Here are a few behind the scenes photos that didn’t make it onto the DVD. This was from the first day of shooting (when we actually could think about taking pictures) when we did Henry’s room. Clicking will open the full-size image in a new window.
Here’s a nice overview of the set. This was early in the shooting day, so the floor hadn’t yet been covered in dirt. We were shooting all of the shots of Henry looking out the window. I kept getting told that we were getting too much coverage of this by both the producer and director of photography, but I don’t think they realised just how much time Henry spent at the window in the script. They had a point; we did have a huge shot list to get through. That’s Brandon Yanvari getting the sound equipment ready.
Here are two of the grips, Mitch Ebert and Helen Rojas. Mitch seems none too happy to have his picture taken. He was actually pretty excited on our last day of shooting as it was his first time to operate a dolly.
Helen Rojas finds another use for a C47. Actually, I have one hung up on my wall as a reminder that if you need one, you buy a whole bag. I was actually pretty pissed about that. And I made sure we got the whole bag.
You’d be surprised how difficult it is to find ugly stuff in the stores. My wife and I spent the night before shooting (we had gone to a wedding that afternoon) finding the curtains we put up in Henry’s room. This was after two months of scouring Salvation Army and Goodwill to not avail. We found the ugliest things we could, then soaked them in coffee overnight. Then, come shoot day, we realised we needed more and sent someone on an emergency dash to grab another pack of the god-awful things. Those didn’t get to soak, but you really can’t see the difference.
The “Kurt and Camera” triptych. Looking at these pictures, you’d think he’d never seen a camera before. Almost looks like he’s sneaking up on it or something. But he worked that thing like a pro (which he is), which is why these pictures are so funny.
Our first setup: Shooting Henry. It’s pretty funny how cramped we all were on set. Thank god we didn’t decide to shoot in a real apartment. We would have killed each other. The sets for James’ and Henry’s rooms were about 20′ x 20′ and look to be far smaller than that on camera. If we’d shot in a room that was 10′ x 10′ (which is what we were looking at), there’s no way it would’ve worked.
Here’s a great shot (or two) which shows the world beyond “The Bet.” These are taken outside Henry’s door just as he’s pulling The Girl into the room. You’ll notice watching the film that you never see outside his door. This is why. There were lights, a piano, various tables and chairs and art projects and all kinds of crap that looked nothing like the hallway. If you look at their legs, you can see my wife’s camo pants. She was doing hair and makeup on set.
Ah, the angels. One of the most powerful scenes and one of the biggest pains in the ass to prepare for. There are nearly 400 angels there, each one hand-folded from fake dollar bills. Julia Kaminsky and I set them all up on the shelves while Kurt Rauf was shooting the inserts of the clocks (and while the rest of the set was being broken down around us).
According to the time stamp, this was at 9:07pm on Sunday, December 3, 2006. This was close to the end of a long three-day weekend. Nearly 45 hours of mentally and physically exhausting work over three days. We didn’t get out of there (after fully cleaning the place, including mopping the floor) until midnight. And I had to go to work the next morning.