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Lisa Project 2

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For this project I tried to imitate the scene I chose fairly closely, but I was so taken with Kara Hearn’s work that I wanted to try playing all the parts myself. There were a number of difficulties that cropped up in doing that, so I had to modify or remove some of the shots in the original scene. Hugging, for example, was difficult, so I enlisted someone (who looks nothing like me) to replace the other “me? for those shots.

There were plenty of other difficulties that had nothing to do with who was playing which character. The lighting in the scene from Garden State was difficult to replicate; it was supposed to be very warm and dimly candlelit, but we started shooting in the early afternoon when the sun was shining full-bore through the green translucent shades. To deal with this, I taped towels up underneath the shades to block out the sun and then set up lights with makeshift red tissue paper filters. Then I had problems white balancing, so the lighting turned out a little funky. There were a couple of shots where I accidentally left the microphone unplugged, and the bathtub made a lot more noise than I thought it would, so the sound turned out a little funky too. There were also several continuity errors, ill-timed bodily noises, and other random hardships and mishaps. But in going through all of these frustrating things, I really learned a lot about how much effort and thinking and attention to detail it takes to put together a scene so that it seems natural and effortless.

In a lot of ways I think it would have been easier to have found someone else to play one of the other characters. It’s easier to react to someone when they are actually there and you don’t have to imagine them. But it was interesting to play both characters because I had to switch back and forth between roles a lot, and then be doing other things, and I imagine that is what Zach Braff had to deal with in writing and directing Garden State as well as acting in it. Plus I learned how to create a scene with two “me?s interacting, and I think it turned out pretty well.

This project was easier than the last in that I didn’t have to come up with a completely original idea; I at least had a starting point. But it was a lot harder than I thought it would be to recreate a scene. A lot harder. There are so many things one has to remember and be thinking about, and so many opportunities for error that it can be very discouraging. Considering all of the things that went wrong, though, I am happy with the way my project turned out.