Thursday, June 16, 2011

SHOOTING A GORILLA: Director's Diary #1

Sorry it's been awhile for those of you kind enough to be following progress on "Late Night Classics presents GORILLA!". Since we actually started shooting it (as opposed to pre-pimping it) time has been at a premium. We have recently wrapped our fourth day of filming. As director/supporting actor, I wanted to shoot the few scenes I'm in first, and as the owner of a fully functional Tiki Bar in my basement, we decided to start there. Here's the report:


Anna (Sara Duplancic) and Stephen (Francis Fisk) show up at the Tiki Bar to convince Riggs Deardon (This cat right here) that it would be awesome for him to step up and help take down the evil beast that has been terrorizing the city. Preferring to sit around the bar reading comic books and drinking gin out of a pineapple, I decline. But then, who wouldn't? An excellent day, not even necessitating sitting around home later that night, reading comic books and drinking gin out of a pineapple. I do it anyway.


More Tiki Bar fun. We re-shoot a few bits and pieces from the previous day. Nothing major, just stuff, I, being a tyrannical bastard of a director who sees actors as little more than "meat props" insists on for the sake of utter perfectionism.

My production partner Julian Adderley, who is visiting from Toronto, amuses everyone between takes with an astonishing number of cool iPhone aps.


We move to another location so I may fight the beast himself. Paul Washer playing Officer Landis, a Frank Drebinish cop, joins us in front of the house to prepare for the big punch-up. 9PM. Ready to go. Some dick down the street starts to mow his lawn. OK. Half an hour later we are set, focused and our camera team, Steve LaFlamme, Julianne Cameron, Stewart Grenzowski and tonight's guest slate person, my amazing daughter Trudi Shaw, are ready to rock. Dude pulls out his edger. I immediately, and with no hesitation or thought for any other potential nominees, loudly announce him as winner of the "Bastard Most F***ing Up My Attempt To Shoot A Movie Tonight" Award. He neglects to show up to obtain his "award", a tree leaf hastily scribbled upon in crayon. Finally, mercifully, it ends. Shooting begins and...we have an excellent night, culminating in Sara going all Clint Eastwood on the beast. Julianne becomes the evening's heroine by going out to buy bug spray for our beleaguered armless garment wearing leading ladies.


I fight Penu Chalykoff, our "Stunt Gorilla" and am stupid enough to direct him to "really throw me". He does. I forget he's throwing me out of a door onto a wet deck. Not the dry deck we had rehearsed on the previous week. I slip and rather than landing on a bench on my butt, I land on my lower back. "Motherf****r!" I yell wittily, agony akin to sitting through "Knight and Day" coursing through my lower back. Manlyly, I recover enough to direct Sara, Francis and Paul through their first of many "discovering a corpse" scenes. It goes off beautifully and I am excited about the road we're going down, confident in my excellent cast and crew.

Keep watching this space! More, as they say, as things develop...

Dave Shaw
"Late Night Classics presents GORILLA!"

1 comment:

  1. so exciting! Let us know if you need any extras for your (inevitable) crowd shots...!
    - Lea and Greg