Other than my own short film, I worked on my other team members’ films.
One of the memorable shoots was with my teammate, Gawby. I was the producer on the shoot. We shot in Santa Monica and third street. We went to this cafe in Lincoln Heights. We had to wait till the cafe closed. So we waited there until the live music stopped at the cafe and everyone cleared out. It took forever and it was almost midnight. Finally, we started to set up. My brother was there to chaperone me and he got a small part in the short. He was thrilled. LOL. This spot was spooky and old. We had a blast shooting there but I kept feeling this uneasy energy. It was a really big cafe. The back stock was upstairs and I was waiting there by myself at some point. I kept hearing noises up and down the stairs even though no one was there. We ended up leaving around 3am. I was going to take the streets back but my brother said hell no. He said to follow him onto the freeway ramp. Mind you, it had taken me three hours to get there because I took the streets. I listened to him even though I was freaking out in my head. I had never been on the freeway by myself. If you remember from a few blogs ago, the only time I drove on the freeway was with my dad and it went horribly. What convinced me was my brother saying “no one will be on the freeway at 3am, just follow me, it will be fine. This was my older brother Adres, we are closest in age. The freeway was pretty empty but there were all of these semi trucks on the freeway. At one point, I lost my brother because a semi-truck got between us. Luckily, I had been on the freeway with my family enough to know what my exit was. It was one of the most exhilarating and frightening experiences of my life. I know you must be thinking that it’s just the freeway but I was 19 years old and it was my first time by myself on the freeway. Boy, did I feel grown up
Brian, my other teammate, wrote a story about an insane asylum. He had no idea what he was doing until it was his shoot day. He didn’t have a location or anything really planned. I was the script supervisor on this shoot. We ended up finding a location last minute in Compton. My entire life I have heard how Compton was dangerous. My brother Yama and my sister Geeti almost got robbed out there when they went to check out a car. So, I was scared out of my mind. I was by myself and I got there early.
I waited in front of the school we were going to film at. I was so scared that I put my seat all the way down so no one can see me. I was a sheltered girl from the valley in a BMW. I was far from wealthy but from the outside, I might have looked like I was. Allan, my team captain finally arrived at the school. He called me when he finally got there and he sounded concerned. He said, “Frshta, I see your car but where are you? You are not in it!” I slowly put my seat up and said “here I am.” He was parked next to my car and the whole time I thought it was someone trying to get me but it was just Allan. My entire team laughed about this for days. Allan almost cried when he would tell the story of how my seat came up and there I was…hiding. It ended up being a decent short. We didn’t have any actors so Allan had to be the main character. It was great. Everything fell apart but we figured it out.
Hectors, Marlon and Arnie all filmed in the valley. Hector filmed his short at the Sepulveda basin. Marlon shot his in Valley Village. Arnie shot his film at his house. I was the cinematographer for Arnie. I had no confidence but I figured it out and it was actually really cool. His short was about a little boy doing magic. My actors worked in Marlon’s and Arnie’s shorts so it was nice to see the same folks again.
There is so much work that goes into making a three-minute movie, now imagine a large production!
Here’s what I learned. Nothing every goes as planned so expect delays. Always have plenty of food and refreshments. Food keeps people happy. Say please and thank you and learn everyone’s name. And, what’s sleep? Because got none that summer.