In late 2009, after finishing the screenwriting conservatory program I was in, I started working with my friends Joao Lameira and Mafalda Melo on making films. We were, in general, trying to shoot something every 2 weeks or so. We cycled on whose project we were shooting. I think our third or fourth project was one of Joao’s ideas: Paperback. Paperback featured their friend Joao and me and my wife Jessica. Mafalda shot it. We were shooting everything on a small camera they bought, the canon hfs100, which was a nice little HD camera.
We went to Fort Greene Park on a very nice autumn day and started shooting late morning or early afternoon.Â While we were shooting Paperback, I had an idea. Just weird notion. Wouldn’t it be funny if a woman was sitting on a park bench announcing to her significant other that she was pregnant and a random stranger just assumed he was talking to her and sat down and started arguing with her about it? So, as we were wrapping up shooting Paperback, I asked Joao and Mafalda if there was still enough battery and room in the camera’s memory (an SD card, I think) to shoot this weird thing that we would just improv over on one of the park benches. We had just enough to maybe shoot something.
So, we shot what became Pregnant Pause. My instructions to my wife, Jessica, were just: ‘say “I’m pregnant” and then react to me when I sit down and start talking.’ Everything else just kind of happened while we were shooting. Joao, the actor, stuck around so he played the significant other. Then we just got a bunch of takes of different things and, as I recall, cracked up during just about every one of them. None of us had any sort of improv training (and, to my knowledge, still don’t).
I didn’t actually edit or put it online for another year. It just took awhile to get around to it as not too long after this I started working with Joao and Mafalda on my 30 minute short film Modern Prometheus, which I think I will get to in of these Making of posts eventually, but not for awhile, yet.
Next week I want to talk about the fake commercials I shot for Channel 101 NY at the end of 2011 and the very beginning of 2012. They were a fun batch of projects and represent me getting back into shooting after a depressing hiatus.