Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Production Report: Week Two

After a couple well-deserved days off, Now, Forager - Week Two started in New Jersey. First at Julian's Bait Shop in Atlantic Highlands (live eels!); then on to a surf fishing sequence at Sandy Hook where Jon Nastasi, our DP, donned waders and ventured out chest deep into the ocean to get some shots; then on to the pine barrens of Cheesequake State Park (my favorite name for a state park in New Jersey) for more fungi hunting.

These scenes featured some lovely lobster mushrooms (Hypomyces lactifluorum) and a pair of machete-toting Russian mycophiles (played with appropriate linguistic gravitas by Alex Mayzlin and Brandon deSpain). Thanks to to some weather disturbances over Newark, every commercial flight out of NJ was re-routed directly over our production, with planes passing every 90 seconds or so. That Jeremy Fleishman, our sound maestro, didn't slit his own throat with one of the machetes is a testament to his character.

We were back at Cheesequake the next day as well, to shoot the film's opening sequence, including an abundant fruiting of wild Hen-of-the-Woods (Grifola frondosa) mushrooms. I have to offer a very special thanks to local foraging legend George Johanson for loaning our production several of the most beautiful young Grifola specimens I've ever laid eyes on.

The next two days were spent on interiors--in the apartment of our lead characters, Lucien (played by yours-truly) and Regina (played by Tiffany Esteb). Filmmaker Joe Petrilla graciously let us use his Brooklyn apartment as our location. Thanks to Joe for not kicking us out after the first scene we shot, where I gutted and filleted two 20lb. striped bass on his kitchen counter. (Our producer, Kit Bland: "Get those fish out of there as soon as possible, please.")

We rounded out the week in the prep kitchen of the soon-to-reopen Brooklyn Star restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (thanks to chef Quino Baca and his crew for their support). Our good friend and master thespian Eric Dean Scott was back in town from his new home in Slovenia, so we were very glad to put his services to use for the day in a supporting role.

Also new to our crew this week was production assistant Juan Diaz De Lindo--who was on fire keeping our production running and taking amazing set photos in between (both of the photos in this post are his).

And that's pretty much how it happened. Two weeks down, two to go...