Paris: Finally Finished (fingers crossed)

Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Eiffel Tower from the Trocadéro. Photo by Clay Lancaster

Hello hello.

We’ve had a fairly busy last 10 days, and after this evening I should comfortably be able to say that the Paris portion of the film is in the can (which is like 90% of it).

The ending was re-written and a B-story was added. Our first few days were spent re-shooting the ending with our lead actress, as she had another project to get to. I flew from San Francisco to New Jersey, then New Jersey to Paris… hopped on the RER train into Gentilly, met up with everyone here at the studio, had about 30 minutes to get settled, then we started rolling.

 

Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
Straight off the airplane, filming a scene in Paris before the rain hit.
The remainder of the week we worked with our lead actor/writer (as well as a new actress) on the new side story. It was challenging.

A big problem with not having much of a budget is that we have to shoot where we can shoot. That means spending hours on crowded riverbanks – take after take – trying to avoid loud boats, loud people, rain, onlookers, lighting issues, potential security issues, etc.

One of our scenes took about 8 hours to wrap. The scene is only about 5 minutes long.

This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.
This scene is about 4 seconds long. Yet we needed 5 takes. I labeled the slate accordingly.

The majority of our people are now gone, leaving Keith and me here in this art studio on our own. We spent the last day and a half doing some much-needed sleeping in, some pub-drinking, some bicycle riding through the city, some wine drinking, some photography, and some Formula 1 race-watching. After our mini pizzas come out of the oven, we’re gonna jump on the Metro with the RED camera and go film some establishing b-roll. Then tonight we pack up, and jet back to San Francisco tomorrow morning.

Band photo. Actually it's our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).
Band photo. Actually it’s our lead actor (left), cinematographer (my brother, center), and audio (me, right).

It’s been a blast. At the start of 2013, I surely didn’t see myself going to Paris this year… and definitely didn’t see myself going twice. Now it has become a running joke that we’ll all just be right back here in a another few months to film something else.

To my clients who have been patiently waiting on their wedding photos, thank you! I’ll have them to you soon.

Enjoy some of these photos, and I’ll see you guys back in the States in a couple of days.

-Clay

Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Out and about in Paris at night, during Nuit Blanche. Photo by Clay Lancaster
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Night Filming near Notre Dame. Paris, France.
Keith and Kevin discuss... something.
Keith and Kevin discuss… something.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.
This time Kevin brought a remote-controlled quad-copter for arial shots. We crashed it a lot.

…like this:

Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
Sunrise shot from the Trocadero
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
My skeletal roommate. He watched me while I sleep across the room. Good guy.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and... me (technically) in the back.
Awkward filming moment. Barbara, Kevin, and… me (technically) in the back.

 

Still Alive! Just plowin’ through…

Hey folks.

It’s wedding season. It has been, and it will continue to be for a bit. Which means it’s Editing City here in my office, on top of admin stuff, bookings for next year, and traveling.

Going back in my calendar, I realized I’ve traveled a lot in 2013. Los Angeles, Lake Tahoe, Las Vegas, Paris, Istanbul, Lake Tahoe (again), Denver…

Lancaster Bros. during our first filming outing in Paris last April

…and guess what? My brother Keith and I just coordinated flights and are headed back to Paris in about 3 weeks to finish up the movie we are working on. Time was crunched last trip (3 weeks is pretty ambitious for even the most indie of films) so we missed some shots that we needed. As I understand it, our writer/director has revamped the storyline and added some new stuff, so all of us are headed back to finish up.

There’s a couple more weddings to shoot before the trip, more weddings after the trip, then I’ll be headed to Florida for Thanksgiving (which is also my birthday this year) to see my parents’ new house.

To top it off, one of my good friends (an exchange student from Berlin that I met in 1996) is in town visiting. I had not seen this guy in 16 YEARS, and after a few minutes it felt like nothing had changed:

Martin & Me last week

Oh, and for the first time in my life I actually beat a Zelda game:

Here are some of my other favorite moments since I last updated:

Shot promos for Tracing Figures… a band that contains two of my former band mates from years ago.
Seeing my family at our reunion in Vail, CO. That’s me with my cousin & uncle.
Dusk on Lake Tahoe
Got to shoot Gillian’s wedding at Diablo Ranch in Walnut Creek. She is an old friend from our high school choir days
Vail, CO mountains as the lightning storm started coming in
Aimee & Paul’s wedding at the Rengstorff House in Mountain View
Taryn & Brian’s wedding reception
the moon in Tahoe

It’s been a blast so far! Gonna be hard to top the events of this year when 2014 rolls around. Then again, I said the same thing last year.

-Clay