I begin today's round of gratitude with my DP Rick Coulter. How do I put this? Rick is like...the calm amidst the storm. He's a serious but mild-mannered and generous fellow...who never gets worked up. And yet, through his viewfinder, he silently and without much direction composes beautiful, meaningful shots. Every shot reflects his intellect and sense of visual storytelling. Of course, if you want to get Rick riled, just start talking about the social constructs of a capitalist society. Go ahead, it's fun, but that's another story. By early in the production week, I was trusting Rick to find his own shots, call action and cut when I was otherwise occupied, and do just about everything else too. Rick is a great guy, and on the last day when I spontaneously lost my shit and had a nervous laughter attack over a certain scene (which still cracks me up...) he stepped in and with smooth authority finished the scene.
Next up are the two brilliant lighting directors who - perhaps more than anyone else - are responsible for the unique palette of The House Between (which I like to describe as a fusion of 1940s film noir and 1920s German Expressionism.) I'm talking about Kevin Flanagan and Bobby Schweizer, who - without complaint and with precious little guidance - masterminded the lighting scheme for the entire series. Their lighting reflects character mind-states (sometimes psychotic), "pulses" with evil life (in the episode "Visited") and basically makes the series look respectable...and like nothing else being produced today. Since we shot in empty house with literally no furniture and only a paucity of props, shadows became "the backdrop" for many a scene...and with precious few resources, Bobby and Kevin made my crazy vision a reality; and what's more - improved on what I had casually conceived. When I said I wanted the shadows to be "furniture," I had no idea how to accomplish that; but they did. Kevin and Bobby also helped in ways too numerous to count (keeping the house shrouded in darkness, for instance), and I can't imagine how much slower we would have gone if we didn't have them contributing. Kevin also gave me some really good script advice for episode # 7; advice I gladly took.
Finally, I can't write this post without thanking my beautiful (and very pregnant) wife, Kathryn. She is a producer on the show too, and she not only offered some critical input at the beginning of each day, she kept the entire cast & crew well fed and cared for over the long shoot (with the help of Rob Floyd's wonderful and adorable wife, Phyllis). There would be no show to post about here if Kathryn had not permitted us to open up our home to fourteen people for seven days, and utilize our family resources to realize the project. Kathryn is one-in-a-million. I've known that since forever (our seventeenth dating anniversary is September 8th, this year...), but I'm truly grateful for her level of support and encouragement throughout this process...especially considering that she's working on a Muir production of her own..our baby. And also - Phyllis - what can I say about this classy lady? She applied make-up, corralled actors, prepared meals, read dialogue off-camera, stayed up till 2:00 am for the infamous bath tub scene, and did about a million other things. Without Kathryn and Phyllis, we would have ground to a halt.
The truly amazing thing about The House Between is that over the long, sixteen hour days, no ego or selfishness ever showed up at the location; neither among the cast nor the crew. Everybody chipped in, did their part with enthusiasm...and it was an incredible experience.
Now, Rick and I move into editing...and so far, so good!