Although not completely true, it is almost true that we shot in sequence… very helpful in the playing out of the story.
My last scenes on this last day were with Rob as Pete and Oliver as Enrique, and are in fact the last scenes of the film.
Here is a production still of Pete and Kate’s embrace.
I love that still and the whole look of the scene. The no-budget filmmaking gods were really pulling for us on this day. When I arrived at the location around 5 pm to shoot this, the penultimate scene of the movie (put another way, when I walked from the deck of our casa to the front step of our casita), the 3 square feet I wanted to shoot in were unusually charged with energy.
I called Rob over to stand in for himself as I set up the shots. Rob is an excellent stand-in, and never fails to look almost exactly like himself. The scene is the culmination of Pete and Kate and Eddie’s story, and is fraught with desperate passion, and while some truths are spoken plainly, much darker realities remain just below the surface yet in plain view for the audience. I felt the scene was very well written, and required only simplicity and truth in the shooting and performance. I suppose if I’d had millions of dollars to spend instead of the $500 I had left in the budget to get home, I might have used a crane shot to establish, and, oh, circled the actors on a dolly a la Vertigo, and had big dark special effects clouds rolling in from the ocean. Yeah, that would have been great.
What was provided for me was much more subtle and interesting. I moved Rob into a very specific spot under some palms. The knife-like shadows of the palms slithered frantically over his face and body in the insistent wind, and rustled audibly in the mic under the dialogue. The sun was low and made half of Rob golden and threw the other half in shadow. I blocked Katie’s entrance into the closeup so that as they kissed their faces were alternately suffused with light then swallowed in shadow. I deliberately crossed the axis several times because of the chaotic emotions in the scene. Then as their faces finally part in a storm of light, and Kate delivers a single word offscreen which destroys Pete, I let the camera iris Pete into darkness again, except for two points of sunset light in his eyes. As God is my Gaffer, it was perfect.
I caught Pete’s final walk away into a frozen isolated position on the beach in the last rays of dusk. And that was a wrap for Rob on the picture.