Movie circuit


A sign reading “Shhhh! Filming in progress” hangs on the entrance to the Max Palevsky Cinema lobby. Beyond the heavy wooden doors, Andy DeJohn, AM’03, talks through the staging of the next scene with his six-man crew. “I don’t think we need any more light in that area.” This is the first day of filming for his 25-minute Fire Escape film, La Chevelure, based on the 19th-century short story by Guy de Maupassant.

Five extras sit on the floor—knitting, reading Life magazine, and munching on challah bread; they wait their turn in front of the camera or their turn to go home. “Do you know what time it is?” an extra asks her friend. “Three hours left,” he responds, fishing a sweet from a Dunkin Donuts container. DeJohn, pacing up and down the lobby with a white terry-cloth towel in one hand and a bottle of water in the other, wipes the sweat from his brow and shouts, “Can I have the principal cast!” Three actors jump up and take their places. A half hour later, with the cameras, lights, audio, and actors adjusted, DeJohn calls, “Extras, pleeaaase!” The extras form a line in the lobby behind the principal actors. There is more adjustment. The actors and extras grow listless as the minutes tick away. Readjustment. Thirty minutes later filming begins, lasting five or so takes before the crew blows a fuse. The monitor and cameras go dark.

DeJohn takes the setback in stride. If things are “a little hectic” he isn’t worried, he says, because “they usually are on film sets.” He expects to continue shooting and editing through the summer and early fall and have “a finished product around beginning to mid-October.”

Meredith Meyer, ’06

Waiting for the shoot (top). Lights, camera, action (bottom).

August 5, 2005