Tag-Archive for » thomas bailey «
We sat down in Chase’s office and talked with Chase about some of the questions we’ve gotten from the fans of the film, and had a fantastic afternoon learning about his take on the process. In this episode Chase talks about how he cast the film and how he found his crew family.
Camera/Film Work and Editing by Amy Greenlaw, Film POP!
Interviewer: Leslie Poston, Film POP!
See the full 30+ minute interview on the Viddler channel (scheduled to post there during the NH Film Festival).
And so it was that I was scheduled to be an extra for Crooked Lane on a sunny Monday morning on the 6th of July 2009. I was to be a waiter, so the role called for me to wear a black button-up shirt and a pair of black slacks. So there I was, with about twenty other souls on Commercial Alley in downtown Portsmouth; ready for my close-up or, if you will, my fifteen seconds of fame. The scene was to be shot in CAVA, a nice tapas restaurant that was closed especially for the cast and crew. Lights, equipment, cables, boxes and what-have-you filled the interior of the establishment where, just last night, diners sat and ate mouth-watering dishes with tasty cocktails.
Lest this turn into an advertisement for CAVA’s wares, I need to stress how much time, work, care, and detail goes into the making of a motion picture (no matter how short said film is). I feel that the vast majority of people who go to the cinema are completely unaware as to how much sweat goes into the process!
And it was a sunny Monday morning. One thing prospective extras need to keep in mind is the fact that, true to the job title, one is an extra. One shows up at the time specified. One either wears what they’re told they need to wear, or they bring a series of clothing that might be called for during the shoot by the coordinator. One signs in. And, inevitably, one waits. That is, in essence, what an extra does. They wait.
“Extras. They’re so patient. They sit, and they wait. That’s what these people are: Extras. Extra people,” noted Peter Falk in Wim Wenders’ seminal film Wings of Desire.
Patience is a virtue. But – but! – sooner or later during the shooting, a coordinator will glance in your direction, give you the much-sought-after thumbs-up, and you will receive your instructions from the assistant director, in this case, one Scott Kirkley. This is one of the aspects of filmmaking that a lot of (actually, most) movie viewers take for granted. Sometimes, in a dark theatre, watching the action unfold in front of you on the big screen gives one a sense that it was just put there, and that something akin to magic had put together all the action, acting, lighting, editing, music, dubbing, and sound-mixing. Being an extra on the set of even a short film will disabuse you of that notion, once and for all!
Alas, my fifteen seconds of fame were not to be – such is the fickle nature of being an extra. HOWEVER, as I sat in the hot July sun (getting a little sunburn on the side as well), I had the opportunity to witness an amazing scene unfold before me in the middle of the packed and quite busy alleyway.
The scene in question featured Jessica Webb and Ann Cusack, who play sisters who find themselves in the midst of a supernatural kidnapping. The sun had started its wayward dip over the lip of the alleyway, and the breeze kicked up a little, cooling us down. Director Chase Bailey had set down a large flat piece of wood, and delivered a beautiful, emotional scene where, after Ms Cusack’s character thinks she’s seen her long-lost daughter outside a restaurant, she has a breakdown and collapses into the arms of her sister, played by Ms Webb.
A dolly was set up to circle the actors in a 180-degree arc and was manually controlled by D.P. Patrick Ruth.
This scene was filmed at least three times, each take ratcheting up the emotions the scene called for from its talented actors.
It was breathtaking to witness – the magic of movie-making encapsulated in this one particular moment in time. Hell, I’d even forgotten about my missing fifteen seconds of fame, I was so impressed. Even better, when I got a chance to watch a rough cut of the film, I was able to see the scene in question. I thought to myself, I witnessed that scene being filmed, and it looks bloody awesome.
So anyway, if you ever do get a chance to be an extra on a production, I would recommend that you jump at the opportunity. You might not end up being able to see yourself on the big screen for your fifteen seconds, but something more important than that will be realized.
Keep your eyes and ears open, and you too can witness the awesome power and magic of the movie-making process. And that, my friends, is fun!
Thomas Bailey, son of Chase Bailey and author of the backstory posts here on the Crooked Lane blog, took some footage of the challenges the crew faced in filming even the simplest shots on the streets of Portsmouth. Trying to get the film complete in a low-impact way often caused interesting delays like this one:
And so, as stories were told and were spread like wildfire amongst the communities of New England as the original territories of what was to become the United States of America, the tale of Les Cimetieres des Abbatus struck a chord, especially amongst those with families.
The “teller of stories”, be it in a pub, inn, or other such public locale, would (as the fire was dying and folks were ready to call it a night) begin his tale. It was “malevolent spirits”, he would intone as sparks popped from the charred wood in the hearth (and perhaps startle a person more prone to jumpiness). Perhaps they are Ancient Ones, vengeful for some perceived wrong of the past, he (for it was always a male telling the stories, back in those days) might have said. And, true to their evil intents on scarring the victimized families where it hurt the most, they only took the women and the children.
But that which is true now was most certainly true then: When children go missing, the woman’s will to go on is severely tested. Yet another casualty would be the destruction of the family as well.
In some past cases, particularly in the early 20th century, women who had lost their children would continue to claim to have seen their missing children year after year after year – yet even after years, would still see their “babies” aged not even one year in appearance. Some destitute mothers were forcibly institutionalized, due to their “unhealthy obsessions.”
In a particularly sad case in the 1960’s, a woman kidnapped a little boy she was convinced was her own – fifteen years after her own disappeared. The woman, apparently distressed when she realized it wasn’t hers, had drowned him in her bathtub and promptly left town, to never be seen again. To this day, her fate is unknown.
But in Puritan Massachusetts, circa 1692, it is said that some of these women “cursed” by the disappeared children faced a far grimmer fate.
That fate befell them, some say, on Gallows Hill, near Salem Village.
The crime? Witchcraft.
The fate? Hanging.
… to be followed, again, shortly …
We asked everyone in the cast and crew to tell us a bit about their character or what they did for the movie behind the scenes, how they came to be involved and, most importantly: “What Happens To Ava?”. Thomas Bailey and Ann Cusack talked about it during the first day of shooting in this video: