Spoonbill Pictures presents

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Day 2 "The Stunt" by Jordan Heimer

Everyone was a little nervous for our second day of shooting. More specifically, everyone was a little nervous about The Stunt - a leap between two apartment balconies, seven stories above the sidewalk. The scene, in which a drunk ex-pat named Jed tries to circumvent a beer run by leaping to a friend's balcony, and instead plummets to his death, is the opening scene of the movie, the engine that powers the plot. All possible safety precautions were taken, but still - the idea of life imitating art was the unvoiced thought on everyone's mind. Our friend Will, an ex-pat lifer with a decade in Taiwan, bravely volunteered to be our stuntman. We hired Taiwan's finest stunt coordinator "Black Brother" (you probably know him from Taiwan's hit cop procedural "Black and White"), who set up a crane and wire system that towered over the balconies and promised to Peter Pan Will across the gap safely to the opposite ledge. The first takes were, to say the least, a bit dicey. The wires didn't help Will "jump" the gap so much as they suspended him in mid-air, legs churning over the abyss. To Will's credit he continued to claim he felt "totally safe," and continued cracking dirty jokes in Chinese with Black Brother despite having nothing but 70 feet of air beneath him. After a few adjustments to the crane we found our range and eventually Will made the leap.

His night, however wasn't finished, as he spent his next four hours clinging to the side of the building. But, as everyone knows, the important thing is that we got the shot. After six hours we wrapped the stunt and broke for a 2 a.m lunch of fried egg, fried chicken, fried dough, and juice boxes of black tea. After the high intensity of the first part of the night, the latter half of the shoot was calmed (although towards it was a race to beat the rising sun.) Mark had the guys brake out the hand-held cameras and worked our set of ex-pat actors through the rooftop drinking scene that, in the completed movie, will precede Jed's jump. Our actors were great, although some of them weren't just acting drunk. We nailed the final shots as the sky started to glow pink, and returned to the rooftop at our Treasure Hill Temple home for a few a beautiful sunrise, self-congragalotry beers and bed.

Until next time Oyster amigos.

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