This is the second in a series of articles about the making of And Then I Woke Up from writer-director Christopher J. Aran, covering the first day of filming with an intimate cast and crew at locations throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
And Then I Woke Up after No Kitchen Required
The project began shortly after returning from traveling the globe with an amazing crew doing a show for BBC America called, No Kitchen Required. I was doing camera work on the job and my operator, Evan Estern, was telling me about his gorgeous home in Connecticut, and how I needed to come by for dinner one day.
When our travels were over, I reached out to Evan to take him up on that dinner – and of course to see if he would let me use his place for the beginning of And Then I Woke Up which I had been telling him about during our travels together. Without a second thought he said yes, and we invaded his place for our first day of shooting.
His place was about two hours outside New York City, so I tried really hard to keep our day, with travel, within about twelve hours. By the time we arrived and got settled though, I sensed we were in for a long day.
And for some reason, I thought of the old Start Trek episode where those furry pink Tribbles, so cute at first, began to multiply and take over the starship Enterprise.
The And Then I Woke Up Enterprise and Trouble with Tribbles
Just as Captain Kirk thought it fun, at first, to soothe these little creatures, so it went with my plans for scheduling And Then I Woke Up so far away from home. It was fun, but I knew it too could quickly get out of control if it wasn’t handled properly.
After driving over two hours to set in Connecticut, it took about an hour to say our hellos and finally get to a blocking rehearsal.
I spent a lot of time with the actors for the scenes at home between Prentiss and his parents played by Corine and Doug because it was the first time I had the opportunity to get them all in the same place.
Although we got off to a slow start, the chemistry between the three actors worked really well. By the time we got to the end of the family at home scene, I was moved watching the Mother comforting the Dad character in silhouette standing by the window sulking in regret. It’s one of those things I think many parents go through at some point or another when they realize their kids are moving on to new things.
The End Before the Beginning | Changing Light, and Plans…
After an afternoon of shooting we began confronting the age old battle against the sun. The light was dropping and we still had the ending of the film to shoot. I had a few ideas in mind for shot composition, but at the last minute while talking to Doug (who was standing at the top of some steps), the fading light became an asset, and I changed the game plan.
The result was some beautifully flared images that really help reinforce the story and where the characters were at that point in the movie.
Wrapping the First Day of And Then I Woke Up
We shot the end of the film on the first day and it was beautifully done. It felt great, but the tribbles did get a little out of hand.
Seventeen hours later we were wrapped and having dinner celebrating a great first day. The food and the company was good, and no one seemed to mind the long hours that had already gone into making And Then I Woke Up thus far.
But I couldn’t let those good feeings take over because we still had three and a half more days to go. And my mind was already on our next day of shooting continued at: The Making of And Then I Woke Up, Day 2