The Thief In The Night: Production Diary

On this page I will be discussing the Christian film I am currently acting in for Writer/Director Daniel Medina Jr. called The Thief In The Night.

I’ll be posting non-spoilery behind the scenes images and sharing with you my thoughts on the filming process from the perspective of a writer, actor, and friend. Hopefully I’ll also be able to conduct some written and video questions and answers with the cast and crew that will be separate from the Behind the Scenes items I am recording already for the production.

4/10/2012

Going On Set- Thoughts on the First Day of filming, Good Friday 2012.

As I rode over with Daniel to the location of our first “set” aka a real world location we were going to use as a set- I knew we were both nervous. He had said as much in a conversation to me earlier, and I had posted in agreeance on my Facebook wall. Our reasons were very different, and very legitimate. For Daniel it was finally the night when his passion project would begin filming and for myself it was finally the night when I would be putting those acting classes from Beverly Hills Studios to the test. It was a long time since 1994 when m Mum and I had answered a modelling call that led to these acting classes, heck back then I didn’t have any natural grey hair. And now here was God redeeming those acting classes, redeeming that time spent, with a haircut, a dye job and a shave I practically looked the same as I did 18 years ago.

Storage Hallway

Our Set

So this was it, a hallway in a storage facility, and we were going to turn it into movie magic. However first we were going to unload all the equipment, all the extension cords and cables, power strips and tripod- food, water, plates cups- you know all the important stuff. And we lugged it inside.

There was of course the sun outside which we had to wait for because we didn’t want it in our shots down the hall, so that gave us some time to get our wardrobe together, have a sandwich, drink some water and in my case wonder if I would scowl appropriately.

Finally with the sun setting we had the light we wanted at both ends of the hallway, we also rigged up the single bulb that we would be using to illuminate the large storage unit for the shots where it is closed.

For Yan and myself there was no dialogue to say it was all about action, movements, eye contact, and making a silent connection between our characters. Daniel, once things got underway knew exactly what he wanted out of Yan, Christina and Myself, he was assured and that enabled us as actors to be more assured in our performances.

BTS 2

Helping Yan with his sight line to camera.

Once Yan had filmed his scenes then I placed my camera down and walked off with my hair product in hand to get prepared for the filming of my shots. Let me tell you I ma be confident after a while of being in front of people or doing something important that’s up to me to do, but the minutes before that are really not fun. I’m a pastor’s kid, I actually wouldn’t mind-if it were God’s will- to be used as a Pastor myself- but I think I’d always feel sick to the pit of my stomach before speaking…or in this case acting.

When I came back I was in character. To be entirely honest I just really wanted to get things over and done with without throwing up from nervous anticipation. Daniel seemed to notice this right away for which I am very very thankful because he set me up nearly as soon as I walked in the door. He started to get me in focus and I just scowled down the hallway at Yan- we moved a little up the hallway and I scowled some more, I’m sure Daniel was filming but all I was focused on was Scowling. Apparently after all was said and done I gave Daniel exactly what he needed which is exactly what I wanted to do.

BTS3

Daniel shooting...Me Scowling.

Lastly we shot scenes involving Yan and Christina with Rebecca listening on sound. These involved the large storage unit we had prepared earlier and I will not be posting a spoiler image of them at all…(if fact I’m not using any spoiler pictures ever) however I might post one of them doing something that’s very handy a little later.

For Christina, this was a reshoot of an earlier scene (which they had test shot) with more time and better everything. As an inexperienced actor in comparison to Yan and Christina watching them act was a great help, and something that I will be using to my betterment. Hopefully in the end I can satisfy myself and give a performance that seems perfectly at home with Yan and Christina’s performances.

The shooting went well and after certain takes Daniel would review the footage right there for the actors and actresses to see- which is exceedingly helpful.

BTS 4

Instant feedback...and actors best friend.

All in all I look back on Good Friday and our first night of shooting very favorably, and can’t wait to get on set with them all again, and of course the other actresses and actors we’ll all be working with.

I hope that you’ve found this interesting and keep checking back as I will update this post as production continues so until next time keep The Thief In The Night in your prayers.

See you soon!

Ross

Day Two of Production: 4-14-12

Actors and Crew on Location were: Daniel J. Medina (Director),  Alina Meza (Production Assistant/Sound Recordist), Christina Fleming (Grace), Avery (Grace @ 10) Yan Tkach (Kol) Ross Cooper (Apollyon), Jazmine Branch (Medic),  Peter Guenther(Medic).

For the 14th the goal was to get more of the scenes shot at the Storage location in the can and as usual I went in prepared to get more filming of my scenes at the location if there was a chance. However the priority was to get things set up so that we could get further coverage of Christina’s reactions to the door opening and then to shoot with Avery who is a fantastic actress playing the part of Grace at the age of 10.

It wasn’t until we arrived at the storage facility that we eventually realized that we had forgotten Yan’s jacket which he would eventually need, the first thing we got working on though was resetting the storage unit- and rigging our light source.

Rigging the light source.

After Daniel had captured the shots he wanted to get with Christina- the two of us piled into Christina’s car and headed on a short road trip back to Daniel’s apartment to raid his closet for Yan’s jacket. And within 15 minutes we were back on location handing Yan his coat, this enabled Daniel to begin to go over with Avery exactly what he wanted out of the young actress.

Meanwhile the rest of us were hanging out, I was taking behind the scenes pictures, we were all just hitting it off. We were talking about our personal projects from music to film. I even managed to lay down some half decent vocal percussion in there which I have trouble doing in front of more than one person!

The two "Medics" chillin' with "Kol".

After a short while Yan pulled on his jacket so that we could catch Avery’s scenes on “film” this called for Avery to mimic to a certain extent the movements that Christina had made during her filming earlier. So using the video review feature on the D7 Daniel was able to show Avery just how he would like her to act out the scene. Below you will find a picture of Daniel directing Avery who is not in the frame along with Yan.

Daniel directs Avery and Yan before shooting a scene.

Once Avery was done with her scenes for the evening and let me tell you she NAILED IT- then it was time to crack out the “Bruise Kit”, the make up and the stage blood and make things more than a little messy. Now I want to make something perfectly clear on a production such as this one maxim is always true- The cast is the crew and the crew is the cast. In other words everyone is helping in some way shape or form, be it recording sound, moving microphones, or getting still photographs of makeup everyone is helping in all aspects during each night of filming.

On top of this all is the time and care that our Director/Producer Daniel Medina Jr. takes to go over each scene with the actors/actresses before each shot- so that we know what we need to do to capture that character and scenes the way he has envisioned them.

Christina waits patiently while Daniel applies the makeup. Watching are Yan, Alina and Myself

All of this of course takes time and since we were shooting a scene that required a lot more than facial bruising and said blood we were very glad that Alina was there to help in the latter aspects of the preparation for the scene. All told it probably took around 30 odd minutes perhaps a bit more to set up for the scene. And then all but Christina, Daniel, Jazmine and Peter left the storage room for the filming of the scene. This was done twice to assure complete coverage of the angles and get excellent performances not to mention great sound all round.

The next scene was similar to the previous one except with Daniel lying down to get the Point of View (P.O.V.) of Christina as the medics worked over him.

Last but not least was clean up- stage blood is water soluble and believe you me you can’t leave a mess at the end of the day especially in a borrowed if you will storage unit. This took a good bit however in the end the floor was looking just as good as it had when we arrived. While I didn’t shoot any more of my scenes on Day Two we as a production and team did accomplish the shots we had set out to get done- and that is the key.

Until Next Time!

Ross

Comments
  1. […] HomeAbout Bible-Runner OnlineAbout The Bible Runner Story/Novel/ScriptThe Bible Runner Prologue…The Bible Runner: Chapter FiveThe Bible Runner: Chapter FourThe Bible Runner: Chapter OneThe Bible Runner: Chapter ThreeThe Bible Runner: Chapter TwoFuel for FaithHow to Study the Bible InductivelyMy Testimony: About RossBondReturnsProject AfterwordsProject B.E.A.R.Revolution: The Steps to SalvationThe Bible Runner @ Market NightThe BibleRunner WebisodesThe Thief In The Night: Production Diary […]

  2. TerrasJ says:

    I’ll be keeping an eye on this one 🙂

  3. briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii says:

    ross
    are you losing your first love?

    • rossbondreturns says:

      I don’t understand good friend how you can get at all that I’m loosing my first love by the filming of this film. In fact I’m more in love with my Lord and savior Jesus Christ than I’ve ever been and it is He who called on me to accept this part and make this film. This film is made in part because of my love and devotion to Him.

      In Christ,

      Ross

  4. briiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii says:

    ross
    wheres your sense of humor my man

    • rossbondreturns says:

      There is no sense of humor when it comes to saving those within a hairs breadth of Hell. You need to take seriously your beliefs and see if they line up with the Bible and the Bible alone. No EGW…no Helps…Just The Holy Spirit- The Word and You.

      The salvation of the lost is NO laughing matter.

  5. […] HomeAbout Bible-Runner OnlineAbout The Bible Runner Story/Novel/ScriptThe Bible Runner Prologue…The Bible Runner: Chapter FiveThe Bible Runner: Chapter FourThe Bible Runner: Chapter OneThe Bible Runner: Chapter ThreeThe Bible Runner: Chapter TwoFuel for FaithHow to Study the Bible InductivelyMy Testimony: About RossBondReturnsProject AfterwordsProject B.E.A.R.Revolution: The Steps to SalvationThe Bible Runner @ Market NightThe BibleRunner WebisodesThe Thief In The Night: Production Diary […]

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