We wrapped our fifth day of shooting at about 1:30 Monday morning and it was past 3 am by the time I got back to my hotel. I woke up at about 11 am and spent a couple of hours doing laundry in the basement of my hotel, where I also ran into one of our actors and several crew members from SPEED RACER, which is also shooting in Berlin. Ah, the glamor.
After the excitement of washing my underwear and buying groceries, I went to a cafe and met Ute, the leader of the German Diagnosis Murder fan club, and her adorable son Florian. We chatted for an hour or so, I signed some copies of THE LAST WORD, then hurried away to more FAST TRACK meetings before taking a two-hour nap. I ended my day with a long dinner with a German movie director, answered what seemed like 10,000 emails, and went to bed around 2 am.
Today was supposed to be a day off, but I ended up working, of course. I started my day at 10 at the post-production facility to see dailies, which looked even better than I thought they would. I can’t believe the production value we are getting for our Euros. The racing/stunts/action are terrific but, having seen what Action Concept’s stunt team, drivers, and second unit director Roland Busch can do, I was not surprised by that. And, of course, I thought our actors were fantastic. Am I using enough superlatives? Oh, wait, I forgot the say how awesome the fifty cars looked…I owe a big thanks to all the "tuners" who came from all over the country to share their beautifully pimped cars and SUVs with us.
After watching dailies, I spent the rest of the day on an emergency location scout with our director, line producer, assistant director, production designer, and construction chief because we abruptly lost previously "locked" locations thanks to the G-8 conference. Another reason to hate Bush.
The shoot has gone remarkably well. That’s not to say we haven’t had our troubles — besides losing those locations, the weather has been schizophrenic and a supporting actor took ill with a terrible skin ailment two days before he was supposed to shoot, which forced us to hurriedly recast — but these things always happen on a production. You have to expect the unexpected and roll with it.
As you can probably guess, I couldn’t be happier with the movie. It’s shaping up very much like I imagined it…and where it differs, it’s for the better. The four days of rehearsals with the cast before shooting has made a huge difference on the set and has allowed us to move very fast without sacrificing the quality of the performances. I love our young, gorgeous, and incredibly talented cast…and although I tell them I am focusing only on delivering a great movie/pilot, the truth is that I will probably be heart-broken if this doesn’t go to series.
Ah, but I am getting ahead of myself. Tomorrow at 7 am we begin day six, shooting on the streets of Mitte, right in the heart of Berlin…and a block from my hotel. I’ve never been able to walk from my front door to the set before, so this will be a first…