Final day of the shoot – started with a couple of short day time scenes and then about 10 hours of shooting at night. The elements were kind to us the previous shooting day, but this night it started raining steadily for several hours. Fortunately, it didn’t rain the entire time so we were spared utter and total annihilation.
We spent nearly five (maybe six) hours on one scene – the climatic scene of the episode which included a fight. Matt Taylor, the show’s stunt coordinator and his team choreographed the fight in advance and showed it to us on video. Then they came to set, rehearsed it with the cast and with us and we set it up with cameras and shot several angles throughout until we covered the scene. So much fun.
Around 3:30am we wrapped. It was, as it always is, bittersweet. I so love working with this crew and this cast. It’s truly a family – even more than other crews I’ve been on, I believe. Possibly because it’s Portland, but likely because it’s the creative environment created by those at the top – David Greenwalt, Jim Kouf and Norberto Barba in particular. Dedication to the work, freedom to be creative, and an open exchange between the writers, producers, and directors that makes its way down throughout the production.
In my handful of times directing episodic television as a guest director, the one thing that I’m reminded of is how great the hardworking crew people are and how difficult it is for me sometimes to move on and know that I might not get a chance to work with those same people again. In this case, for Grimm, I could mention a bunch but to name a few, Jason Ruffolo – fellow Chicagoan – in his first time as the 1st Assistant Director on the show (was a 2nd, bumped up to first when the previous 1st AD left) and his incredible team of ADs and PAs, some of the best I’ve worked with. The DP, Ross Berryman, an Australian cinematographer of mostly features who made my life easy. And the super talented and relentless camera operator Tim Spencer – who did some of the greatest operating in TV history as the operator on Battlestar Galactica.
There’s still a lot of work to do to bring the episode home (including some scenes yet to shoot and of course the effects), but I hope it comes together and everyone’s happy with it. Later this week I start editing.