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The Hayley Project: Day 15

July 16, 2007

Day 15 – Sunday. We shot about an 11-hour day today. After moving quickly the day before in our first scene, we moved slowly up at Columbia. Crew arrived around 10AM and we completed the scene around 3PM. It was actually very demoralizing.

This scene was another example of the difficulty with having two directors. If you’re ever co-directing, make sure to align and plan out the scene well in advance. It’s too difficult to figure it out on set, and once one person starts going in one direction, its hard to stop that momentum for better or worse. Jato and I know we need to flesh all these things beforehand, so that’s our goal for the remainder of the shoot.

Occasionally, I wonder whether we’re actually on the same page in terms of style and tone. In general, we like very different type of movies and television shows. I tend to lean toward mainstream/popcorn movies, and I think he prefers more artistic flicks. The Hayley Project was intended to fall into a teen demographic category that has a style/tone of a Buffy or Veronica Mars (think WB-type show). While we agreed to this, sometimes I wonder whether our styles conflict. Because we can’t get inside each other’s head, we may agree on something without actually realizing that we’re thinking about two distinct things. Again, the challenge of having multiple directors and writers.

Anyway, after we were done with the Columbia shoot, we ate at a restaurant and stole one shot while we were there. Then we went back to my place and knocked out some emotionally-draining scenes. Our first episode is called “Black Roses”. It sets up the entire series and it was critical that Rachel was able to sell her character and the emotions tied to Hayley taking action on the Internet. Rachel was amazing and nailed it. She’s able to cry on cue, and frankly, I think she’s really cut out for drama.

Near the end of our day, Jato pushed us to finish up one last episode. I was actually against this because that particular episode called for a lot of interactive dialogue, which we would have to figure out on the fly. So Dave and I brainstormed the interactive lines and what I’m sure Jato meant to be a quick shoot ended up taking a lot longer as we had Rachel go through a ton of various reaction lines. Again, I wasn’t happy that we were pushed to get this scene done because the interactive elements is going to be what makes this series popular. And its unforgivable if we drop the ball on this, since interactive is the key factor in the online medium. I keep stressing this because its true.

Anyway, we finished up around 930. Rachel had a good attitude even though we kept her longer than planned. She’s going on vacation for a while, so we’re taking a break. Then we’ll make one last push and hopefully, be done by the end of July.

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