This is the fifth in a series of articles about the making of And Then I Woke Up from writer-director Christopher J. Aran, covering the fourth day of filming with an intimate cast and crew at locations throughout Connecticut, New York and New Jersey. This is a continuation of a previous article in the series available at Making And Then I Woke Up: Day 3
After my first year at Rider University, I discovered that filmmaking was the route I wanted to go. As a transition period, I attended Bergen Community College in New Jersey, took some creative and television classes and then moved on to the School of Visual Arts for my formal filmmaking education.
Shooting And Then I Woke Up at Bergen Community College
I’d originally been looking into using some spaces that my parents worked at in their respective hospitals at Columbia Presbyterian and Memorial Sloan Kettering for the Ben and Prentiss charachters’ research offices. But trying to get permission to use active facilities proved to be almost impossible due to safety and patient privacy policies.
Then I remembered Bergen Community College and called their offices. I was put in touch with Ron Milon, who could not have been more helpful. He pretty much gave me permission to do whatever I needed in one of Bergen’s newer buildings. Ironically the color pallet in the newer building fit right into what I was looking for respective to the time period of the And Then I Woke Up script.
Working with Prentiss and Sean
My family turned out for this portion of shooting to help me haul in all of the props and gear so I could roll right into blocking the scenes with Sean Patrick Hopkins and Prentiss Thompson. Once again they got on a roll and shooting was more about getting through the coverage than having to make too many performance adjustments.
Together they worked really well. We would work out a piece of dialogue and I would stay quiet. I watched them think it over and more often than not, they knew the adjustments to make before i mentioned anything. To me that just means they really understood the material and the goals were really clear. I added a few notes but not very many.
They just got it.
And Then I Woke Up moves back to Brooklyn
Once we finished our scenes at Bergen Community College, the crew slimmed down again and we jumped into a few vehicles and pulled off some driving footage from New Jersey all the way back into Brooklyn. It worked out well because Prentiss drove to set in his personal vehicle which we had been using as the prop car for the film.
Ahmet and I joined him to commute to the next set and while in transit, we shot some more footage. I was able to get some really nice moments while Prentiss drove us all the way to Brooklyn.
We did schedule some specific driving shots to reveal scenery or particular highways, but they were scattered throughout the schedule to take advantage of every location change.
By this point the only things we had left to shoot for And Then I Woke Up were very intimate moments with Prentiss. So we said farewell to most of our small crew and got ready for the final day (and a half) of shooting which you can find out more about at: Making and Then I Woke Up, day 5 of shooting