Let’s talk for a second about the little things. Thanks to the internet (maybe you’ve heard of it?), every day on every film set in the world people check the weather report. Almost always it’s someone in the production with some scheduling responsibilities, but pretty much these days everyone checks, simply so they can figure out what to wear. No one wants to be uncomfortable all day.

So when the weather report calls for scattered thunderstorms all day with a 60% chance of precipitation, you assume it’ll rain. So when it does rain, you won’t be in trouble.

Cut to half-way through Day 2 of TERMINAL LEGACY. A tornado siren goes off. Yes, a tornado siren. And the deck of this house is full of things from the living room–books, DVDs, rugs, and a bunch of other stuff that can’t exactly get wet. Now instead of just pulling the lights inside, we have to drag in all manner of things that shouldn’t be out there in the first place. Heavy things. Fragile things.

And why? No one knows. My guess is that it seemed easier at the start of the day, but now a 15 minute delay is over an hour long.

It’s one thing to store stuff outside when it’s supposed to be nice all day, but when the forecast calls for rain, it’s gonna rain. And sure, you can’t predict a tornado siren, but you can make it easier to work around it. At the end of the day, isn’t minimizing the potential damage what we all need to be doing?

As for actual filming, the highlight of today is that we’re filming a character death. Naturally, I can’t tell you much more beyond that. Per usual, I’ve told Brian Kazmarck to let me know if anything is off the record, and he definitely wants a character death off the record. Hopefully that alone isn’t too much, but this is a sci-fi thriller and people die in sci-fi thrillers.

Instead, let’s talk about Tony Burns, the director of photography.

It usually doesn’t take too long to figure out if a DP knows what he or she is doing. Watch them light a few scenes and watch a few shots on the monitor and you get a pretty good idea. Having said that, Tony Burns knows what he’s doing. Maybe it’s because he’s got a smoke machine running for virtually every shot (more on that as we progress), or maybe it’s because he’s British and everything he says sounds really smart, but I get the sense that he and his G&E team (of which I’m sort of part of, I guess) is doing a damned good job.

I think, if nothing else, the film’s going to look really good.

Filmmaker Lucas McNelly is spending a year on the road, volunteering on indie film projects around the country, documenting the process and the exploring the idea of a mobile creative professional. You can see more from A Year Without Rent at the webpage. His feature-length debut is now available to rent on VOD. Follow him on Twitter: @lmcnelly.

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