In Retrospect…

…I should probably have kept my mouth shut. We were halfway through “day two” of our weekend shoot, and I felt the need to share how things appeared to be getting easier, making saying goodbye to the hotel, the headaches, and the hurtin’ on my wallet harder to do than I thought. Needless to say, our remaining shots took longer than expected, and there were a few rethinks on set-ups. Worst of all, poor Max had an early call-time the next day and had to grab some Zs while he waited on various costume changes and lighting tests. To his credit, he didn’t snore. To ours, we didn’t stack any random objects on his forehead and take loads of pictures.

All that said, everyone continued their run of outstanding performances, both before and behind the camera. And while finishing in style is our goal, there was something drab about closing room 1243 for the final time. I lost count of the scenes we shot in there – using every angle and piece of furniture to its fullest – and within those peeling, jaundiced walls is really where this film lives. Much like the famed “Room 237” in The Shining, it’s a place of troubling questions and horrifying answers. It’s also a place where Stanley Kubrick’s name was referred to more than once for inspiration; a habit that would spill out into the halls, and all the way down the stairs into the lobby.

A few of us have joked that the Crowne Plaza in Cherry Hill, NJ, has become our home away from home. For me, there’s far more truth than jest in that observation. I’m pretty sure I greet 90% of the staff by their first names these days, and voices raise markedly upon my return. I believe quite a few in our cast and crew enjoy similar relationships with various representatives of the hotel, from housekeeping, to engineering, to the smiling faces at the front desk. Back in March I was sure they would long to see our backs, but now I feel they enjoy our requests for early check-in, extra bell carts, and patience with strange noises and visions. For the most part we leave behind only footprints that are easily vacuumed away. There may have been a couple…scars left behind, as well. At least one we take with us (how’s that hand, Chris?).

Then there were five. Five scenes, two days, one weekend. After, no more “camera up” and “speeding”. Only countless moments of luck, brilliance and bravery forever preserved in a little movie about a little girl who learns that, sometimes, one must spiral downward to be saved.

Date: December 10-11
Place: Crowne Plaza, Cherry Hill, NJ
Call Time:
1 pm
Stills: in the usual place.

Let’s do this.

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