This is the third in a series of articles about the making of And Then I Woke Up from writer-director Christopher J. Aran, covering the second day of filming with an intimate cast and crew at locations throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
After the first day of shooting I was pretty excited that the script I’d been working on for almost a year was finally being realized. For our second day we stayed in New York City and began the day just outside the Hayden Planetarium.
And Then I Woke Up outside the Hayden Planetarium
We were a small production and had to work out of vehicles. Lindsey O’Donnell was prepping Prentiss Thompson and Sean Patrick Hopkins with makeup on a small table on the side walk with her makeup kit situated between two parked cars. Regardless of our setup, her results were great.
The Planetarium made for an amazing backdrop. We were shooting at the tail end of August so the trees and lawn were a really nice rich green. Everywhere we pointed the camera was just a wonderful image.
Like our first day of shooting And Then I Woke Up, I wanted to let the Prentiss and Sean really work the scene together. Since we were local, we wasn’t under the same time crunch as the previous day. So we blocked the scene and just let them do it a few times on their own.
By the time we got to shooting, I was pretty blown away. Everything felt so natural and genuine, and I was moved. By far I think it’s one of my favorite scenes we shot for the film.
Sean brought a level of acting experience with him that elevated the relationship between the characters beyond what I’d had bouncing around in my head. When we’d finished shooting we all knew we’d gotten something pretty special.
And Then I Woke Up | A Favor in Brooklyn
After lunch we moved over to Brooklyn and invaded Ahmet Sesigurgil‘s apartment. He was kind enough to allow us to shoot in his personal space. I’d seen the view of the city out his windows and thought how amazing it would be to juxtapose Prentiss looking out feeling a sense of loss against what we’d done with his parents staring out the window in Connecticut.
We did some test shots, put them up against each other and immediately agreed it was the best way to go. We spent the rest of the afternoon into the evening shooting some of the more intimate scenes with Prentiss and it gave me some time to play with more subtlety in performance.
We wrapped our second day of filming And Then I Woke Up with a late night coffee and a tremendous sense of accomplishment. The weekend was over, and I thanked everyone for their fine work.
We had a week off and would get back together the following weekend to shoot our third day of And Then I Woke Up in upstate New York, which we’ll talk about next at Filming Day 3