This is the fourth in a series of articles about the making of And Then I Woke Up from writer-director Christopher J. Aran, covering the third day of filming with an intimate cast and crew at locations throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey.
After a week apart from our previous filiming for And Then I Woke Up, Lindsey O’Donnell, Ahmet Sesigurgil, Mike Snyder, Prentiss Thompson and myself came back together and traveled upstate near Prentiss’ home. It was about an hour and a half outside of the city to Wantage, New Jersey, but it was well worth it for the amazing views we were able to shoot.
And Then I Woke Up moves to New Jersey
Our third day was focused on capturing the opening scenes for the film and some of the recurring themes that would play throughout. We basically dropped Prentiss and his truck in the middle of a giant field and shot him all day.
One of the challenges with this day was the lack of dialogue and the abundance of clues we needed to to shoot to drive the story forward – all without revealing any plot twists. But the devil really is in the details, and if the details weren’t clear enough, I knew I would have a pretty confused audience.
Most of the work was trying to get performances based on body language and facial expressions. It was a bit more liberating because I could actually talk to Prentiss to coach him throughout the action, without too much worry about sound because we could cut my voice out in post production.
Mike (our sound mixer) was such a perfectionist with his work though, usually signalling any disagreement he had by giving me a look. It was pretty funny to watch him scold me with his eyes for talking over some of the stuff we did. But it all pieced together really well in the end.
And Then I Woke Up | The Remains of the Day
As the sun dropped, we left the field and took a walk around the area to get some more really beautiful footage of prentiss exploring. Some of it made it into the film but lots of it is still just sitting on my hard drives.
The day reached an end and our team got together for one last group picture before we needed to put And Then I Woke Up on hold for a few months to wait for different weather. The plan was to shoot while we still had lush greens for part of the film, then shoot interiors and some colder winter landscapes for the other.
So now August was over and we waited until November to resume shooting And Then I Woke Up. It was a bit painful for me because I had half a great film and didn’t really want to wait!
When November finally rolled around, I was excited and ready to jump on our next day of filming which we’ll talk about at: The Making of And Then I Woke Up, Day 4