In the fall of 2005, after completing my advanced projects, I took my last class at Los Angeles City College. I was afraid I was becoming one of those students who never left school, but after having someone else do camera for my last 3 projects, I felt that I wanted to re-connect with cinematography. I also yearned for a class where I could focus on one aspect of the art, and not have to worry about such a complicated production.
I also wanted to work with FILM again. Yay, 16mm! So I signed up for the advanced cinematography course.
I worried at the beginning of the semester that I might not have the funds to do my film project. I was working at a restaurant making very little money. But I ended up leaving the restaurant in October to take another QA position. OK, now I had the money. I then worried that I wouldn't have the time.
Given my time limitations, I decided that I wanted to do something very simple, with a small cast and crew. I asked my friend, Sean Vincent Biggins, to act in it. Sean is a very talented actor and I always wanted to have him in one of my films. Well, he actually was in my very first 8mm film, Green, but that was a chase scene exercise -- it hardly counted. I didn't know what I wanted to do yet, but I did know that I wanted to film at his place. I figured I had enough of my apartment featured in my other films. It was time to branch out to another location. My branching out was going a lengthy 2 miles down the road to Sean's place.
Jeremy Ward, as usual, was my right hand man. He was my gaffer, AD and all that stuff the second crew person does when the number of people in the crew is two.
Since I had Sean and Sean's apartment in the film, I thought I would just make a film about a guy who was happy being at home. He felt no need to go out anywhere because there were so many things to occupy himself at home like baking, reading, exercising, searching the internet, and, of course, watching TV.
I suppose the film really reflects my love of being at home, which kind of shows in my films because if I can shoot something at my place, then heck, I'm shooting at my place. I see no need to rent trucks and haul equipment everywhere if I can do the darn thing at home (hence the restaurant scene in my apartment lobby in Eddie's Winning Date). The ironic thing here, is that for kind of the first time, it actually wasn't my home.
But at least Sean lived pretty close and Jeremy and I had only a camera and light kit to lug over there.
I can't tell you how relaxing it was to do a film with just two other people, and Sean's dog, Neo, too. I loved not having to worry about sound, too. We were able to film it in one evening and one short day. We didn't have to rush much either -- see below, I'm relaxed as we wait for Sean to get off the phone...
Now, it wasn't required to turn in an edited film, but I edited it anyway, using a piece of music that Jeremy had composed on Garage Band. Since the film wasn't much of a story and more a music/experimental piece, I wanted to put a voice over to give it a little more meaning. Jeremy did the voice over only for time sake. We would have liked to have Sean do it, but we were crunched for time. We just wanted to have it somewhat complete for my screening in class.
Even though Jeremy has a great voice for voice work, his voice doesn't fit Sean, and we do want to take it out and have Sean do the voice at some point. I would love to have this film feel completed. It isn't for the reason that I think this film is going to be in a lot of festivals, but because it won't take that much to do, and I would like to see if I can have it screened somewhere.
Happy at Home got put on the back burner in 2006 because, after the semester was over, I was working a lot of overtime at my job, which I took in stride. Somewhat. (I like money but I miss having time to work on my things.) We were preparing for our move back to Boston, so stashing away money took priority.
And while I'm again a worker drone to catch up on money, although this time at a much slower rate, this project remains somewhere on my TO DO list.
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