July 9, 1996

Andy Edelman, the sound mixer, has been discontent on the production from the beginning, and today he blew up at some minor problem and said he was walking out on us because of our unprofessionalism. We tried to talk him out of leaving, and his anger seemed to subside over the course of the day; when I tried to nail him down at night, he asked about the next day's shots as if he had never threatened to walk. His departure would put the film in dire peril: even if we found another sound mixer, the time spent searching would stretch our inflexible schedule past the breaking point.

None of the other film veterans on the crew seem to think that we are particularly unprofessional, and Andy has no allies on the set. Which is a lucky thing: it's not uncommon for one unhappy person on the set to turn others against the production. Part of the problem is that Andy has the most Hollywoodish film aesthetic of any of the crew, and my unorthodox film style looks to him like inexperience and incompetence instead of an aesthetic choice. And most of my stylistic preferences make Andy's job more difficult: my taste for long shots means that it's harder to get the microphones near the actors; and I usually forego the standard practice of shooting each scene from multiple angles, which gives the sound mixer the chance to get clear recordings in the closeups.

Another part of the problem is that Andy is just a difficult guy and would probably make our lives miserable under any circumstances. But we've paid him in advance, and it will be too hard to change sound mixers at this point. We'll just have to hope that he doesn't leave before shoot's end.

Otherwise, filming went well in Ricketts Glen State Park. Today is Dylan's first day on the Pennsylvania set, and he and Edith were very good in today's scenes.

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