We were handed a number of scripts that contained 10 short episodes of a show. The writer and actor was hoping to shoot the whole series and thought that having the first show done would be a great way to generate interest and possible funding.
Se he asked us to do him a favor and shoot this with an ultra-micro budget. I mean ultra-micro. Think of a micro budget, and then take a zero off the end. Yep, that would be pretty accurate. But he's a great guy and a good friend, so we agreed to help it out.
The opening shot of the show is two guys in their shorts. sitting uncomfortably close to each other on a couch.
As the picture shows, they're sitting in front of a fan. In the episode, the shot is just on them for a few seconds and pulls back to show why they're so close to each other. It's an extremely hot day and this little fan is the only relief they can get.
From a production standpoint, there's just one problem. IT DECIDES TO RAIN THAT DAY! And not just sprinkle or light showers, a full on storm accompanied by high winds. Now, normally, if you're working with a decent budget and don't have any scenes outside (which we did), it's not that big a deal. But when you're working on a micro-micro budget, and you're counting on natural light, it's a problem.
A RAINSTORM IN L.A! (Can you tell I'm still peeved about that?) Just a little perspective. It didn't even sprinkle a month before or a month after that day. Just that day. Now I may be a bit wrong on that, but it certainly felt like it.
The first shots I had scheduled were in a park, and I knew the moment I saw what the weather was like, that those shots were gone. So we got busy with all the interior shots. But now, what was supposed to be a typical day just got longer, because now, without the natural light, we have to spend time lighting everything.
The bright spot was the actors. They were rehearsed and ready to go. As we shot, I realized it would have been an incredibly long day if the actors weren't properly repaired and we had to do take after take after take. As it was, most takes were kept at 2 or 3, and sometimes, just so I felt we had some backup.
Overall, in spite of the weather, it was a good day. Things went as smoothly as possible, and that's huge. We all know there's going to be issues in production. Something is bound to happen or not happen, and it's up to the team to ensure those problems are minimized and certainly overcome as they arise. We were honored to have a great cast and a great crew (as small as it was), who saw that first obstacle and stepped it up a notch.
Here's a rough clip of the scene where our main character tells his sister how busy the day has been for him and his friend.