The first day of shooting for The Monster of Phantom Lake was yesterday, and thank god for digital cameras – they let one see how awful one is right away, so one has time to fix it. Yesterday’s shoot is in the can, but fortunately the rest of the scenes I can still salvage. The source of my dread?: the director did an overnight rough-edit of yesterday’s footage, and I look like a Janeane Garofalo bobblehead doll. Active listening, while generally appreciated in the real world, on camera makes me look like I have a bit of the Parkinson’s. The highlight of the shoot was at 7:30, when the gorgeous 1955 cherry red Chevy convertible came rolling down the road in all its diesel glory. Hot damn, that was a fine machine - it was so clean and shiny and big and wonderful – and it was there for us to use. Just sitting in it had me all giddy and stupid and numb to the 96-degree weather and 86% humidity and the fact that my makeup was sliding off my face. That high quickly faded to horror, since the opening scene required me to get out of the car and lean against it, and the re-takes required me to get back into the car - with each re-take I proceeded to track tree seedpods and dogwood fuzzies and dirt and all sorts of nature garbage into the car, all over the light-tan floor mat. I tried kicking my shoes to get the junk off before climbing back in, but those evil little $3 keds are the stuff of housewives’ nightmares. I felt like such a chump when apologizing to the owner couple – they were cool, though.
So far, I have to say that the best part of this experience is getting to try things out – seeing what works and what doesn’t on film (as a character – usually I’m just an announcer-type in industrials) is a learning process, and I’m honored that these guys have faith in me to make it work. I hope to make them proud.