Cast and crew had to be at the Blue Fountain Diner on August 10th at 3:00am for filming. I had picked up our cinematographer, Jason Krangel, and actor, Marrick Smith at the train station the night before. When I arrived with actress Victoria Pedretti on set, crewmembers were parked around the parking lot. Erik Kristiansen was sleeping in his car, Chaz Boyd couldn’t have looked grumpier and Ryan Hansen was ready to work.
As soon as Kevin Johnsrud and Jason showed up, we began moving equipment inside the diner. The owner of the Blue Fountain couldn’t have been nicer about letting us film there and she let everyone who was staffed for the evening know we were coming. They were equally as accommodating and let us set up our big lights and bounce boards with no complaints.
When I was writing the script for Uncovering Eden, I actually imagined the Blue Fountain Diner. When I was little, my parents took me and my sister to this place and I had continued coming to the Blue Fountain throughout the years. It’s a classic looking diner, with mauve colored booths, big windows and blinds, a counter with a cashier station and cookies. The back of the diner has bar seating and behind the counter is lined with cakes and pies, ready to order. The entire place is lit with small glass chandeliers hung over each booth and it worked wonders for our scene.
I never thought that the owner would actually agree to let us film in the diner, so I had arranged other locations. However, when I told Victoria about where we would film in its place, she told me I should at least ask the Blue Fountain – I had shied away from it completely.
A few weeks before filming – sometime during my Kickstarter Campaign – I got up the courage to ask the owner, a wonderful woman named Nancy, who not only agreed to let us film there, but also warmly told me about how she let another filmmaker do the same thing. I left feeling like I won a small victory.
Once I began blocking out the scene for Marrick and Victoria as Darren and Edie, things began to run according to plan. The only real hiccup was a woman who stopped by the counter to talk to the manager for 10 minutes and whose voice carried very loudly. With a little encouragement from Jason, I politely asked her if she could quiet down just for a few minutes so we could begin filming our scene.
We began with Edie and Darren’s entrance into the diner, hanging out past curfew. This is the moment in the story that Edie has picked a side and not necessarily for the better – but that’s all I will say for now.
We were filming for about 2 hours – setting up the lights was very time consuming. When we wrapped the scene, all of our cast and crew naturally got breakfast at the diner before heading to our second location.
A good friend of Kevin and mine, George Daniello, let us film outside of his house for the scene in front of ‘Darren’s house’. We were there for about an hour and a half and got some amazing shots. I’m a big fan of handheld camera work because I think it has the potential to create tension in a story. Of course, when this is overused, I get annoyed, but Jason made it work.
At 8:30am, Marrick was completely wrapped. He discovered the extra sparklers in my car and did a very weird dance for our behind the scenes camera…
… And then chased me down the street with the sparklers. I think he may have attempted to light my hair on fire.
After we all parted ways, everyone slept until we had to meet up to film at 6:00pm for another scene in which Edie runs down a street.
For the lighting, Kevin and Jason rigged what looked like a Toyota pirate ship out of two LED light panels and a giant bounce board covered with unbleached muslin. Jason would film out of the back of the SUV’s trunk… but to anyone else, we just looked like a glowing pirate ship in the night. The neighbors down the street thought it was fantastic.
Poor Victoria got quite a workout from all of her running, but even she thought this scene was a lot of fun to film.
Day 4 would thankfully be in one location and a lot easier to film.