Episode 3 of the webseries I directed last year launched today.
A big chunk of this episode was shot at Thunderbird Stadium at UBC. This was also our first day of shooting and since it had been awhile since I'd done any directing work I was feeling a little nervous. Thankfully, (at least on this particular day) directing turned out to be like riding a bike - once you've done it, you never forget how to do it.
It helped me a lot that I had a wonderful cast, some of whom I'd worked with before such as Michael Teigen who starred in my short film Say Yes. It was my first time working with John Marshall Jones and Adrian Holmes who played Commissioner Steele and Detective Zet. There's always a little bit of a "getting to know you" dance when working with an actor you haven't worked with before but thankfully both John and Adrian were quick to pick up on my take for the scene.
The first half of our day was spent shooting the stadium interiors with Michael followed by a chunk of the big scene out front. By the time we got to shooting the coverage on series leads Anita and Eric everyone was extremely comfortable with the scene... Which can be very dangerous as the intensity and the emotional stakes can lose some of their dramatic oomph.
Realizing that the scene needed to be re-energized I pulled what can be a risky directing move...
Eric and Anita were getting too comfortable in their reactions so I pulled aside John (Commissioner Steele) and told him to go "off-book" and improvise off the script. "Give it to them", I said. "Tear a strip off of them!"
And tear a strip off them he did. Throwing a stream of insults at poor Eric and Anita.
This could have gone horribly wrong. A surprise like this can give a director a reaction from the actors that is totally wrong for the scene or, worse, damage the trust between actor and director. Thankfully in this case, the actors trusted me and gave me what I needed.
I hope you enjoyed the episode. The next chapter of Libelle: The Series will be launching next week.
Until next time folks.