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The Shadow & Act Filmmaker Diary Series (w/ Matthew Cherry) Episode 11: "Filming Week 2"

Photo of Tambay A. Obenson By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act July 25, 2011 at 10:38AM

Time sure flies... seems like it was just yesterday when we began this series, and we're already up to #10, which means we've been doing this for at least 10 weeks (1 per week), or over 2 months.
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Time sure flies... seems like it was just yesterday when we began this series, and we're already up to #10, which means we've been doing this for at least 10 weeks (1 per week), or over 2 months.

And since then, Matthew has announced pretty much all of his starring cast, launched a website for the film, and begun principal photography. I believe only a few days remain before the shoot wraps. Kudos to the entire team.

Continuing on with the series. If you’re just joining us, click HERE to go back to the beginning, find out what this is all about, and catch up!

Here's installment number 10 titled "Filming Week 2":

Filming Week 2

I decided to switch back to the traditional format this week. We had some schedule changes that made my week a little bit more hectic but all in all week 2 was pretty good. It was by far my hardest week as a filmmaker though.

Monday July 18th

Today we shot in Long Beach California at the pier by the Aquarium of the Pacific. It's a location that I always wanted to shoot at and it was mad expensive but I decided to say f*ck it and paid for it anyway. It is that dope. We worked with Lance Gross and Nicole Beharie all day. Today was a fun day on set. It was the scene of their big date and we had them all over the pier doing different things. We had them walking and talking, we had them sitting down eating cotton candy and we had them riding Segways. It was really dope. The day was long but I got in my most amount of set ups in a day in (27). When we wrapped myself and some of the crew went and got some drinks. I had to hurry up and get out of there though because tomorrow we were shooting at a park and it was going to be our first day working with kid actors and depending on their ages you can only work with them for a limited time.

Tuesday July 19th

Today we shot at a park in North Hollywood. It was right across the street from my producer Nikki Love's house. Today was a hard day personally for me. For some reason I was thinking about my mom a lot and it got to me a few hours before we started shooting. I had to pull Lance and Nicole to the side and kind of explain to them why today was an important day for me. We shot the final scene of the movie today and a few other key scenes that shows Lance connecting with Nicole and her son at his Flag Football games. We are working with a beast of a young actor. This little dude Sayeed Shadidi is amazing. He is on popping with his lines, knows how to hit his marks and everything else in between. I am learning that performance wise my actors really need time to warm up to their performances. It's been hard on both of my actors because we haven't had rehearsal time and we are basically rehearsing and blocking right before we shoot. Lance is literally in every scene but a few in the film and it is a daunting task but him and Nicole have been doing a great job in remembering their lines and delivering great performances. We got a little behind schedule and shot one of our scenes a little rushed and I could already tell that we were going to have to reshoot it. The way things have been going the past couple of days though I already knew that I was going to have to have a reshoot day and now due to this and other conflicts I may just have have two. We wrapped literally one minute before we went into overtime and I went back home and crashed immediately. I have never been so tired in all my life. THis filmmaking shit is exhausting on every level, especially when you are the director, writer and executive producer. I have to approach every problem from all three angles and I have never had to do that before.

Wednesday July 19th

Today was supposed to be a pretty easy day. We shot at a private school on the west side and this was the day that Lance was supposed to come and visit his old grade school and reconnect with his old teacher and meet Faith for the first time in seven years. I had some issues with some of my crew members getting too comfortable and I had to take notes of it so that me and my producers could deal with it later. My thing is just because we are a low budget project doesn't mean that I don't want you to give it your all. You made a choice when you took this job and if you don't want to be here then you don't have to. I have to give huge props to my producers Nikki Love, Scott Hebert, Dawn "Lucy" Manning, Ellis and Monique Hobbs. They have done a great job in letting me focus on the creative side of things and handling everything that goes on behind it. We shot the school stuff out and wrapped a half hour early. I had some issues the first week from watching too much playback at the monitor and not getting enough set ups in and not making a few of my days but we have been able to rectify the issue and get things going a lot smoother. We got some great shots today and all the kids were great. We had 20 in all including our young Von, Sayeed.

Thursday July 20th

Today was one of the hardest days I have ever dealt with as a director. It was really nothing even related to actual directing it was just more of the politics. Some issues were brought up and I was really forced to think about not only what type of director I wanted to be but also what type of person. I have struggled in the past with being an asshole and not having the most tact when it comes to dealing with people and especially since my mom passed away I have made a conscious effort to be better in that regard. I can admit that I haven't been as stern in some areas on this shoot as I should be and it's probably due to the fact that I want to be liked but that really bit me in the ass today and I was forced to stand my ground on a few issues. By the end of the day everything got worked out and we got some great footage and that's really all that matters. Today we welcomed actor Darrin Dewitt Henson to our set and welcomed back actor Michael Moss and man were they both amazing. Our footage looks amazing too. Him and Nicole have really great chemistry We had our editor cut together a two minute long trailer from the first weeks footage so that we could show the crew and it got everyone excited. I really think we got something special on our hands an I can't wait to share it with the world.

Friday July 21st

Had to make an executive decision today and move a scene that we were supposed to shoot today to one of our pick up days. We were shooting the love scene and a big argument scene and we lost Nicole at 4pm so I had to make sure i had enough time for everything. The love scene we shot was HOT!!! Lance and Nicole really have great chemistry, It really came across well on camera. Me and my DP Richard Vialet are really taking a lot of chances on this film when it comes to lighting, angles and creativity. Today we shot a VFX shot during the love scene that we named "The Evolution Of Love Making". Not to get into too much details but I will say that the ladies will love how we used Lance in this scene. We shot Nicole's characters scenes at my friend Monica Young's Apartment. Today I also officially signed with her and Blue Key Management as my manager. It was a move that was long overdue. We moved across the hallway and shot the big argument scene and we were seriously under the gun. The VFX shot took longer than I had hoped and I knew that we were going to be rushed. Luckily Darrin, Nicole and Lance were great and on point and I really think a lot of people will connect and relate to that scene. Today we wrapped at 4:30pm. All in all week two was good. It could have been better in some ways but I am extremely happy with the footage we got and I look forward to working with Vanessa Bell Calloway, Keith Davis, Yanni King and Obba Babatunde next week.

-Matthew A. Cherry
Transparent Filmworks

"There is no passion to be found playing small and settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. -Nelson Mandela”

Follow me on twitter http://twitter.com/MatthewACherry
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This article is related to: Filmmaker Diary Series


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