Trish and Harold's Weblog

News, information, and random thoughts from the busy lives of Trish Egan and Harold Phillips.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Idaho... and the Return

Hey there folks

Well, I didn't do so well at keeping in touch while Trish and I were shooting the pilot for our new web series, Animus Cross, in Idaho... While creator A.L. Steen's family does have a strong internet connection, it was limited to their office and I didn't want to intrude too much on the work being done. Frankly, there wasn't a lot of time for blogging during the shoot... the general pattern for the week was to stay up until dawn (about 5 AM), sleep all day, then get up and get into costume again. I can't complain too much about the schedule, though... the photo to the left doesn't begin to do justice to how beautiful our location on the shore of Lake Pend O'Reille was. Neither does this one... or this one... or even this one :)

I do have to say, we were very well taken care of while we were there. Amanda's family owns a large patch of land on the shore of the lake, and her uncle was good enough to let a few of us stay in a lake-side cabin built in 1931 (though it's been substantially renovated since then). Because we shot most of the scenes on or near the lake, we were able to relax in there when we weren't needed; it was almost like having our own trailer (though much more spacious and comfortable).

The shoot itself was a ball, though a bit grueling given the all-night hours, the heat (even in the dark it was hot), some time in the water (in costume, to boot... and you know, 1860's boots can hold a LOT of water!), and some very physical work. We also had to contend with a last minute addition to the cast... a moose wandered down to the set during our last day's shoot! I was only able to get some lousy photos with my cell phone, but there were some tense moments as we all remained very quiet and hoped he'd leave. When it looked like he wasn't going anywhere, the actors took their positions and tried not to startle him while doing their scene. I don't know if he'll make the final cut of the episode, though... I hear that his agent is holding out for too much money.

Overall, though, we're both very happy with how things turned out... everyone was working together swimmingly, and the scenes all felt great! We were in exceptionally good hands: Amanda Steen, the writer/ director, has a firm vision of exactly what she wants the series to look like, and where she wants it to go after the pilot. Watching her work with our DP Jason Satterlund was a thing of beauty; they've worked together so often that they hardly have to speak, it seems, to get their ideas and messages across to each other.

We're anxiously awaiting the chance to see some of the footage or some stills from the shoot... I think these pilot episodes are going to look amazing!

Speaking of stills, I did manage to get some shots of the Steen's gorgeous property and of our set on the lake shore. They're posted on our Photobucket site... Click here to see them all.

Unfortunately, all good things... we had to leave in something of a hurry on Monday, as Trish had to be back in town for a wardrobe fitting. Unlike the drive up to Idaho, we went straight through to Portland on the way back (though we did stop off for lunch in Sprague, WA and dinner in The Dalles, OR). It was a long drive, but we were happy to sleep in our own bed (with our own dogs) at the end of it.