A documentary on flow riding and what its all about. The link between surfing and other extreme sports as an influence. Manny Rayo, JP O'Brien and Mikey Leven share their thoughts on the sport and were it stands today.
Alexandra Tabas are arrived in Philly yeww, Alex and I agreed to meet to talk about the production and the goals for the weekend. We ate some solid pitas that i believe were underpriced, maybe jordan had something to do with that =). Anyway we went through the script and she gave me some really good suggestions. We packed out and agreed to meet on friday in the cape.
Friday August 19th
I rode my bike to south Philly to pick up my car, at around 12 i parked my car on samson and went straight to the cage. Ms Miller already had most of my equipment ready to do, she so solid so stoked to have her on my crew. Took our time getting the equipment, decided to take a cart from school to help us transport most of the equipment but i think it was more of an inconvenience. Got all of it in my car and was on the road to cape may. On the way home i contacted Jeff Gott, a legend of the banking industry, to make me some fake bank statement. Got to Cape may and drove straight to Rory’s house to grab some paintings for the dinner scene. My wall in my kitchen is so bare and i needed something to fill its space, plus Rory has a sick art so i was stoked i could use his art in my film. I drop my equipment off at my house and headed to the Gotts to see their wonderful faces. Our course jeff’s statement was solid and it worked prefect. Had some dinner with them and headed back home to find Billy sitting on my front porch. We then went and grabbed Alex from my Aunt cape may point crib. Shared some drinks with Rita Billy and Alex and went back to the crib. That night i probably spent about 3 hours deciding what i should do with lighting. I came to the conclusion that using the 500 watt lantern lock was going to be the ticket. It was night so i could test anything until the morning.
Saturday August 20th
I woke up at about 6:30 to wake my caterer up and start looking at lighting. Chris Ro was on the money getting it “poppin”( this is the start of many more poppins to come). Chris Ro was killing it making some fruit pancakes to die for. So back to the lighting i throw up the 250 watt china ball and wasn’t sold so i tried the 500 watt, i was a lot happier with that was I placed it on my ceiling. Throw random crew members in to look at the lighting a realized i was missing obvious hair light. The scene is a small porch so decided to gel two 650’s and each side and beam them through the windows. After moving around lights for some time i found a look and stuck with it. The first shot was a wide of the most intense scene in the film. It went well but since we started a bit off schedule i was trying to get some solid shots in the bag. Get it poppin. billy and Alex did a great job of getting the point across i was very pleased. We started wrapped the porch scene about an hour late i believe which isn’t terrible but still a bit frustrating. Have some banging lunch chris Ro Catering getting it poppin. It wasn’t the easiest environment to work in for a chef cooking right next to set. It didn’t help to have me yelling at him every time he made a footstep. Stoked you are helping me out b dubs your killing it. Next was to set up for the dinner scene and this was a challenge because right after cooking Chris Ro had to bounce and there was an enormous amount of dishes in my half acceptable location to shoot in. Alex suggested I shoot the other the shoulders in a way i don’t see the sink area. Damn i should have thought of that, Thanks Boom Alexandra yea son get it poppin. Nick and I were setting up the dolly and realized this cheap pvc pipe creation was going to work. Was that was our first shot we proceeded to get some solid coverage and wrapped that loco around scheduled time. I proceeded to design the next scene for 5 or some hours and passed out an the set around 3:30am - got a lot of sleep considering the night before i fell asleep around 5.
Sunday August 21st
Woke up around 6:50 and tried to wake up my caterer. he said he was going to be up any minute and once i picked up Zach and came back we was still passed out. I then decided that breakfast would be simple today, filled with cereal and english muffins, good thing my crew isn’t picky, just make sure I got that coffee on lock or i might get some punches to the dome. The set up for the fathers room didn’t take very long since i set up lighting the night before and passed out in there developing a great staging technique for my actors. The scene when well over all got a lot of great coverage and the set looked pretty decent. I did make a pretty amateur mistake not shooting the closeups for the scene first. I did a great amount of take and billy was hitting the Kelly line on point. after we were about to change shots the lights automatically went out. You know what that means, such an amateur move i had to make power running into that outlet, stupid mistake. We took some time to get things rolling again and when it came to shoot the next scene billy wasn’t hitting the same level as before. We took a bit of a break and started again. From there it was solid i got the coverage and before we new it we were head first in some chicken burritos with mango goodness. I think my cast and crew would all have to say they were some banging burritos. After we were done eating it was time to load up the cars and move to the next location, Mitch’s Bedroom. I would have to say this scene went well. It was kind of straight forward and would like to note i got this money shot of the quote. So we wrapped that scene in about 3 hours due to a half hour of transferring footage because the cards were full. After we wrapped for the weekend the Gott’s had us for dinner. We were packing up and Alex comes up to me and says we are staying. I said i would think about it and i ended up agreeing i would stay the night and leave early in the morning. I found out later that Alex wanted to stay because the Gott’s and awesome people and we all needed to chill and she was working on getting it poppin haha, Yea you know. Anyway we finished out the night sharing drinks and grubbing out on some amazing food. I can’t thank Jeff and Sandy enough for having my whole cast and crew over and making us all amazing food and giving us a solid place to chill. This is the first time in a while i could sit down and chill.
Sitting down on the Gotts porch and just listening to everyone got me starting to think of how amazing this moment is. I have put this amazing cast and crew together and everyone has worked so hard to help me out. Its a moment you cant describe in words just being able to sit back and watch an amazing group of people come together leaves me at a lost with words. Listen to the conversations, and the views that all of these individuals have. Everyone respecting each other and everyone connecting at the same level. These people are like a family and it takes hard work and dedication to make this connect between people. Having this feeling makes my story fall into place of why I cant get enough of it. Luminary is my reality, My dad taught me to work hard for what i want and always treat people with respect. I wish he could see my now, After this weekend i think i finally realized why i was meant to do this film. Simply for moments like that.
This weekend marked the start of principal photography for my short film titled Luminary.
Friday was a stressful day to say the least. You don’t realize how many little things you need to prepare for a film until the day before. Whitty Jay and I ran into communication problems so we didn’t arrive at RU until Saturday at 1:30am, Our plan was to go friday night so we could test lighting and be set for the first scene and we did just that. Falling asleep somewhere close to 4am.
It was a good thing we set up lighting the night before because it really saved some time during production. everything went pretty smooth except for my envisioned steady cam shot. We wrapped a bit late for the first scene but we still caught up with eating lunch and setting up simultaneously. The next scene to do was Mitch’s Bedroom i had a hard time staging this scene and we started about an hour and a half late. After i was happy with the set up, we lit it fairly quick mixing color temperatures all day. After this was all said and done i believe we were an hour over schedule, I had the idea to Shoot the EXT car scene with just Billy and i so that we could still finish around 6. It worked out great, Whitty and Lauren where cleaning up the location while me and billy were getting go pro crazy. We got the coverage we needed and headed back to keith’s crib. We packed the car and started on our journey to the cape. For dinner we hit up the infamous grease trucks to fill our stomachs with some fat beaches.
I was pretty tired the night before and woke up this morning forgetting when i feel sleep and not setting an alarm for 6:40am. I woke up at 7:40 and call is 8. I still needed to do so much before 8 like get breakfast food for my brother to cook and pick up zach as well as start to set up lighting. Of course i am in a complete rush and i can’t find my wallet anywhere, got to love it. Anyway I got the essentials and everyone had a decent breakfast. Our first scene and later to realize our only scene of the day was Mitch’s living room at home. We feel a little behind schedule but made up time in the end. I was pretty stoked about the lighting and hopefully um not the only one haha. Because of the rain we decided to not do the beach scene this morning. I was super stoked to do it but you can’t fight nature. We wrapped after that, had a production meeting, eat some food and we called it a day. Drove back to philly in some nice rain unloaded the gear with Whit and Laur and parked the whip. Stopped in my uncles before biking back to center city.
So stoked about my cast and crew thank you all, this script means a lot to me and i am really excited to see it as it develops.
Rolled up in the pt and found a solid spot on Sansom and 16th, this is hard to come by, center city parking spots are like gold. I grabbed my equipment from my dorm and started the journey to the cape. Rolled up to the wawa on the begginning of route 47 and was surprised to see the gas prices compared to illadelphia. Got a meatball sub and a green tea and got back on the road.
Sunday, November 6th 2011
I decide to shoot during sunset, so i thought i would head down to the docks at about 4:15 little did i know it was the first day of daylight saving so i was actually an hour back, I took a glance at the sun and saw it was dropping really fast, after a few second i realized it was daylight savings. I called up Dave and asked him if we could do this scene as soon as possible. Driving over to 2 mile landing i was racing the sun. I made a decision to do a practice shoot and tech scout. Got to 2 mile and brandon obee was ballin in his parents ride, yea son. Brandon was going to assist me with camera, there was no audio to record except tone, so i didn’t need much of a crew. Whitney was on her way, but i couldn’t get ahold of her to tell her I made some scheduling mistakes. Dave, Brandon, and I rolled up and shot some test footage on the kathy Ro and got some good ideas. The plan was to shoot early morning tomorrow for some prime time lighting options.
That night I caught up with Julia (Ms. Jamie Bottom’s) and had a few drinks, always solid to chill with JBo. Met some cool people and ACal made an appearance. (Andy this is a shout out to you so i hope your blogging the Ro).
Monday November 7th
Woke up around 7:15am and texted B.O to make sure he was good to go. Got the confirm from Dave when he rolled up ballin in the lincoln. He was taking his kid to school so we agreed to meet at the docks around 8. We rolled up and it was poppin off, hard working fisherman on it early. We started to set up our first shot and fellow fisherman were pretty stoked to see we were shooting which is good to hear. Really glad there was a lot of rad people down there. I saw two guys walk onto the Kathy, i should of known who they were, if you watch my film you will understand why i don’t recognize all of these hard working individuals. Turns out i ran into Billy J, i know i’ve met him before but i explained who i was and he was more than happy to help me with anything i needed, such a rad guy. He got a few shots off and Billy was on the phone with my uncle so we had a chat, he was cool with me shooting the boat so the location was set and good to go. Dave had to give this guy a ride in an hour so he packed alot into a short amount of time but I got some good content. Well at least i’m happy with it and i guess at the end of the day that’s what matters right? He wrapped and Obee and I recorded tone and got a few more shots, and headed out.
Final Thoughts Tuesday, November 8th 2011
As Luminary comes to a wrap, I realize what a great experience this has all been. Working with amazing people who have dedicated their valuable time to help me create a film that has greater meaning than an assignment. I really can’t thank these people enough, you have no idea how much i appreciate all of your hard work. I want to also thank my friends and family who I wouldn’t be here today without. Even if you weren’t on my film your influence helped me to achieve my goals. Shooting the final scene where my father spent ¾’s of his life is pretty mind blowing. This was his life, working hard to support my family. As I make this piece to give back to my father I would hope he would be stoked for me. This film marks the beginning of my career and graduation. My dad always told me to work hard for what you believe in. I believe in this career making me happy, and hopefully this film making you happy Chris Ro. Soon ill be pulling focus as well as pulling out of barrels on the west coast and i owe it all to you. RIP, your my luminary Ro yewww