If you’ve been following these entries you read yesterday about the discovery of the Tottey House, a hundred year old house filled to the brim with unique period furniture and pop culture artifacts that unfortunately has a logging road running through the front yard. So, the perfect location inside and out, save for the logging road. The Tottey house presents my first real triumph and my first real heart break over a location. From a visual perspective, I couldn’t ask for more. The fact that there is ample parking, facilities, and a general store nearby and the logistical aspect of the location is looking pretty good too. But the road and those damn logging trucks would make it impossible to get even one line of dialogue out before ruining the take with the roar of a diesel engine.
As I have mentioned before, Moderngrumble is light on dialogue especially during the first half, and it is entirely possible to shoot half of the Farmhouse scenes at the Tottey House while just recording sound for atmosphere and action. But that still leaves the dialogue scenes. I have a couple of options here: I can enlist the help of the State Film Commission , pay for the permits, hire an off-duty police officer and re-direct traffic for several hours or I can simply find another, more suitable location. This might seem like a no-brainer and under normal circumstances it would be, however the nature of Moderngrumble being what it is, I have to say the Tottey House has the potential to be our Bates Motel and I don’t think I will find anything to top it within an hour’s drive that meets the other location criteria of accessibility, facility and privacy. And so I’m torn.
There is a third option however that I am entertaining. Part of my hesitancy to move on has a lot to do with the fact that I had planned on doing all of the interior scenes on a closed set and at least one exterior shot on set as well. This has everything to do with a fetish for exteriors shot on sound stages and nothing to do with practicality but if we are already budgeting for a built set how much harder would it be to change one dialogue scene’s location, shoot the farmhouse scenes with just natural sound while keeping the other dialogue scenes either indoors or on the farm without the house in sight, i.e. a completely different location devoid of logging trucks that can stand in for the farmhouse property?
I’m indulging a fancy, here. I am of course currently looking for a new Farmhouse location but for the purposes of the Moderngrumble Trailer, the Tottey House will more than suffice as there is no dialogue in the first ten minutes of the film and hence no audio concerns for now. While the road is busy it is not so busy that we can’t record a minute of location sound for ambience. So let the logging trucks roll! Whether or not we find a new location or build the sets I so badly want to build, the Tottey House will figure in the feature film one way or another. And should we not end up using the location for the feature film, I have a pretty good source for all the props and set dressing I could ever want!