Wednesday, March 23, 2011

reflections on 2 as we head into 3

Episode 2 is done and up (if you haven't seen it yet, you can see it here) and I'm quite happy with the way it turned out. As I watched it, I realized that in many ways, episode 2 is the fleshed-out version of the Ruffians teaser we shot. I didn't plan that, yet I really couldn't be happier with that connection. When we shot the teaser, we only had the first script written, but I knew what the tone of the show was going to be and tried to reflect that in the teaser. Little did I know it was going to serve as such a literal blueprint.

There are two parts of "Small Mercies" that I am especially happy with. While I'm happy with the overall product, there are two parts that stand out as special to me -- and these two moments in no way diminish all the other wonderful parts of the episode.

The first is the conversation in the car my character has on the phone with his girlfriend, Marlena. That was a moment I came up with on Monday. We shot everything with Tenika on Saturday night, I started editing on Sunday, and we shot Corey's and my introduction on Tuesday night (along with my moment in the car). Originally, in the script, we cut from Kendra and Alexander heading to Kendra's bedroom to Charlie out in the car, looking at photos of Marlena. He goes to call her, but accidentally calls Sofia (Rachel's character) and hilarity ensues. As I cut together the conversations that take place inside the apartment, I realized that the tone wasn't right for a joke. I still liked cutting out to the car, but having a joke there seemed wrong. So I came up with this little moment instead, where Charlie calls Marlena and leaves her a message. It was in post that I cut the scene up and made it one unchronological moment, instead of an elongated scene that played out in chronological order. I was really, really pleased with the way it turned out.

The second moment was the ending. I cut that together first. From the look(s) on Corey's face, to the sigh of resignation from Lucas, to Rachel's swooping camera work, I really could not be happier with the ending to that episode. It makes me laugh every time I watch it. That might make me a little dark and twisted, but I chuckle.

I write all this as I wait for a part of episode 3 to render. True, I haven't shot anything for episode 3 yet (that comes April 18th and 19th, mark your calendar!), but that doesn't mean I don't have already have something! I'm going to be a little hush-hush with this sequence, because I'm really excited about it and can't believe it's coming together the way it is. When you finally get to see the episode, check out the opening sequence. That sucker is (spoiler alert) four years in the making. That's all I'm going to say about that.

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