Friday, November 16, 2007

APPALOOSA Movie 2007 Nov15

Call Time: Thursday, November 15

11:42 am Abner Raines Wife, Olsen's Wife, Banker's Wife, Barber's Wife, Doctor's Wife, Grocer's Wife,

12:00 pm Feed and Grain Owner's Wife, Tailor's Wife, Older Homesteader's Wife, Townswoman, Print Shop Lady 1, Print Shop Lady 2,

12:12 pm Homesteader 1's Wife, Younger Homesteader's Wife, Laundress

12:30 pm Carpenter, Doctor, Postmaster, Real Estate Agent, Tailor, Sign Shop Owner, Assayer, Banker, Bank Clerk

1:00 pm Blacksmith, Butcher, Barber, , Older Homesteader, Watchmaker
Homesteader 1, Young Homesteader, Lawyer, Building Supply Owner, Building Supply Helper, Grocer, Feed and Grain Owner, Clothier, Chemist Twins, Town Worker Who Rides, Townsman who Rides, Gun Shop Owner

1:30 pm Town Boys, Town Girls, Chin's Sons, Homesteader 1 Teen Daughter, Homesteader 1 Son, Olson's Children,

2:00 pm Homesteader's Baby

This post above by Elizabeth, was our individual 'marching orders' for each day on Appaloosa. The days preparation starts at least 2 hours before 'call time' for each of us on this 'location' due to the distance involved. After arriving 'on set' about noon, the chow line was the first visit after sign in with Elizabeth. Breakfast was still being served today. I just 'wolfed down' a lowly turkey burger with coffee, still good stuff. During the wardrobe visit in the trailer with Lorrie and 3 other 'wardrobe attendants', she decided that The Carpenter was to be dressed up a little for the 'town Meeting'.

'The Carpenter' got a wide brimmed brown felt hat size 8 3/8 US with a domed top. A newer, much nicer heavy pullover shirt, a hand tied by Lorrie, bow tie, much nicer brown vest with little pockets (I got to use my pocket watch and chain). Finally I got to wear my heavy tan canvas pants outside my size 13 US, tall boots. I felt slightly higher on the 'Appaloosa' social scale now. Not nearly as high though, as the days of sailing the 'high seas', as the Captain of my own ship before retirement.

We van'd on over to the set, went into 'holding' in the Hay store. Stayed sequestered for the next 3 1/2 hours while watching some minor activity around regions of Appaloosa. Viggo Mortensen walked by one time. Ed Harris is extremely busy 'wearing many hats' in this film. Happy birthday Ed 'Nov 28Th' born 1950. You can still jump over the front wheel of a Buckboard with the best of them.

Nearing 4pm, we finally got the call to march. The 'Town Meeting' was to be setup in the Church. We filed in and were carefully, individually placed, all 50 of us, so that each person could see the camera lens without being blocked by an other's head. Now that is unprecedented and unbelievably considerate of this crew. We will all want to see ourselves on the big screen some day. The white bearded Carpenter, 'Blogengeezer', is sitting in a chair on the far right, in the third row. Two cameras were set up on the short stage, looking at the 'townsfolk'. After a lot of shuffling around, we started this complex 'shoot' with about 50 background and 'principles'.

This scene is in the first part of the movie. 'Abner Raines' our civic leader, called the 'meeting', introduced the 2 top hatted Aldermen that stood, bowed then reseated. 'Jack Bell', the town Marshall was introduced, stood, turned, acknowledged the gathering and reseated. 'Abner Raines' proceeded to tell us, "The last 7 years were very rough. The Indian raids took their toll on the little town with it's closed down copper mines. Many people were driven to despair and left. Appaloosa fell onto hard times. With their "Faith in God", they survived to see some ray of hope on this day" (or something to that effect)

Then 'Abner Raines' introduced a young married couple sent from Chicago by a large company to reopen the mines. Young, well dressed, articulate 'Colfax Poston' stood and walked to the little covered table on stage. He carefully held up and explained about, the copper to be used in the wire for transmitting, then new, electricity. He pulled the red cloth cover off of a little, wooden electrical generator with a light bulb on top, we 'awed'. Then he started to turn the crank, the bulb gradually lit up, we all clapped and cheered at this latest cutting edge technology that none of us had ever seen before. 'Appaloosa' now had renewed Hope,... but for how long?

The delivery of this dialog was flawless, after many minor adjustments to the emphasis of words spoken by the actors, the flourish of their hand movements, which they worked on between 'cut' and 'action', with the advice of Ed Harris, wearing his orange baseball cap. These actors, 'Abner Raines' (Thomas Bower) and the young articulate man playing 'Colfax Poston', are truly great and never blew their long complicated 'lines'. These people are 'real' professionals, unlike several, much more famous individuals I have worked with and described in previous film posts.

Of course each delivery and the townsfolk's reaction, was filmed by the cameras from several angles in the front of the room, looking over the professional actors shoulders. This took hours to perfect. Now came the total re-arrangement of camera angles. This also takes a lot of time, moving all of the copious amounts of wiring, trying different camera mounts and all of the experimentation involved, required the presence of about a dozen people on this scene alone.

The entire group in front of the Carpenter, including two rows of seating, were removed. The 3 Panavision 50mm cameras were now put in their new positions, looking directly at the 'Principles'. The background was now only for the clapping, and enthusiasm parts recorded on the sound track. Ed liked lots of clapping on the sound track and danced around while explaining 'Enthusiasm' to us. He also liked lots of 'cranking' on the generator to accompany the clapping.

The mic 'boom' operator was standing on a ladder in front of me, holding the directional mic 24 inches (61cm) over the heads of the 'principles' as they voiced their dialog. One camera was directly in front of me on a short, multi-wheeled 'Chapman' dolly with the seated cameraman. Another was repositioned onto a 7 foot (2m) high mount looking from the 'stage actors' right. Another was positioned directly in center back, focused on the 'principles'.

During a previous scene, camera change, while waiting for set up to be completed, Jack Bell (town Marshall) was leaning against the church wall to my left.
When Marshall 'Jack Bell', returned to his seat, I noticed a large white spot on his coat's back. When 'Lorrie' from wardrobe stopped to check out my new duds for perfect alignment, I mentioned about 'Jacks' coat spot.

She looked alarmed, then said that only the 'Principles' attendants could ever touch them. She then ran to find that wardrobe attendant. The 'principles' wardrobe person, the 'principles' hair person, the 'principles' make-up person are each in their own 'craft' or union. This group is separate from the 'craft' group that works on 'background', like the rest of us. The film industry seems totally unionised from the top to bottom. The Taft-Hartley act, also is adhered to religiously, or so it seems.

When I needed lip balm, only the make-up attendant from our backgrounds 'Craft' could apply it to the back of my hand. I then applied it to my chapped lips. the 'make-up' attendant applied the 'dirt' to our faces and hands as well as sunscreen. 'Hair', only did hair. The Brylcreme was applied to achieve a 'sheen' for reflection of the highlights for camera. The women took much more time to be prepared than the men of course. Not that John Edwards could be outdone of course.

When all was ready, we repeated the scene over and over from the new camera angles, just as we did repeatedly from the front angles. While rushing back to the outside monitors, Ed Harris bumped his head on a low hanging lamp, then in a swift recovery, rolled and did the impersonation of a 'rubber legged' drunk leaving the room.

Ed worked outside during filming, watching the monitors set up there. ED wore a dark, knitted wool, pull down cap while in the cold command center outdoors. Ed ran in and out many times during this scene. After all of the repeated technical commands many times that afternoon, as described in the previous post on the 14Th, we break for supper and van'd back to base camp.

Food was again, well prepared by the chefs, wonderful and plentiful. We were treated very well every day while on this set. Thank you ED Harris and the rest of this 'Appaloosa' Production company. After a fast meal due to the late hour, we returned to the 'town meeting' set. All of us were sent to 'on set holding' where a select few were hand picked to film the meetings exit scene.

After a long wait, we finally heard that most of us were 'wrapped'. A few will return on friday and next week to finish up some scenes before our National "Day of Thanksgiving" for the power of God in allowing this remarkable Free nation to be formed in 1621 and celebrated again in 1623. Thank you God and Thank you good ship 'Mayflower', for delivering your precious cargo, The Pilgrims, to America, forming the beginning of our "One Nation Under God".

Austin Texas, a great movie town, gets a share of this Appaloosa production as well.
A few 'background' will be used in the remaining days here in NM 'on set'. The 'Carpenter' is totally 'wrapped', and not scheduled to return. We were sent to the vans for the return to base camp, wardrobe change in a 38 degree tent (better than the 27 of the previous night), checked out and left the set of APPALOOSA, for the last time. It is now after 11:00pm, begin the 65 mile (104.6km) trip down the desolate night highway, back to 'the house'.

Monday afternoon the phone rang, the display showed the name of Elizabeth, my attention sharpened. why should Elizabeth Gabel call 'Blogengeezer'. After all he was 'wrapped' on the 15Th of Nov. Amazingly the rare recall to repeat a scene happened. The call was to return to the scene of Viggo mortensen 'Hitch', entering the hotel front door while the 'Sign Painter' and the 'Carpenter' were standing outside beside the ladder and flaming torch.

Ed Harris seems to want the two of us more visible on camera? What an honor from the Director, Producer and Star. Of course I will return for another cool night on set of Appaloosa. Get ready for another 'posting' after the adventures 'on set' of "APPALOOSA' the greatest little Western in production, in the Greatest Nation in the World, "The United States of America, One Nation Under God"


Blogger Abby said...

I'm thrilled that you were asked to return for a better view of yourself and the Sign Painter! More chance to see our favorite Extra! :-) Thanks again for your wonderful, detailed reporting!

5:50 AM  
Blogger blogengeezer said...

Abby, The film industry must be really desperate for writers (the strike?) Ed Harris asked if 'Da Geezer' could write a short story about how 'The Carpenter' (Sea Captain) got to Appaloosa in the first place. I sat down and wrote it during the wee hours of this morning. 'The Captains' story will be posted on Da Flikkers as soon as the filming is finished. The retired sea Captain was wholly Ed's idea after seeing a picture of Da Geezer in one of his 'character shots'. Appaloosa is the most fun Da Geezer has had for days.

6:12 AM  
Blogger Abby said...

Yay! Yay! Yay!

He recognizes talent when he sees it, I guess!

We lowly fans must not be the only ones checking out your blog lately! ;-)

Congratulations! Can't wait to read it!

11:19 AM  
Blogger A. said...

Once again, you brought me to the set and let me experience the world which I'd never have experienced. I will be looking out for the Carpenter, when the movie comes out with great anticipation.

Thanks so much for giving me a glimpse of Viggo and APPALOOSA, can't wait to read your re-shoot as well as The Captain's story.
What a powerful writer you are.

12:38 PM  
Blogger ColetteHera said...

Wow ,Iam really looking forward to see the moovie.

Thanks again for the great repport.


12:47 PM  
Blogger Veronica said...

I enjoyed this newest report. Thank you!

That is wonderful news! Not just the call-back, but the invitation to write. You do have a talent and a colorful, engrossing style. I don't recall the schedule, but I guess you'll be off tomorrow. (Wednesday) And now you have even more to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Enjoy your day!
By the way, have you ever been to Plymouth, MA?

7:36 PM  
Blogger blogengeezer said...

Veronica, call time is 10:00am wed. Probably will be 'on set' for 12 hours if all goes well. Yes on Plymouth, even looked at 'the rock'. Not a really big rock if I recall. Of course we have really big rocks on our mountains where I hike. Ayers Rock in Australia is one of the biggest I believe. Also Stone Mountain in Georgia is pretty big from what I remember of it. So much for rocks, enjoy your 'day'.

7:51 PM  
Blogger lillyenchanted said...

Uhm.....looks like I was correct in my observation of how "actors" lie...............lillyenchanted

9:05 PM  
Blogger KB said...

Thanks for giving us a glimpse into a world we'd never get to see otherwise!

Do you have any idea what they will use that short story for? Why would they need that background information for your character? It sounds so interesting.

4:01 PM  
Blogger blogengeezer said...

Found out what the write up of our characters were for KB. We all did one because we were 'featured' background. Nothing special about the 'story'. 'The Carpenter' will post it anyway within a couple of days, after this last days work of Nov 21. Wife lived and traveled in Australia for 6 months just before I met her, now theres quite a story for sure. A real
'Crocodile Dundee' Australian adventure. And of course actors lie Lilly, the 'magic' of film takes fiction and turns it into fact. At least for the hours it is being viewed. Sometimes it is for entertainment and sometimes it is to fulfill an agenda. Lately the later seems to be used for political gain. Appaloosa is for entertainment, I guaranty. Have a great escape from reality and go see Appaloosa, we had a great time filming it, and that Lilly, is no 'lie'.

9:44 PM  

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