season to the camera, we didn’t really see a way to do that. On top of that, we probably have lost access to a location (that we were almost done with anyway, so not a great big deal), so we need to do some more scouting. Anyone know of a place that could pass for a water treatment plant, AND that we could possibly get in to without getting arrested or mauled by dogs? If so email me – firstname.lastname@example.org
So looks like that’s that for a while. We still plan on shooting a few indoor scenes over the next couple months, but for the most part we’re on winter break. So now I can stop stressing about the shooting…
…and start stressing about the editing, as Steve has provided a hard drive for me to start dumping footage onto.
Scenes Shot: 32, 102
Scenes Done: 84 out of 130
Amount of DM! shot: 65%