Archive for the ‘Production Stories’ Category
Here is a three part series of Behind the Scenes mini-docs posted to youtube!
PART 1: Making “Signs of the Time”
PART 2: Bringing History to Life
PART 3: The Journey
Coming soon! A new site featuring research into the origins of hand signals. You will be able to browse through actual articles found from the 19th and early 20th century surrounding the creation of hand signals.
Signs of the Time is like many films and documentaries in particular by the fact that it was produced/shot/edited over a long period of time. There were many times when we were shooting and spending all sorts of time working on it and other times when we were working for a living and not so much was happening. Anyways in looking back through the pictures we took along the way it became interesting to me how often my hairdo changes. It’s not so much on purpose, but the fact I’m lazy and don’t go to the hair cutting place on a regular schedule. So the following is my best attempt to retrace my steps throughout the film and comment on my haircuts. (This is a Blog exclusive by the way…if you are reading this you should be honored…and probably horrified)
WARNING: The following pictures are shocking. If you are squemish in any way please stop now and burn your computer.
DATE: Winter/Spring 2006
LOOK: “Full Dude”
Here we are at the beginning. Pre-production has been going on for a few months and Jim and I have done alot of driving around. Cooperstown, Cincinnati, Cleveland. Lots of site surveys, pre-interviewing subjects for the film and researching photos. I think this photo was taken driving on the NYS Thruway en route to the Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. It’s my best Jeff Bridges impression and pretty much says to the world…”I don’t give a sh*t” Long hair sucks BTW, it blows around gets in your eyes and takes along time to dry. But everyone looks at you like you are a freak so it does have it’s advantages.
DATE: June 20, 2006
LOOK: “Trimmed Up Dude”
You know when you go to see your Grandfather and he says something like..”Go get your haircut you little punk!” ?? Well because of this, I figured I would clean myself up and cut my hair before we went to interview Bill Werber. This was the first shoot of the whole film and we did it on his 98th birthday so I wanted everything to run like clockwork. Well it didn’t really work. Just about the first thing Werber said to me was that I needed a haircut. At that point I kind of regretted not giving him the Full Dude, but even at 98 years old I didn’t want to piss him off so at least I made the attempt.
Is this exciting or what! If you’ve made it this far without throwing up or threatening never to use the internet again, please continue…
DATE: July 2006
LOOK: “The Visor”
If you’ve ever grown your hair long before you know that there are the pain-in-the-ass stages. The times when it’s to long to comb neatly and too short to put in a ponytail or do anything with. I was starting to bring back the Full Dude, but the hair was too short. This inspired my next look. This was really the only way of keeping the hair out of my face and I tended to wear it all the time. This picture was taken in Cincinnati after a shoot during dinner at a sushi restaurant.
DATE: February 2007
This one really stumped me. I truly don’t know what I was thinking. Maybe I was just watching Tombstone on TBS, or thought…’When in Texas…” But I went for the shaved chin and little tuft of hair under the lower lip for the 19th century cowboy saloon look. Not my best effort. This photo was taken right after interviewing Bobby Bragan in Fort Worth Texas. It turned out to be a great interview, but we were stuck in airports with delays trying to get there, it was one of those brutal trips where you are sitting on the airplane waiting to takeoff and get de-iced for about 4 hours…we almost didn’t make it.
DATE: February 2008
LOOK: “Cleaned up”
Here I am standing with Ray Manard and Eric McMaster in front of the grip trailer at the loading dock of the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown. This marked really the end of principal photography on the project…that’s why we are all smiling. IAlso we knew in the near future there would be a cold beer in our hands. We had driven through a snow storm to Cooperstown to shoot inside the Hall of Fame. It was really a cool experience. We were the only people amongst all the plaques at night during a blizzard….very surreal. Anyways, it seems that I went GQ and cleaned it up..Bill Werber would have been proud.
DATE: Spring 2009
Here I am with Michael Barreca (actor who plays Dummy Hoy) and Jim Hughes (Producer/Screenwriter). This was taken during the Rochester High Falls International Film Festival right after the screening. I’m sporting the month overdue dude-like do with the Dono glasses. Well that about takes up up to date…not sure what’s next maybe tattoos and a fu-man-chu???
Check out a new feature of the Crystal Pix website to meet the staff!
Click on ‘Our People’
When I started doing this blog thing, I was not too sure what I would talk about. At the start I promised myself that I would post something at least once a week. So far so good, but I still don’t really know what to talk about half the time and it’s entirely possible that no one is actually reading it anyways..
Status: The movie is pretty much done, we are finalizing some last minute paperwork stuff, and starting to research options for distribution. We hope to announce more festival screenings in the next few weeks and we are starting to organize and rough cut some of the extra materials that may end up as bonus features on a home video/DVD release. For the folks that are into the baseball history stuff, there will be alot of extra stories from the ballplayers that did not make the film that will be on the DVD features.
Here’s one of the pictures of Richard Dreyfuss from our recording session last October. I think this picture was taken while we were discussing the finer details of one of the lines that ended up in the trailer. The recording was done in October of 2008. Originally it was scheduled to be done in San Diego, but Richard’s schedule brought him to New York City for press for the movie ‘W.’ So, we ended up recording him in a studio in New York City.. saved us a flight to California.
Introducing the hand model stylings of Brian. This is Brian’s debut performance as a magazine opener as he dramtically shows how a well dressed 1950’s man would begin to peruse a periodical. Brian spent some time in preparing for the role, he went through a few costume fittings and studied old films of people in libraries. I hope you enjoy the performance.
We are nearing completion of a 4 year project and some of the shoots seem so long ago now. In the interest of having something to put on this blog, I will try and post some interesting stuff about the making of the film. I’m new to blogging, so hopefully this will get better as I go 🙂
I thought I would start with a few new filmmaking terms invented during the production of Signs of the Time.
Glove Duty: The crew job of standing next to the camera while filming scenes of a real baseball games with a baseball mitt. Your job…to either catch a ball or deflect a ball before it hits the camera. (There were a few close calls)
Gimme a decaf with one cream: This is what Bob Feller asked for right before shooting his interview. Translation: let’s get down to business.
Ya know what I mean? HUH! This really has nothing to do with making the film other than everyone said it all the time. It traces back to Ray’s uncle that perfected the saying. It really has no use other than to annoy people. When performed properly it works very well. Ya know what I mean? HUH?!