making The Louise Log #28: How To Be Cool

The Weather

I didn't write down the details of the weather for August 25, 2010, but I fear that everyone involved in the shoot has it branded on their brains: it was a 95 degree-plus, humid, NYC dog day.  I know this because everyday we shot in August of 2010 was record-breaking for heat and humidity.  And we shot this scene in the heat of the day from 12:30 - 3PM.  A boxy grey machine (see below) was our salvation, an air conditioner.  Naturally it was off during takes as it made a healthy roar.  

 (l to r) Ava, Louise and the air conditioner

(l to r) Ava, Louise and the air conditioner

The Team

This cast and crew are a director and producer's dream: they worked hard, they joked about the difficulties of a seat-of-the-pants production and they rose to every challenge.   Deb Micallef, Nik Kundel and Mike Huson were the crew from heaven.  No job was too small or too difficult.  And no request was too last-minute (which they all pretty much were).

The Cast

Christine Cook was good-naturedly encased in her fantastic Season 2 dress which was of 100% man-made fibers and hot as can be.  We'd decided (back in the cool days of spring) that if she never changed dresses, continuity would be possible and stealing reaction shots across episodes (in the editing) would be possible.  (FYI to beginning filmmakers, this was one of the best ideas of the entire production.  Especially because we sometimes had to shoot scenes from multiple episodes in one day and only once had an experienced script supervisor.) 

 Christine Cook (photo by Elke Rosthal)

Christine Cook (photo by Elke Rosthal)

The character of Ava was written for Jennifer Sklias-Gahan after we saw the video of her improv character 'Melanie Stone'.  Jennifer brought with her a trunkload of costumes, jewelry for every look and multiple pairs of unwearable high heels, which she proceeded to run in for the benefit of the show, in multiple takes.

 Jennifer Sklias-Gahan (photo by Elke Rosthal)

Jennifer Sklias-Gahan (photo by Elke Rosthal)

Leer Leary (Camera Guy) came to the cast via the recommendation of Pascal "Phineas II" Yen-Pfister.  I'd seen a video of Leer on YouTube but never met him before the day of the shoot.  Leer supplied the prop camera he uses from his own collection.  (And, little known fact, Leer is the co-creator of the music used in episode 2.)  

I only learned recently that Tom Tinelli was browbeaten into taking the part of the Sound Guy by his colleague at HB Studios Catherine Siracusa (The Guidance Counselor/Principal).  The boom Tom uses is actually an old schoolhouse window-opening stick with a broken H-4 zoom mike wired to cover the hook at the tip. 

 (l to r) Leer Leary, Tom Tinelli, Mike Huson

(l to r) Leer Leary, Tom Tinelli, Mike Huson

Mike Huson, who's busy throughout the episode with the orange extension cord, was drafted from his real life crew position as A.D., to play the Gaffer Guy in Louise's shoot.  Very good egg, Mike Huson.  These three troopers spent a great deal of the day waiting (without complaint) for their close-ups.  [caption id="attachment_1173" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="(l. to r.) Leer Leary, Tom Tinelli, Mike Huson"][/caption]

The Music

"Steady Now", the music for this episode, was written and performed by Victoria Trestrail. Though Victoria lives in Trinidad, we met through the miracle of the internet and she's been letting us use her songs since "Johnny's Fool" in episode 17.   

 Victoria Trestrail, singer/songwriter

Victoria Trestrail, singer/songwriter

Episode 28 is based on barely one page of script.  Originally it was intended to be one little moment in 'episode 24'.   (What we'd thought would be 'episode 24' has turned into episodes 24 - 28.) Enjoy the show.