June 18, 1996

The production sustained its first major blow today. John Nuler, our cinematographer and an old friend of mine, may not be able to come out from Los Angeles to shoot the film: his wife Kit is quite ill, and the doctors have ordered him not to leave her. The best possible scenario is that John will get here a day before the shoot, without the week's preparation in NYC that we've been counting on. We won't know until Friday whether there's a chance of him shooting the film at all.

We've decided to start looking for other DPs (directors of photography), telling them that we won't know for a few days whether we will need them. It seems that there are a lot of DPs out there looking for gigs, but we don't know how hard it will be to find one whom we like and who will work on this no-budget level.

We did find a sound mixer today, which had been our biggest worry before John's crisis. His name is Andy--I'm not quite sure of his last name, which is an indication that the producers are starting to shield me pretty well from the details. Sound mixers are traditionally the crew members that you have to pay, no matter how low your budget is--they aren't in it for the glory or the credit. We managed to obtain a professional guy at a fairly low price, but even that low price was higher than we had expected to pay--we had misjudged the going rate, and a lot of sound guys laughed in Bill's face before we figured it out.

Lots of good and bad things are happening every day, now that the pace has accelerated. On the good side, Robin saved us a lot of money by locating some relatively inexpensive lighting equipment, and Alex and I went to Central Park and found the last of our outdoor NYC locations. On the bad side, we lost the loft location that we wanted for the male lead's apartment (thanks to an uncooperative landlord), and our friend Sue has put some restrictions on our use of her apartment, which is our first location. These restrictions, coupled with Dylan's scheduling conflicts, are going to make the first few days of the shoot complicated and rushed. Which is way too bad, because it's a rule of filmmaking that you should arrange an easy first day to bolster the crew's morale.

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