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Shadows
June 24, 2000


Call time: 12 Noon


Lucy, Hayden Saunier on scaffolding Today we were back in West Philadelphia. I braced myself for an active day, full of neighborhood participation. School was out by now, and it was a beautiful (but hot) day. There are so many children in this neighborhood, and the camera often attracts most of them.

But surprisingly, people seemed to be used to us by now. We had very few on lookers. The thrill is gone, and we set about shooting our scenes, quietly. We didnit have any special jimmy jibs or dolly and tracks, we were just a compact little crew with one actress, we barely made a peep.

Today we were able to shoot Lucy working on the mural, including many essential close up shots of her painting. I think we will need these for pacing when we edit the film in August and September. Because of the continuity problems Iive created by having Lucy wearing her hat in some scenes, her bandana in others -- I filmed some safety scenes of her taking off/putting on her hat and bandana. We also filmed scenes of Lucy drinking lots of water, which I will use to push the heat factor -- not only is it a hot day, but this character suffers from Lupus, which causes extreme muscle fatigue (which is aggravated by exposure to the sun). She's really pushing herself to the limit on this day.

Lucy, Glenn Holsten, John MacElhenney and Jim Marshall shoot scene on scaffolding We were fortunate to have lovely late afternoon/early evening warm, yellow sunlight on the mural -- all the greens and blues almost pop off the wall. As weire filming a wide shot of Lucy is painting in all different parts of the mural -- especially on the top level -- I notice her shadow on the building next door. Itis a blank, beige stucco wall, a perfect canvas for a shadow play. We film the shadow, itis a great shot. One of those great, unplanned, terrific, fortunate coincidences. It also reminds me how much I like documentary filming, and that I should pay attention to our surroundings moreso than I have to date.


Lucy's shadow as she paints When we leave I chat with some of the neighbors that were initially a bit put off when we asked them to move their cars, or stand out of the way. Iive been making a conscious effort to fill them in about our filming schedule, so that weid have no more surprises, and minimize tension. Itis very important to me that people want us to be filming in their neighborhood -- or at least feel connected to the filming, rather than resent us. I tell them weill be back in July, after the mural has had itis "transformation." They love the mural, they say, and are glad that weire done marking it up. "Have a nice holiday," one of the neighbors offers as I walk away. I appreciated the comment so much.

I have about an hour left with crew and camera -- not a whole lot of time, but time enough. We pack up and travel to the West River Drive, where we catch the sun setting on the Philadlephia Museum of Art and the WaterWorks building. In the foreground, a man fishes, while his girlfriend relaxes in a folding chair. To me itis a perfect picture of the potential for beauty in the summer in the city. These kinds of shots are important to me, to create a context for the dramatic fictional stories we are filming.

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