We worked, and worked, and worked.
The future was unwritten and I was afraid of failing, of forgetting some detail, and of being revealed as an amateur. My alarm clock became obsolete by the second day. I was consistently waking up before 5AM each morning, and I would sit outside in the pre-dawn hours and pour over the script, shooting schedule, budget, props list, and construction blueprints to make sure I had everything accounted for. No stone could be left unturned.
The Art Department was working hard on the assignments I had given them, and they deserve a lot of credit for the final product. Filmmaking is a collaboration and there is no way I could have done all of this on my own. As they worked together on gathering props and set decorations, and Josh worked in the warehouse all day, everyday, I drove to every corner of southern Utah possible, making sure that we were always three steps ahead of production.
It gets worse before it gets better.
The worst was when we were two days from shooting. I was pacing some arbitrary parking lot in Kanab, on the phone with a wallpaper company that had screwed up our order for the upstairs hallways set. There were some many things to do, and then this headache surfaces. The conversation finished, and I was stressed and frantic. My phone rings for the hundredth time, and for the first time that day it was someone who wasn’t connected to the film; my wife. She told me what she had done that day, how life in Orlando was, and how much she missed me. With tears in my eyes I told her I would give anything to be with her at that moment. I wanted to disappear from the film project and go back to my comfortable stomping ground. I wanted to be safe. She reassured me that all the work was not in vain, that I needed to keep working hard, and that she loved…and that was enough.
It got better the first day of shooting. I showed up on set as a ball of nerves. I knew every scene we were shooting that day, and the entire Art Department was with me. Danny arrived and asked to see all the props. We showed him. He then asked to see the decorated set. We showed him. Then he asked if we were prepared to shoot extra scenes if time allowed. We were. Then he said “good work” and walked away. That was it. All the stress, insecurity and frantic preparation ultimately led up to us being ready for every possible scenario. And a wave of calm and reassurance washed over me.
The race was not done. The Art Department still had five weeks of non-stop work, without any days off, but I was no longer stressed or insecure. The first day of shooting proved that we were on top of it. All we had to do was keep up the pace we had already set.