Rain in the Mountains, Day Two
What is Rain in the Mountains?
spider web decked in dew and backlit in the Mima Prairie Preserve
The first shot of the day came as Joel and I cleared a path to the hanging tree. On a whim, we grabbed a few seconds of a spider web decked in dew, backlit by the rising sun.

I remarked to Joel that the Dead Man character is very reminiscent of a spider — hanging suspended in air, waiting for his prey. Equally dangerous: the capricious deities of filmmaking.

Today we found out how truly blessed yesterday was. It started early on, when I actually found a hair in the gate. Joel’s compulsive gate-checking turns out to be sane. Unfortunately for Joe and Steve, their perfect take was ruined and we had to shoot the scene all over again. After we did it again, my announcement — “Gate is clean” — was met with cheers and applause.

At about 9 am, a flock of airplanes decided to circle overhead, ruining sound (one idiot kept doing barrel rolls, buzzing like a chainsaw). Poor Jameson, the sound guy. If it wasn’t the planes, it was the wind. If it wasn’t the wind, it was gunshots. Yes, gunshots. So much for Mima Prairie being quiet!

Joe and Steve would rehearse while Joel and Christine coached them. Whenever we stopped hearing gunshots (Yosemite Sam or whoever kept shooting would pause once and a while to reload), we’d rush to get the take. Sometimes Joe & Steve dropped lines. They were as frustrated as anyone. They’ve rehearsed those lines to death.

Despite a lot of setbacks, the day’s shoot finished early. We shot 4 rolls and change. That’s 1600+ feet of film, or 45 minutes of actual film shot. It doesn’t seem like much, but it happens to be too much. Each roll retails for more than $100 and this budget is tight. I’m praying that my focus calculations are correct. We may end up with time for re-shoots but no money to do them.

Will we succeed or will we end up tangled in a web of wasted film? Keep checking back!


Director of independent film Rain in the Mountains, Joel Metlen sits in a tree making the movie
Lillian slates for camera while Christine Sullivan and 'Danny of Arabia' look on

I’ll attempt to post about the movie at least once every two days. Keep checking back to follow the progress of the film. I’ve tried to gloss most of the terminology — try moving your mouse over film words like “gate.” If you see anything else that needs explaining, or you have questions or commentary, leave a note in the Comment section below.