We are back in Seattle after an amazing two weeks in Utah shooting Brown’s Canyon. This has been one of my favorite shoots – a great cast whom I’ve worked with for months, and a super-talented crew of nine, all working and living together in one house.
Brown’s Canyon is a film I’ve been developing since last summer with the actors Lisa Every, Jenn Ruzumna, Carter Rodriquez, Eric Jordan and Sara Thiessen. Lisa and Jenn are also producing with their company BASH Theatre. Like we did for Phoebe’s Father, we spent several months together improvising the relationships and backstory of the characters. From that work, I wrote a shooting script in January, and on February 20 we started shooting. It is a super fast timeline, but because the actors and I have been in this together for a while, there’s a lot we know about the characters and the story. Our steadfast and talented crew worked together seamlessly, and had a lot of fun too, judging by the laughter in the kitchen late into the night. Ryan McMackin brought creative and fluid camera work to the story, hand-holding the camera and using minimal lighting. Connie Villines, as producer and sometimes assistant director, kept us moving and on track. Gary Wortman, Lisa Every’s brother-in-law, brought his many talents to the set as assistant director, one-man art department and even snow-plow driver! Jo Ardinger was invaluable with eyes on the monitor as both script supervisor and editor. Matt Sheldon gave us his sharp ears, Coburn Erskine kept a steady hand on assistant camera duties, Justin Salva’s infectious energy was always lurking in the grip/electric department, and Shalyse Lopez worked her magic with the actors’ makeup. Tania Kupczak production designed the film, and Ron Leamon designed our costumes, though they stayed in Seattle to attend to other commitments.
Shooting at one location is a great match for this kind of character-driven movie. We were all able to focus clearly on the most important elements – acting, story, and shooting – without a lot of the logistical time that often comes with a movie shoot. We’ll be editing the film through the summer – I can’t wait to see what we did!
See more photos and follow our progress at the Brown’s Canyon Facebook page