May 8, 1996

Today I started going through the completed storyboard to determine how many camera setups will be required for each scene. Once we know the number of setups, we can start making a shooting schedule. In general, one expects to be able to shoot about ten camera setups a day. (Each new setup requires new lighting, which is the most time-consuming part of filmmaking.) Other factors also affect the speed of shooting, of course, like the number of location changes, the difficulty of the individual shots, etc.

Looking over the storyboard, I count about 300 shots in the planned film. Years ago it used to be said that the average film contained 600 shots--I expect that that figure has risen since the advent of choppier modern editing techniques. I have a penchant for long, uninterrupted takes, which means that I will have fewer camera setups than most filmmakers, and fewer shots in the finished film. Unfortunately, it also means that I will have to do more takes and expose more film, because long takes are difficult to get right. It's a tradeoff.

Bill, Alex, Robin and I met last night for a strategy session. Screening Polly Perverse yesterday doesn't seem to have put them off the project--they even said a few nice words about it. Alex's day job with Merrill Lynch is over, just in time for her to dive into the frenzied preproduction period. And Robin is trying to get time off from her editing job so she can be on the set, which would be great. Bill, on the other hand, may have conflicts with his music career (he's a drummer with several NYC bands, including Rogues' March) that could make him unavailable around the time of the shoot. Oh, well--one has to be accepting of the coming and going of collaborators in a no-budget production. All three of them have my eternal gratitude for the effort and care they've been putting into this film.

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