Brian Thomas,

Brian Thomas,

A weeklong electronic journal.
March 10 1998 3:30 AM

Brian Thomas,

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       I woke up this morning with a lump in my throat. We were filming in an about-to-be renovated house with crumbling walls and dusty floors, and now it's getting to me. Too much plaster in the air. When I blow my nose, the Kleenex is black.
       My cinematographer told me not to worry if some shots in The Incredible Vibrating Man come out too dark. We can shoot them again with her personal 16 mm camera, a mysterious chunk of metal she picked up in Russia. I've never heard of such a camera, but she says, "You just wind it up and it goes for 40 seconds." Great. And maybe we can light it with a flashlight. Of course, by the time we see this film on-screen (Thursday), our beautifully designed set will be in the city dump.
       Katherine Woolverton (Roxanne) is getting little dents in her head from the hairpiece. The whole day is a big headache for her. I saw her holding up her hair buns between shots, trying to release some of the pressure. Wish there was something I could do, but the hair takes an hour to put on and is practically bolted to her head. Katherine is also very sensitive to the cold, and this is a movie where she's buried in a bathtub of ice and sprayed with water. The ice is fake, but our location is drafty--we're constantly rushing in with blankets to keep her warm. This is in no way a misogynous picture, and I always try to flesh out my female characters, but seeing the image of Roxanne "unconscious" and slung over Johnny's shoulder today made me wonder how and why that image came to be in my script.
       There's some friction between my cinematographer and my gaffer. My assistant was running through the schedule with me this morning, and all I could focus on was those two shouting. I hope we can all hold together until end of day tomorrow. I'm smiling and nodding ... if I feel the need for a nervous breakdown any time soon, I'm going to have to schedule it with my assistant for late tomorrow night.
       Tonight my head is numb and heavy. So many decisions made today. Nothing deep ("Is his coat still on in this shot?" "Where is his hat? On the bench or on the table?"). I can't even answer the simplest questions: Are you hungry? Thirsty? What's your name?

Brian Thomas is an independent filmmaker who lives in Seattle.