Tuesday, May 31, 2011

SLACKER 2011: S-T-E-V-E, Day 2

Another awesome night of female filmmaking at its finest. Tonight the Reel Women Student group shot the first half of their scene for the Slacker 2011 which takes place in a van. Officially we got assigned scene 19 which consists of Steve driving 3 girls in his car to a club that his roommate's band is playing at after randomly meeting them in a dinner. (You might remember it in the original movie because he's talking about the ants in his apartment.) It's a two part segment because there's the van part and then there's the part in front of the club, which was shot yesterday. We were happy to get this scene because there seemed to be a lot of room for creativity.

The cast and crew met at Arts and Labor which generously lent us its space to set up camp. This was an interesting shoot because all that needed to be done was prelight the van, hide the mics, measure the focus for the camera, let the scene play out in the van and tweek / adjust along the way. The scene requires for four people to be in the van, two in front and two in back. There were going to be two major set ups: the front of the car and the back of the car. There was a lot more relaxed lounging on this night for everyone that wasn't piled in the car. 

Once the sun had set, lights were ready, Carlyn, the director, Therese, the Director of Photography, Renee Stairs, the sound recordist and mixer and Kate Steinhebel, the first Assistant Camera piled into the car with two actors at a time. They drove up and down Lamar Blvd doing the scene over and over and over and over again until they got what they wanted. After every other take they would pull over, get some air and adjust. This became more challenging when the camera was positioned to face towards the back of the car since there was suppose to be musical equipment in the back of the car. One thing is for sure, these ladies were committed to their job.

Meanwhile at Arts and Labor the rest of us hung out, worked on our TFPF applications which are due tomorrow, played in the parking lot and kept our equipment organized. Because of the generous donations, we were able to do a coffee run around 10:00pm. Tonight's meal was provided by Chipotle Mexican Grill which definitely hit the spot.

For more pictures from Slacker 2011, photographer Sarah Gonzalez please visit the Reel Women Students Picasa

For more pictures from Slacker 2011, photographer Patrick Rusk please visit the Flickr 

Monday, May 30, 2011

SLACKER 2011: S-T-E-V-E, Day 1

After weekly meetings, a ton of emails, casting, rehearsals, camera tests, etc., our pre production has come to a head for our Slacker 2011 scene. Tonight we shot the first half of our scene at Trophy's Bar which is the same bar that the original scene was shot. Beth, producer, sent out an email with the call times and locations on Sunday, reminding everyone to let her know if they have any dietary issues. Finally tonight was the night!
Call time was at 7:30pm. Everyone found the place without any real problems and no one was late. Everyone smoothly got to work or began to eat dinner. Other than the 2 male actors and Patrick Rusk the still photographer, it was a set full of all women in all roles. It was a beautiful scene of moviemaking at it's best. No drama and no real problems. Director Carlyn Hudson, Director of Photography Therese Tran and Producer Elizabeth Chatelain had been working around the clock for the last couple weeks preparing for every possible snag. Trophy Bar was very generous to give the production the whole back lot of the club, just for the production to spread out and make camp and of course the front of the bar for the shoot.

Carlyn and Beth spent a lot of time finding the right people for this piece of Slacker 2011. Steve was played by Alejandro (Ali) Rose-Garcia, Annick (aka "Traveler") played by Jessie Tilton, the Writer by Maggie Lea, Questions Happiness girl by Adriene Mishler, the Italian Cousin by Reel Women Student Gaia Bonsignore, Guy on Ledge by Will Elliot, Girl on Bike by Mimi Lopez and Doorman by Eric Lord. An interesting fact about Eric Lord, he played the original doorman in Richard Linklater's Slacker 20 year ago.

The sun was setting during everyone's arrival so the G&E had to go right to work with the camera department to make sure they rigged everything and got their electricity of juice figured out early while they had the natural light. However, the magic-hour light made it so that they couldn't place the lights or test the camera until they could see how it would all look in the night sky. Meanwhile the actors ate, got in costumes and make-up while Carlyn sat with them all, going over everything one last time. Manoeuvrings around the camera department and G&E, the art department got to work transforming this has-been club to look more like a lovable dive bar.

The food was provided by Pok-e-Jo's. BBQ was the perfect addition to keep everyone fed and happy. Some might think that girls don't like meat and those people are fools. These ladies can put back some BBQ. Each group or filmmaker that the Austin Film Society recruited was given a small amount of money and resources to produce the scene for the Slacker 2011 project. Though this was very useful and appreciated, it didn't cover all the costs that were seen for this scene. Reel Women board members Heather Collier, Beth Sepko, and Suzanne Weinert each gave a donation to the scene which was amazing. We can't thank them enough. It was because of their generous contribution that we were able to get a sufficient amount of snacks and refreshments that made our crew work as hard as they did.

The production was about halfway through the night when local Austin legend, Leslie came strolling on to set. If you don't know Leslie is a semi homeless man that lives in Austin and dresses in women's clothes. He didn't disrupt the production but was instead a surprising delight. The Assistant Producers, Jordan Harrison and Sarah Gonzalez, even thought he might make a great addition as an extra, walking by in the scene. However after some discussion, it turned out the Leslie's on set rate was much higher than the production was willing to spend. Instead, he ate a meal at craft services and made everyone in the back feel uncomfortable with awkward conversion before leaving for more important things to do.

Overall everything went better than expected. It was the smoothest set set. Carlyn did a terrific job staying focused, directing the actor while working with Therese, the DP. All the ACs, Assistant Cameras, and Grips did an amazing job maintaining the look. The sound department consisting of Renee Stairs and Hallease Clemons kicked major butt battling with the South Congress ambience.

It was wrapped at 2:00am (on schedule). Kelsey Coggins, Assistant Director, had done a fantastic job keeping everyone on schedule. Everyone had smiles on their faces as they ate the leftover snacks and put away the equipment. Tomorrow was going to be another late night production, but knowing it was in the hands of these ladies, everyone had faith it was going to be fun.

For more pictures from Slacker 2011, photographer Sarah Gonzalez please visit the Reel Women Students Picasa

For more pictures from Slacker 2011, photographer Patrick Rusk please visit the Flickr

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Slacker Project

Last week an exciting opportunity flittered across our feet. If you’ve been plugged in to film news lately, you’ve probably heard of the Slacker 2011 Film & Campaign. Esteemed filmmakers from all over Austin will each recreate a scene from Richard Linklater’s “Slacker” to “honor one of Texas’ best homegrown films” and campaign for the 2011 Texas Filmmakers Production Fund. In part with some of Austin’s finest filmmakers, Alamo Drafthouse, Austin Film Society and REEL Women, Reel Women Students will partake in this homage to the 20-yr-old classic with some of our own rising stars.
Thus far, we have Carlyn Hudson directing, Elizabeth “Beth” Chatelain producing, Sara Deuel editing and script supervising, Melodie Irvin and Jordan Harrison as Assistant Producers and Therese Tran as Director of Photography. Based on some plans made last night, we’re looking to begin production later this month and the creative plans are underway.
Slackers, we are not….

If you’re interested in partaking in this awesome experience, send us an owl, carrier pigeon or email us at reelwomenstudents@gmail.com or Elizabeth Chatelain echatela@gmail.com.