DAY NINE (Thursday, October 14)
Locations: Beach, Anna Maria Island, Florida; ‘Spanish Fort’, Egmont Key State park, Florida
After getting to bed about 4:00 AM the night before, Thursday starts at a hazy and blurry 9:00 AM to shoot one quick scene of Carol (Mary Kraft) and Jody (Cynthia Evans) discovering a Skunk Ape victim in the surf. It’s a minimalist crew call-- me, Evan as DP, Bill Burton operating the camera, Art Department-ers Lisa and Scott creating the dead body, and the sounds guys-- all of us working on no sleep.
We don’t have an Assistant Director or Assistant Camera, so we forget to grab the slate. I stand in front of the actresses and clap my hands at the start of each take, hoping I can sync this later. Our deadline is 11:00 AM since Mary has to be back in Atlanta by 7:30 PM to be on stage at Dad’s Garage Theater. Our goal is three shots: the actresses walk ‘n’ talk down the beach and we pan with ‘em and let them exit frame; the actresses then walk into a medium shot and react to the bloody, mangled body; and lastly the dead body cutaway. We get two takes of the walk ‘n’ talk and three of the MS with reactions and Mary is gone (see journal 8 for the rest of that adventure). The reaction shot is priceless, the classic shock and shuttering of seeing something horrific, one of those things that makes me giggle despite myself. Our Production Assistant Juston Rindlesbach grabs some quick shots of Cynthia and Mary on the beach rehearsing their reactions and they are the best production still of the shoot. Thank you Juston for these and all the great stills in this journal.
The majority of the rest of our day is spent traveling to and from our most beautiful location, The Battery at Egmont Key State park, an island out in the middle of Tampa Bay.
To get there we have to drive to St. Pete, then catch a chartered boat-- over 2 hours travel time each way. Like the rest of our week, we have perfect weather and shoot some beautiful, dramatic film. Arma buys water shoes for the crew since we have to pull the big pontoon boat onto the shore to get to the battery. The local ranger generously lets us use his 4-wheeler to cart our production gear. We have a hard out of 11:00 PM, so we hustle through our shots list, but get everything we planned to shoot and load up the boat. Since we couldn’t bring a catering spread out to Egmont Key, we treat the crew to the only open restaurant we can find at 1:30 AM, Waffle House.