Monday, September 12, 2011

Rug Burns - Production - Day 1 - Part 1

Saturday - August 27th, 2011

Things started off with a thud. I was up at 5:30AM to shower and pack the car. Adam promised the night before he'd be up at the same time to wake up John, since we knew the sun would rise at 6:35AM, we'd try to get as much daylight as possible.

Adam either didn't set his alarm, or slept through his alarm. (Behind-the-Scenes Factoid: My little sister told me that he used an entire roll of toilet paper the night before. Is that why he overslept? I don't have the answer for that.)

I packed the car, woke up John, texted Pat, and went to wake up Adam at 5:55AM.

Adam and John insisted on getting Tim Hortons before we headed downtown.

I ate a banana, an orange, and a granola bar.

John bought Timbits and a small coffee (more on this later).

As we drove along the Gardiner Expressway, we realized we didn't have a sword for the scene...Adam mentioned that he had one back in Georgetown...too late to head back, we'd have to improvise.

I parked the car off York St. and we headed to the first location.

Rooftop Parking Lot - Lower Simcoe Street

During location scouting, I found out that half of this parking facility was under construction...which meant the place would be deserted on a Saturday morning.
The first scene we shot was in the stairwell...

Camera work courtesy of John
Working with a two-camera setup, you have to constantly be aware of where the other camera is, without shooting the other camera...this proved to be pretty difficult, and in the end, about 50% of the footage will need to be cropped or trashed altogether. 

I remembered from my last visit that there was a broken window somewhere in the stairwell. Thanks to a clumsy construction worker we didn't have to vandalize any property to get some good looking shots:

We probably should have cleared the broken glass before having Adam lie on the ground...
We shot another chase scene on the 7th floor of the parking tower before moving up to the rooftop. The only problem is we didn't have a knife, we didn't have a sword, we didn't have a chain, we had no other weapons...essentially 'Bad Guy #2' was gonna bring his fists to a gunfight...

Scanning the parking lot, I noticed there were some extra fence parts lying around...PERFECT!

Rug has hops.
 Part of the allure for using this location was the amazing skyline we'd be able to capture during fight scenes.

The struggle ensues...eight stories above downtown Toronto.
 I took a couple extra 'glamour' pics featuring Rug in front of the CN Tower...and then we got the fuck out of Dodge. 

One ethical dilemma we encountered almost everywhere was whether or not we should clean the areas before leaving. The problem is the longer you stick around somewhere (when you don't have a permit) the more likely you are to get busted and harassed. So we guiltily left some puddles of fake blood in the stairwell...but on the positive side, the blood consisted of mostly chocolate syrup, which masked the smell of hobo urine quite at least we left the place smelling better than when we got there.

Polson Pier

Mere minutes upon our arrival at Polson Pier, Pat dropped my voice recorder. Fortunately the night before I packed a bunch of tape...just in case. Always, always, always bring tape.

While I was fixing the recorder, our pal John (pictured above in the gore-tex jacket) started to puke his guts out. As director, I immediately instructed Adam to start rolling tape...and lucky for you, he caught the last 30 seconds of it...enjoy!

'Rug Burns' meets John Ralphs from 3+one entertainment on Vimeo.

I guess running around in a gore-tex jacket for half an hour after chugging energy drinks isn't the best idea...

John, however, was a real trooper and insisted he was fine, sticking around for another 5 hours of shooting!

During our time at Polson Pier, we shot some chase scenes, the toll booth scene, and lots of skyline you can tell, shit was poppin' off:

If this were a poster, I'd hang it on my wall.
One snag we hit was that I originally picked an abandoned toll booth for us to use. But when we got there, it was chained off, and we couldn't get our car through. I didn't remember a chain being there. Lucky for us the next nearest toll booth was unlocked...

Another thing I forgot to consider was the morning humidity...that morning was exceptionally foggy, so we had a really narrow window of opportunity to shoot skyline shots.

Before we left for Cherry Street, we got Pat doing some stunts...a couple commando rolls, jumping off loading docks...and this:

Rug Burns? Rug Spills! from 3+one entertainment on Vimeo.

It probably didn't help that he was wearing his work shoes from the office.

Save for a couple nosy bystanders, Polson Pier was a great location to shoot at.

Next time: Cherry Street, Real Cops, and Westwood Theatre!


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