About Steve’s stroke, if you’re just tuning in. What is Rain in the Mountains – if you’re really just tuning in.

Just got back from a long shoot. Joel’s mom saw Steve at the hospital right before the end of visiting hours. He is swallowing on his own and has regained some speech! More after I catch some zzzzz.

UPDATE, 8:30 AM: Okay, I’m awake. We were back at the Erickson Farmstead yesterday, shooting from about 1 p.m. until late in the night. All of these were scenes that had been rewritten to occur without Steve’s character, or using a body double. We had a fantastic dinner break with music from an eight-person string quartet and fresh lake trout. I’ve got to run off to today’s shoot, so… to be continued…

Read more…UPDATE 2: Okay, more on today’s shoot in another post. People have been curious how we’re going to finish the movie without Steve. I’ll try to describe it.

Last night we did the bedroom scene and two barn scenes. The bedroom scene is where Eric’s wife catches him muttering in his sleep about blowing up the dam. We used a body double hidden by covers and focused the scene more on the wife and her suspicions, which makes narrative sense anyway. Similarly, when she sees suspicious activity happening in the barn at night, we had the body double walk in front of a light, creating shadows in the window.

For the barn hanging scene, a big re-write was needed. The original scene had the Eric character hanging the Dead Man in his barn in front of his son, Todd. Joel re-wrote it to be between Todd and the Dead Man, with Todd saying, basically, “My Dad told me to keep an eye on you.” It’s a very different dynamic for the scene, but it allows for the same plot points to come out. It also turned out to be Nick’s best performance. Turns out he has the most energy at 1 a.m. From a teenager? Who knew.

Shooting in the dark presents a whole new set of difficulties too. Packing up equipment when you can’t see (and you’re tired) is a challenge. Things get lost. The night before I lost my wristwatch. [It was later found in the Arri lights case.] Joel wasn’t happy with the lighting he was able to get on the wide shot of the barn — too dark — even though we had a lot of wattage pointed at it. With as difficult as it is to light objects at night, you can see why old movies relied on the ‘day-for-night’ filter.

A final note about our guests. A woman named Laura Lynne (?sp) has been helping out with the whole shoot by providing breakfast once a week. Since we weren’t shooting in the morning, she offered to provide dinner, in conjuntion with her friend David Thunder Bear. She’s a music educator, so she brought along the double quartet too. Thunder Bear’s late trout was a big hit, as was his fry bread (with Laura’s homemade berry jams). Delish. A good time was had by all.