Friday, November 12, 2010

Production Report-Week 4

As previously mentioned, we had a week's hiatus before finishing up principal photography on Now, Forager. While a few of the cast and crew members had other job commitments, others would enjoy some well-deserved R & R. And the rest of us would be still working on production logistics non-stop...

Jenny "Queen of Locations" Harkins was hustling to find us our most challenging restaurant interior--an elegantly modern Asian-influenced fine-dining establishment. We needed a kitchen interior, a front-of-the-house interior, and a restaurant exterior. And we needed two full days to shoot all the scenes.

The difficulty: if a restaurant closes at all in New York, it's usually only for one day per week. To get a single location that matched our very specific decor and style needs for two full days--not bloody likely. So we divided the scenes into a back-of-the-house day and a front-of-the-house day. And Jenny scored us a couple of incredible locations...

For our Back-of-the-House/Kitchen, we shot one of the prep kitchens of the Thompson Hotel in Manhattan's Lower East Side. Lots of sleek new stainless steel appliances and equipment. A great layout with plenty of room to shoot. A beauty of a stove. It was everything we needed it to be.

But the Front-of-the-House that Jenny came up with was maybe the biggest location score of the entire shoot. 1 or 8 Atelier of Food in Williamsburg, Brooklyn was beyond our wildest dreams. Owners Maho and Shinji Mizutani have designed a restaurant that exudes brilliance in every facet. Sleek design, decor, and lighting (seen in the photo above); an inventive selection of house-infused cocktails; a full menu that offers top-quality sushi and sashimi plus a rotating selection of French-influenced entrees. They even featured a tasting menu of different mushroom dishes earlier in the fall season. Total simpatico. Julia and I went in for an amazing dinner
a couple days after shooting--the whole experience was beyond superlatives.

In the costume department, we also had the generous support of Michael Pittard and Maggie Kleinpeter of Supermaggie (who started their business in Brooklyn, and who recently moved their operations to Austin). They helped us outfit our chefs and restaurant staff in these scenes with their super-cool octopus t-shirts.

And that's a wrap for our interior locations. We still have to get a bit of fall driving footage, a couple more days of winter exteriors in December, some Additional Dialog Recording, some short animated sequences, and some time-lapses. But some of the hardest parts of production are now behind us.

Foragers--cast and crew--you have been amazing. Our deepest gratitude to you all. Now get some rest.
(Photo by Kelly Marsh)