Rain in the Mountains, Day Six
What is Rain in the Mountains?

Up at 2am this morning, the earliest call of the whole shoot. We were scheduled to do it again tomorrow but, good news is, we finished all the dam shots today and don’t need to go back.

As per the location agreement, I’m not allowed to name the dam. I can, however, tell you that we drove three hours north to the Port Angeles area. Joel drove the lead car. I was in the middle, driving ‘Blanche’, a white Geo Prizm that plays Lindsay‘s car. Danny Brunell, the award-winning journalist and utility crew member, brought up the rear.

101 North is a curvy s.o.b. and I eventually lost Joel, lead foot that he is. He waited at a fork in the road, however, and I found him, but not before Danny, another driver with a need for speed, passed me. So I find myself chasing both of them through Port Angeles when they suddenly both pull over. I’m wondering what’s up until I see the cherries of a police car dancing in my rearview.

Read more (and more photos)…I’ve never been pulled over in my life. Neither has Lillian, who owns Blanche. She’s in the passenger seat, quaking at the prospect of insurance premium hike.

The officer walks up to me first, announces himself and tells me I was doing 43 in a 30. He asks if I was carpooling with the cars ahead of me. “Yes sir.” Where are you going? “We’re going to shoot a movie.” He doesn’t even nod. I hand over licence and registration and he goes back to his vehicle. For a long time. Jameson Peters, the sound man, and Nick were both sleeping in the back seat. They’re now awake and telling me horror stories of Washington’s traffic laws. I’m also wondering if Danny and Joel are also going to get tickets. What a way to start the hardest shooting day!

Finally he walks back and returns the license and registration, telling me to “drive safe”. What does this mean? Jameson tells me if he was giving me a ticket, I’d have to sign something. So I guess I’m home free. He pulls off. Jameson speculates he got a call. Maybe he just pulled up my driving record and saw how spotless it is. (I haven’t driven for the last five years since I’ve been living in New York.) Either way, it looks like we caught a lucky break and a very understanding officer.

We still made it to the location on time, and what a location it is! Steve, the guy in charge of the dam, is the nicest dude in the world and pretty much closed off the road we were using to film. We shot footage like gangbusters all through the morning until we hit our first snag.

Several of the dam shots call for a smoke effect. Getting a smoke machine that will work has been one of Lillian and Christine‘s biggest headaches. We ran some tests yesterday (with dry ice), and so we thought we were ready. But we weren’t ready for our generator to break down.

Location manager Kit Metlen saved the day by driving into town and scrounging one up. Meanwhile, cast and crew broke for lunch. Driving back down the hill, we came upon Meryl, our craft services specialist, asleep in the lawn chair. Lillian scared the bejesus out of her by driving right up next to her and blaring the horn. Poor woman. She was just enjoying what all of us wanted at that moment: sleep.

After lunch the sun came out high and bright. We got beaucoup coverage of the scenes with varying amounts of smoke and had another hair in the gate (see Day Two). We managed to get every shot scheduled for both days and then some. A happy bunch wended its way back to Olympia. We can all sleep in tomorrow.

PHOTO CREDIT: Final picture by Dan Brunell, courtesy Foxhall Films. All other pictures by J. Ott and free for use under the Creative Commons license of this website.