" " " A to Z with Meryl and Me: Special thanks for the X Scene!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Special thanks for the X Scene!

It's Complicated was a movie that I saw prior to beginning A to Z and I loved it.  It was written and directed by one of my absolute favorites, Nancy Meyer and it had all the cool music, laughter and fun that I require in a film.  In short, it is a chick flick.  That's right up my alley and after weeding through so many dramas, some that ran long and were difficult to get myself to watch, it was a thrill that coursed through me when I pulled It's Complicated out of the "hat".

With that said, me playing that role of Jane Adler is wildly inappropriate and bad casting.  I could see myself cast in the role of Julia in Defending Your Life or even as Francesca in Bridges of Madison County but this role might have been the one that I found the most wrong for me.  Even in Prime, where I'm supposed to have a son who's 23, I have a daughter who is 21 so that wasn't so out of reach to me.  Even though I've never been a homeless bum, Ironweed felt doable.  It's Complicated is a story about a woman who was married for decades to a man who cheated on her for a much younger model.  They then divorced and my character had to endure her remarried ex with his younger wife in many situations that involved the kids.  As I sit here divorced and yes in fact my ex husband did remarry, this still is so far from me.  I wouldn't cast myself in this role but like all the others, I was going to make it happen and it did.

Devon Collins shot and edited It's Complicated and it was very complicated for him to do so. He was on another shoot and had been assured that it would completed at a very specific time.  We coordinated everything around that time.  Poor Devon got to his other shoot and discovered that time was fictitious.  They added more locations and he left hours later than he had expected.  The pressure was on when he arrived at our location.  We were running out of time with one of the actors and Devon had to perform in rapid speed.  He did it though.  He managed to set up the lights and figure out the camera angles in minutes.  The very fact that he could be under the gun so much and come up with anything is saying something.  Trying to get what is needed for the edit when the time crunch is so present is a challenge and Devon gave it his all. This scene was Devon's swan song in the world of A to Z.  He was exhausted and showed up anyway.  I feel very fortunate to have worked with him on my project and will continue to do so on many projects to come.  Thanks so much for everything, Dev!  To hire Devon email him at devon@stimulifilm.com or to see his other work visit his channel at vimeo.com/devon.

Mike Kraft was the voice behind The Fantastic Mr. Fox and in It's Complicated he was perfectly cast in Alec Baldwin's role, Jake Adler.  Mike arrived prepared with costume, props and lines memorized. That's pretty much how Mike rolls.  If he's on a job, you can rest assured he's going to bring it.  Whether there's someone sitting in the chair across from him or not, he's going to deliver time and time again a consistent, letter perfect performance.  He may be there offering advice, as he comes with many ideas of how to make things happen most efficiently. He may even notice the hair out of place or what needs to happen to assure continuity.  He's a consummate professional.  Mike stays busy. He's an extraordinary on camera talent.  You'll find him as the voice of or the face of many products, too many to mention.  Visit his website to see demo after demo of his fabulous work, http://www.mikekraft.com or email him at narr8tor@gmail.com.  He's a whiz with the ear prompter and can cook a mean meal too, if you're lucky enough to have dinner with him!

Tom Kondilas played the Doctor in this scene.  Talk about a quick operation.  He was there on time, ready to go and even willing to go out and buy another costume choice just to be perfect.  As we sat in the hotel, running lines and preparing for the scene, we watched the time tick away.  Tom had to go to a previous engagement and a lesser man would have bailed saying he didn't want to be put under such a drastic time constraint.  Tom did not do this though. He rolled with the punches.  Instead, he shot his entire part in 10 minutes.  I'm not exaggerating.  I was looking at the clock.  He took direction, remained focused and knocked it out.  I appreciate his efforts, his attention to detail and his stick to it attitude.  Originally I saw Tom's work on stage at the Liminis theater and I was so impressed that I thought of him for another on camera shoot and this role.  I'm so glad he accepted and joined us on this wild ride.  Tom is the point man for his own production company.  Visit their website here, http://www.lessproductions.com/2010/01/about-less-productions.html.  To email Tom directly for work and I can assure you he will work his tookus off, tom.kondilas@gmail.com.  And he has his own blog that I encourage you to read http://tomkondilas.blogspot.com/

Terri Negron is my tech support and my web magician who magically turns my every post into a wonder before my eyes.  I could go on and on.  Only rarely do I select the cute little pics you see on this blog, that's all Terri.  When my videos show up on my fan page on Facebook, that's Terri too.  Oh and then there's my website and grabbing the still from each scene after I select it which I hate to say takes several tries.  She's oh so patient with me and does wonderful work.  To hire Terri email her, terri@fengshui5.com

THE MUSIC.  Oh, the Music!  I'm about to gush.  As I've mentioned so many times, Nancy Meyer is one of my favorite writers and directors but another talent of hers is music choice in her films.  She selects the best pieces for every moment in the movie.  I've even purchased soundtracks from her movies, I love them so much. So, when I heard Jonny and His Dad, a local father, son duo play "Nancy's Jazz" for the first time, I immediately said I LOVE THAT SONG and I said it reminded me of a Nancy Meyer's type song.  When I began doing A to Z I knew I wanted to use that song in one of my scenes so imagine my excitement when I found I was doing a Nancy Meyer's film and a light, jovial scene matched perfectly with their song.  Originally Jimmy and Jonathan called this song the Jazz song but they switched it to Nancy's Jazz when they recorded specially for me.  Awwww, do you love that as much as I do?  You can't possibly.  Jimmy and Jonathan headed over to The Reel Thing, made this recording and I was fortunate enough to be allowed to use it in my It's Complicated scene.  My only regret is that I should have told Devon I wanted it through the entire scene, louder in certain moments and quieter in others of course, because I think that would have been a great improvement on the flow and vibe of the scene.  I love that song.  Remind me to request my own copy from the boys.  I could listen to it all day long.  To hear more of their music and learn about Jonny and His Dad go to their website at http://www.jonnyandhisdad.com and get them booked at your local coffee and spirits house!

Special Thanks go to:

AFTRA.  OK, this might be confusing but last year I went to our AFTRA, Annual Meeting and I won a door prize of a free hotel room at the Residence Inn in Beachwood.  Funny thing is I was the one handing out the prizes and I made a big deal about it being a hotel room in case anyone wanted to shack up, wink wink, you know, just being silly and then MY name was picked out of the hat. A to Z was very new at the time but I realized that the room would probably be a location for one scene or another.  YAY AFTRA, my union rocks!  Oh, you do get that I used my winning door prize for the location for It's Complicated, right?

Also a big thank you goes out to Pete Tokar who engineered and mixed the song played by Jonny and His Dad.  Nancy's Jazz sounded wonderful due to his magic touch in the studio.

Thanks to all my Xers!


jkimgant said...

Everyone did a great job on this scene!