“Welcome to New York.”
I wrote this episode first because it was inspired by a true epic fail. The problem was, I put together one of the most complicated and challenging scripts to shoot – especially for my first series ever. It went through many drafts and a few people even encouraged me to scratch the episode entirely. I took that advice to heart, but wasn’t ready to give up. I decided to implement simplicity and amp up the specificity. Even once the entire episode was filmed, it still went through many drafts until we arrived at the one that premiered Friday.
Not only did the premise present a challenge for shooting, but also the weather was not on our side. The morning we shot all of the Homeless Man’s scenes, it was 30 degrees with an even deadlier wind-chill. The fact that you can’t see our frozen breath or detect our shivers is miraculous. Nick Pearson (Homeless Man) even did a totally improvised take where we let the camera roll for nearly eight minutes. The bonus material was comedic gold, (some of the nuggets you’ll find in the credits.) He, our Director, Jared Windler, and our Boom Op, Eric Tsuchiyama, endured ridiculous weather to help a newbie out.
“Reservoir Doghouse” took four days to shoot in seven plus locations in two cities. Four days for a four-minute pilot. Part of that had to do with the number of featured actors we had to film, while the rest was due to getting rained out (twice) from our intended shooting date.
It seemed that every possible roadblock occurred in the midst of writing, shooting and editing this particular episode. However, there were so many wonderful benefits that came about because of the seeming misfortune. If we had shot in early October, like we had planned, the leaves wouldn’t have been brilliant yellow and flaming orange which add to the wonder of taking in the city for the first time. We were able to use Off-Broadway’s own, Emily Behny, (Jogger), who is as kind as she is beautiful – which is why hearing her censored for her filthy language makes me cackle every time I watch it.
My favorite moment of this episode, though, has to be the film debut of Ms. Elixabete Lynch, our star baby. The crew, (me, Jared and boom op Eric Coons), spent maybe a half hour total at the Garcia-Lynch residence to shoot that scene. Elixabete had two takes. Michael Caine only needs one. She only needed two. The squeal you hear after the door slams in the episode happened as you heard it. What you didn’t hear was the laughter of everyone on set that erupted right after. Even though we knew she’d rather be watching her favorite cartoon, Sarah and Duck, she humored us with her natural acting abilities for thirty minutes. Her agent/father, Jonathon, (who also composed the music you’ll hear in every episode), displayed a very honest portrayal of her dad.
Episode two will be shared tomorrow, 3.28.17. Look for another breakdown to follow. As ever, thank you for watching. =)