Thursday, March 26, 2009

Monday, March 16, 2009:

Today was the first day of principal photography! We shot a series of moments in Ginsberg's life that inspired him to write Howl. We began with a sequence of Allen walking through a number of alleyways, disheveled after a long night, dragging himself through the "negro street at dawn," as he would later write in Howl. He sees various street characters - hustlers, junkies, etc. We were able to use three parts of one alleyway in Queens to make it look like he was walking through three different sections in New York.

We then shot a sequence of Ginsberg walking through images that influenced the style of Howl - a Cezanne that Allen saw at the Museum of Modern Art. (As Allen says in the film, "Part of Howl was really an homage to Cezanne's method. In a sense I adapted what I could to writing. Cezanne is reconstituting by means of triangles, cubes, and colors. I have to reconstitute by means of words, rhythms and phrasings.") We also shot a sequence of a drugged out Allen literally walking through an image of William Blake that was being projected onto his face and the room around him. Another scene we filmed was Allen's day job working as a copyboy, frustrated as he tried to come up with a toothpaste ad, and leading a more or less "normal" existence before deciding to take a very different path in life, which ultimately lead to the creation of Howl.

Day One was a success - now only thirteen more shooting days to go!

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