We finished filming this segment of Douglas Chang’s inventive film, Chaography, a couple days ago, and I feel like I am STILL trying to catch up on sleep, recharge the batteries. Taking a 6:45 AM flight to Puerto Rico yesterday didn’t help (more about this later).
The last day of shooting took place at the Zinc Bar, and dealt with what the film is really all about - jazz. Marcus Printup, Paul Sikivie and Ulysses Owns joined me to create a piano-less quartet that was free and swinging, just as I had hoped and expected. The music, which I composed to suggest Ornette Coleman of the early 60s, was recorded as we filmed (the director of photography assured me this term was still acceptable, despite being shot in HD video). The music will also serve as the soundtrack, and later be released on CD. It was great having an audience, even if they were all “extras.”
I really enjoyed playing with this quartet. We hadn’t played together before, and although it was put together for the film, I think it has real potential as a performing band. In fact, I am working on a couple bookings...
Though we rushed to get all the performance shots down on tape (visually and aurally), we still ran out of time, and at 5:00 we were kicked out of the club without completely finishing the shoot. Many of the actors who were hired to be in specific shots, had waited in vane, (although they did get a free concert - even if they did have to hear us play one song about 13 times...).
Taking advantage of still having daylight outside, and in need of a few street scenes, I quickly changed clothes and headed around the corner with a skeletal crew to grab a couple shots we were supposed to get on a previous day. One involved my absentmindedly walking into a crosswalk, almost getting hit by a car. You think we had a hired a professional car and driver? A stunt double? Think again. With all the variables - traffic lights changing, cars at different speeds, pedestrians getting in the way, way did it about 30 times before getting one that worked.
And with that final shot in the can, we were done. Before the director could finish the phrase “It’s a wrap,” I was sitting in the closest bar having an IPA.
I really believe in this project. Douglas Chang has a vision, and has a great crew, and wonderful actors. One of the standouts in the cast was Melvin Van Peebles, playing a hobo. Ivette Dumeng, who not only played my wife in the film, was also amazing helping in the production, anticipating Mr. Chang’s needs before he did. She was invaluable. Doug’s shooting team - Tina (camera), Jane (sound) and Tom (everything else) - was fantastic.
For more information about Chaography, please visit: