Day 4 on the set
July 31, 2012
Today feels really good so far, and I’m getting more and more comfortable with the whole process. We started with shots at Lotus Lake, with the gorgeous natural morning light. It is a joy to see the directors work together, searching for “where the money is”, or the best shots for light and color. One of the scenes we shot was of Juliet ending a meditation overlooking Lotus Lake, which everyone enjoyed – how can you not! It’s really gratifying to hear them say “nice” under their breath after the shot.
My job in that scene was pretty simple – radiate peace and greet Juliet. My best work.
Each morning as I drive to the hermitage in Roxie (our yellow Nissan Xterra, who will star as herself in the film), I pass Andy Strahorn, director of photography, capturing some fabulous interplay of light and nature. He’s been trying to capture wildlife as well, especially the elusive 6 point buck that has been teasing him with impromptu appearances. Wish him luck as he continues his quest! Not as easy as an iPhone shot, unfortunately.
The way we are filming is tailored to Swamiji’s schedule, which requires the crew to move everything back and forth to Crystal Hermitage – quite a process! They’ve transformed the dome for the last scene of Juliet and Swami, filled now with cameras, lights, white reflective “bounce cards” (big 4′x4′ pieces of foam core), black shades, and people. Lots of people. As each shot depends on so many different aspects coming into place, you can imagine the time it takes to set up each one.
Parked outside the hermitage is a huge generator truck which is supplying the electricity needed for this massive project. Big cables are strewn today into the dome, and the heat of the lights and people are quite challenging. They are filming closeups today, so I get to rest in the dining room until they are ready for a wider shot with me in it. I don’t speak in this scene, but always accompany Juliet as she meets people throughout the film, with occasional dialogue.
Here are the women behind what we say: Asha Praver from Palo Alto, and Shivani Lucki, who is one of the producers. They are the ones shaping the conversation, and in my case, making sure that I have something intelligent to say. I take their words and make it my own, and then Ted adds his input. Just be natural and spontaneous! Ha! That’s what I liked about this morning – my lines were “Good morning!” and “I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.” Nice.
Swamiji is also getting a glimpse of what it means to be an actor. He’s said playfully that he no longer wants to be a movie star. Too much work! Take after take – even if the first shot is good, there are other technical things that need to be redone. I’m enjoying the process thoroughly, focusing on projecting an aura of Ananda – peace, joy, love. Just as I believe that sound can capture subtle vibrations of thought and feeling, surely these high def cameras can pick up the energy as well.
We also filmed in the permaculture garden today, where Juliet meets Ananta McSweeney and Devadasi and Alex Forrester. They all did a fabulous job, speaking of bringing consciousness into gardening and working with the energy of the plants.
And here is Darrell Chan, in charge of taking the raw footage and getting it ready for editing, parked on the back porch of Crystal Hermitage.
His hard drive is 90TB. Ninety Terrabytes! And to just think that in a few years that will probably fit on a flash drive. It’s really great to hang out back here, to see the fabulously beautiful shots that they are capturing. I’m sorry I can’t show you any footage yet – I’d get in big trouble! Just take my word for it that seeing this film will be a feast of joy for the eyes.
Shhh…they just called action in the dome.