Tonight's shoot ended up taking about three times as long as I expected to complete. We plugged in the lights and blew a fuse taking out the power in half of Lenny's house. Cars kept driving by ruining the sound for a take. The microphone was wringing out what little juice was left in the battery. It was extremely cold outside, and we had to keep the door open in order to get the exterior shots, so even the crew inside the house were freezing.
...and yet nobody was rushing, nobody was complaining about the late hour and nobody was giving anything less than everything they had. To be frank, everybody had a pretty damn good time. The interior shot required some instruments for set dressing (one of which actually ended up being a prop when we set up the shot, as seen in the above picture of Mike), and so we had a couple of guitars and basses lying around and between takes and set-ups different members of the cast and crew would pick them up and jam for a while. In fact, the atmosphere on the set was downright jovial.
Rachel took a still shot of Mike and Darren framed through the doorway that looked so striking that it might end up being the poster art for the film.
Sandy in particular was on fire tonight, adding some additional character to my set-ups and coming up with an ingenious lighting solution for the location; the lighting was completely artificial but it looks totally natural on screen. He also showed me how steady his arm was, and while I only had one shot I planned to do handheld, and we ended up not doing a single shot on sticks tonight; we just didn't need them. And the footage looks fantastic.
I know that some directors who get a little annoyed at getting ideas from their collaborators that they wish they'd thought of themselves, but I welcome anything that would add dimension to the film. If the idea works, I will use it; while I am indeed in charge of the process, I am only one person and can not think of everything myself. I want to have the best ideas that the cast and crew have, because if they're stimulated by the material and working environment enough to be contributing ideas that work in context, then it means that I've done my job properly in motivating them.
I love making films. Love it.