Dirty Laundry Production Notes

 

Dirty Laundry was shot without the luxury of rehearsals.  Majandra and Nick, the two principles, were co-staring in a series that was filming. They made time on a day the production wasn’t shooting. Even then, I only had them for four hours — just one afternoon.  Our only exception was the final scene, with Nick in the taxi, that we shot the next day at the airport. 

Knowing these limitations ahead of time, I remembered Lars Von Trier’s Dogme 95 and modified it for my immediate needs.  Being thus untethered from structure, I let happen whatever happened.

The two actors had done a great job preparing on their own, developing characters based on the script, memorizing lines. I had written out my shot list for the DP, Jamie Barber.  Jamie was the principle camera operator on “Titanic” and was intrigued with the concept of shooting as spontaneously as possible, hand-held.  In some respects we were looking for a polished home-video approach, only with cuts and angles.

Abandoning ourselves into the chaos of the moment, we shot everything sequentially, with shots being done in only two, occasionally three, takes. This kept things interesting considering the dead guy and the taxi driver were both non-actors.  In fact the taxi driver was the real taxi driver who took us to LAX, where we staged the final dialogue scene, in haste, before the airport police came after us...Talk about natural spontaneity!