Today we open with insert shots, close-ups of Melanie holding postcards and things. So Mark's trying to direct Melanie about holding the post card a certain way for the camera, then holding the [CENSORED] just so. Next she has to pose for the medium shot, checking my continuity Polaroid and holding her arms out to her side to match the way she held the letter for the close-up. A little more, he instructs her. "Acting is ha-rd," she sweetly whines in a little girl's innocent voice. More directing, more tweaking. "Acting makes you slee-py," she sweetly whines in a little girl's innocent voice.
We rehearse the perfect dolly shot of Melody returning with her purse and picking up the [CENSORED]. It's a flawless rehearsal. "We should have shot it," I softly sigh just over Mark's shoulder. Mark leaps up. "Why didn't we shoot?!!!" he asks in his alter-ego's excited pinched delivery. He systematically points at everyone within pointing-shot, machine gunning the words "Fired! Fired! Fired! Fired! Fired!"
Okay, this time we're really ready to shoot, we mean it. Melanie is sent outside the set door to await her cue, when she'll "unlock" the door and enter. Mark wants to tell her something before we roll, so he calls her. "Melanie! Melanie!" No Melanie. He keeps calling, "Melanie? Melanie!" Door stays closed. Then Scott calls "ACTION!" and she walks in. We fall apart laughing.
After days of waiting for more Polaroid film and me sharing my limited stash with Wardrobe, Make-up, Props and Set Dressing, we each finally get our own boxes. This afternoon I walk onto the set to find key grip Chad, his back to me, pointing my camera at the floor and firing off successive shots of my film, each piece falling in a waterfall cascade. I quickly run to him and firmly put my hand on his neck, restraining myself at the last moment when I realize something isn't right. Suddenly I see that he is merely holding the camera, himself shaking, and the camera itself is firing the film out. The camera and grip guys are calling to him with panicked advice: "Pull out the battery! Hit the off switch! Pull out the battery!" Swing man Ronnie later tells me Paul was pulling up dolly track and my camera stuck on and then fell - poor Chad was caught in the crossfire trying to help. I laugh and tell Ronnie my fury at Chad turned to terror when I realized I nearly jumped a former-Marine who could have killed me with reflexes alone.