DAY1 was pretty shitty for me to be honest. First, I missed pick-up in the morning. For anybody that knows me well, I am never late for meetings and I am most definitely never late for a fucking first day of shooting. But I didn’t hear the doorbell or the knocks on my door while in the shower, which led to pick-up booking out and me wondering where the hell pick-up was after I came out! I finally got to the studio an hour and a half later, apologized profusely to cast and crew, got in my Gym clothes and rehearsed my fight sequence with class-act Matthew Bennett who plays gay hitman Bruno in the film. All went well after that.
At night, the scene was a chase bit in Chinatown. Yes it was cold as fuck outside, but my adrenaline was high, I stretched out my legs big time and was ready to rock. That’s until the first take: I started running and BANG I reawaken an old injury that happened during training 3 weeks ago (one I had nursed like crazy and had gotten back to normal): a pulled tendon in my left tight. To say that soured my night would be an understatement. The pain was excruciating and I got really frustrated. But what can ya do, the show must go on. So director Christian Viel would tell me when I looked like a moron running, we’d cut, I’d rub my thigh to get some circulation going, we’d re-doo the take and I’d push further and endure the pain for it to look good. At the end of it all, I think we have what we need for that scene to work… but yeah… it pissed on my parade to have trained so hard for the film to then see all that flushed down the drain in a second cause of some freaking stubborn injury.
DAY 2 went down better. I made peace with the fact that I will have to go through this whole shoot with the injury so I learned to work with and around it. The bulk of the day was THE fight scene with Matthew Bennett and I had a blast. Both Bennett and I were on top of our game, the fight was brutal and high energy, Bennett clocked me for real twice in the head and the great news is; we have it on film. My leg still got in the way when I had to round kick him in the stomach, but after a few rubs and a couple of takes; we got it right. Acting wise (in my first real dialogue bit of the movie) was another story. I felt “off”. I wasn’t sure why or how to fix it, all knew was that it didn’t feel right. Now I’m the type of person that has a tendency to put a lot of pressure on himself. Matthew Bennett picked up on that and at night he gave me the best piece of advice: “You’re making a movie, remember to also have fun”. I had totally forgotten about that part; I was so stressed out about doing a great a job that it backfired on me. So I went home, did some soul searching… and on DAY 3…
… I had fun. DAY 3 was all about a shootout/stalk scene in a junkyard with the great Anderson Bradshaw (Ewan). The location was eye popping to say the least (a maze of beat up cars, the sun reflecting on them), I got off on doing the action scenes (shooting, ducking, jumping over the hood of a car) and yes my leg got in the way, but I worked with it. I was happy after that day. As for DAY 4, what a nightmare. What was supposed to be one of the easiest days of shooting (car and establishing shots) wound being the toughest thus far due to bad luck playing against us, mucho cold weather, lots of traffic/construction on the roads and a smart car that was MUCH smarter than me. It was the night that would never end. Needless to say, I was happy as a pig in shit when I got to producer Berge Garabedian’s house after we wrapped and downed 3 well earned beers. Best beers I EVER had!
And that was week 1. Looking back, it had its ups and downs (much like any other shoot) and what’s done is done. No reason to dwell on what I think could have been done better. There’s week 2 to deal with. With that, I am excited for our second week of shooting and feel confident that I will overcome the obstacles that lay ahead. It’s not how hard you get hit that matters, it’s how quickly and how hard you fight back. BRING IT! And yes, I will remember to have fun!