It’s 2am.  A rented portable air conditioner is chugging away at full blast in a corner of a small room. But it’s not working. Sweat drips off my face. I have to wipe it out of my eyes so I can focus on the screen. I take a deep breath and yell,

“Sound?”

“Sound good!”

“Camera?”

“Camera good!”

“Action!”

I’m terrified. We are meant to wrap up in an hour and we’ve only shot 5 of the 10 pages we were supposed to cover today. What was I thinking?

I only have one more day to shoot. And my Director of Photography is taking ages to change lights between shots. It’s hot as all hell. I’m worried the talent are going to pass out in the sauna-of-a-set in the next room.

I’m terrified we are only going to have a half a movie when we wrap tomorrow.

How do people do this?

I take a deep breath and calm myself.

“Cut!”

The boom microphone dipped into the shot. The sound operator is tired. Hell, we’re all tired.

My producer walks in and looks at me. She tells me to wrap it up. Everyone is too damn tired. The law of diminishing returns: we’re not going to get anything more out of this crew tonight. Damn, damn, damn, damn, DAMN!

She’s right, of course.

I nod in defeat and she calls out to the team to wrap it up. I lean back forgetting I’m sitting on a makeshift stool. I almost fall over, eliciting a giggle from our make-up artist.

‘What had I imagined  directing would be?’ I wondered to myself. I would be sitting in those chairs with “DIRECTOR” written across the back, smoking a cigar and yelling “Action” and “Cut” whenever I felt like it? I laugh to myself. I laugh even harder when I think back to earlier in the day when our grip climbed out onto what he thought was a tin roof over the driveway of the house we were renting, and it turned out to be no stronger than paper mache. He fell right through.

Luckily he didn’t hurt himself. Even luckier he didn’t land on our makeup artist who was standing not one foot away from his landing spot.

Yeah, time to end this day. I take a deep breath, wipe the sweat of my face and stand up slowly – letting the creaks out of my bones. I step out of the room to prep for the next day. Come hell or high water I was going to finish this movie. And that’s how the first day of shooting ended on Warrior9’s first short film, Mayda.

See how we fared in our second day of filming in our ongoing series: “Adventures in Movie Making”

See the trailer for Mayda featuring music from awesome  65daysofstatic!