Crafting anything from tiny shards into a mosaic that tells a story is hard. Sometimes, when you're stuck, looking at a tile and wondering where it'll fit, you just need to step back....breathe....and envision the whole picture. Then you simply let that tiny piece fall into place. You give it direction, but also have enough faith to let gravity and a bit of luck take over.
Truly emotional day today.
The scenes filmed today were gut-wrenching and painful, emotionally draining and brutally honest.
Today's scenes tear scars into a viewers soul.
I don't say that presumptuously or lightly. It's hard to watch a soul being laid bare and not to feel - to empathize - with that character.
And, for us, that meant two actors, in the same scene, being ripped open emotionally. It was powerful to watch on-set. It was equally as powerful to watch the dailies on a monitor.
I can admit easily that I write this now with tears in my eyes. Simply amazing...so visceral, so poignant... so brutally honest.
We ended our filming day in a cemetery. Near the far, back corner of the graveyard were two military monuments, side-by-side.
I read the inscriptions on both, rendered solemn salutes and we filmed there, using the headstones as a backdrop.
I'm not sure what it all meant to the cast and crew. I know they put their hearts and souls into every part of it. It shows...it truly does. But, for me, it was a day of bringing out ghosts of fallen friends and carrying them with me through the takes.
I need to put them to rest again. There's nothing constructive about this kind of pain.
Micah Bolen (L to R), Helen Abell and James Lane, sit in a Humvee during filming.
Two days into filming and I realize now - just now - that these words that have lived on the pages of a 17-page script are coming to life. We filmed a scene today involving two Humvees (via a very kind partnership with the Navy SEAL/UDT Museum in Fort Pierce). Part of what we shot was outside, with the vehicles running and the smell of the exhaust, the sound of the engine growling, the actors in full-military costume, the blazing sun beating down on us...it all served to remind me of why I wrote the script in the first place. All of those sights and sounds were part of my war experiences and, though only for a few days, it's now part of the actors experiences, too.