August 18, 2005

On Shooting In August

I shot another short while I was in Japan; more on that soon, I hope, but one of the overriding impressions I came away with was that shooting outdoors all day in the deadheat of August is, well, hot.

Seems like the crew of Diggers and I will have something to talk about. This winter.:

ìItís kind of like Breaking Away Ö but with clams,î laughed Paul Rudd. He was sweating profusely on the set of Diggers, a coming-of-age film about clammers set in the 70ís in Long Island. It was roughly 95 degrees out, without a single cloud to block the punishing sun in East Moriches, Long Island, a still-wanker-free stretch of Hamptons-adjacent shoreline known best as the memorial site of the nearby 1996 T.W.A. crash.

The crew, in a dizzying array of straw hats, sunglasses and miniscule clothing, sweated silently while a beleaguered bit player, a Dachshund named Nola, slept fitfully on the one available canvas chair. Everyoneís stoicism was understandable. In front of the cameras was the heartbreaking sight of two of the filmís stars, Mr. Rudd and Ron Eldard (ER, House of Sand and Fog), decked out in thigh-high rubber waders, lumberjack shirts and wool hats; in movie-land time, it was autumn. ìThese guys must be dying,î whispered a P.A.

Indeed, moments later, the gentlemen would walk under a black tent set up for the camera monitors and unsnap the top of their waders, pointing themselves at the fan just so. ìTheyíre all angelsóPaul particularly,î said a producer. ìThey never complain.î

ìItís not true suffering. This is still better than being a coal miner,î said Ron Eldard later. The actor was sitting in the local elementary school, which was being used as a makeshift catering hall, wardrobe and all-around air-conditioned haven. ìThis is one of those movies where you can sit in an air-conditioned school auditorium and youíve moved up, you know?î
Among The Diggers, by Sara Vilkomerson [nyo, expiring link]

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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