Here it is – our first exclusive interview with Miracle Laurie (Mellie/November from Dollhouse) about her role in the first episode of The Cabonauts!
We shot more of the pilot last Wednesday (June 3, 2009) and we got a lot of great stuff. All the scenes in the front of the cab with me and Norm, to be specific, from about 8 different angles – all with just one HD camera to keep costs down (they’re already spiraling). Sure enough we ran into problems with importing and digitizing the content but they were solved much quicker this time and we got everything we planned on.
It was an intimate shoot; just me, Norm (Harry), Paul (our DP) and Ashley (make-up). Ashley, bless her, helped out by reading the lines of everyone else’s characters and proved invaluable. She also shot behind the scenes footage of us – I’ve no idea why but virtually everything I said was so rude that I’m not sure I can use any of it. I’ll have to pick through it at some point (but did I really need to create & improvise the Billy Hitler show and talk about fake pornos I’ve been in?).
We spent the next day editing – and Paul (who’s also our editor) put together the roughest of assemble edits. The Scarad looks amazing – Kim Seff did a truly incredible job – and it was lit beautifully, thanks to Paul. A couple of people have seen it – because we’re still missing some major scenes and all the sfx, sound effects, music, video, etc, it’s like showing a pile of bricks and a blueprint and asking people to imagine the house – but despite that handicap, they’ve smiled/laughed, so that’s not a bad start. Our next major step is shooting with our co-star on Wednesday. In contrast to the 5 of us who were on set this time, there’ll be closer to 20 people.
The days leading up to the pilot often seem more fraught with problems than the bloody shoot itself does. 24 hours before shooting, we were still finishing up the set, installing A/C in the green screen studio, and having to deal with finding a new wardrobe stylist because the one we’d had decided to take a different gig at the last second. Nowt like people. Anyway, believe it or not, all was dealt with and a new stylist was found within 15 minutes (gotta love Twitter).
I woke up at 5am the day of the first shoot, and in the news: Dr Who’s signed on a new companion. So instead of learning lines, I’m on the web trying to find who she’s repped by to see if there’s a chance of getting her on the Cabonauts.
Back to reality. The day went as days in production normally go – fraught with problems. We were using an HD camera for the first time and that means everything is shot digitally – no tape. But that also means that you have to take the filled up card and download it to a hard drive, dump the contents onto it, then begin shooting again. That wasn’t the problem. It was discovering that the particular camera we were using had just had its firmware uploaded and the drivers that the computer needed to be able to recognize the HD card…were nowhere to be found. So while camera whiz Paul Wojciak worked on that problem, we all had to wait around for 3 AND A HALF FRUDDING HOURS. But it wasn’t all bad. We had lunch. We shot lots of behind-the-scenes stuff. We learned – rather Monica and Norm learned – the unbelievable dance moves that Monica McSwain our amazing choreographer had come up with. I sort of wimped out and grabbed the synth and stood behind that nodding. Then Paul called us all back ‘cause he’d figured it out.
By 6pm or so, we’d gotten a few scenes in the can – some stuff with Cyril and Harry in the cab, some stuff of Lolita and some intense dancing for the music video. We were all very hot, sweaty and ready to collapse but I was over the moon. Finally, I am starting to see my vision come together and it’s looking pretty damn good dare I say it myself. It’s colourful, it’s vibrant, it pops – and then you throw in music and dancing and you’ve got something so unique that…Well, I shouldn’t get too far ahead of myself (but I’m so damn excited!!!). Our next shoot is scheduled for next Wednesday and we hope to pick up all the stuff we missed. And while we won’t have to deal with HD drivers next time, trust me – there’ll be something entirely new to screw it all up.