Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tuesday, March 17, 2009:

We shot in Allens old neighborhood today - the East Village. Our filming locations were literally blocks away from where Allen lived. The day began with recreating the aftermath of a car accident when Allen got a ride in a car that turned out to be stolen and was full of stolen goods. (This is what lead to Allen checking into the
Psychiatric Institute on 168th Street, where he met Carl Solomon, to whom Howl is dedicated). Our prop master, Jeff Butcher, had a busy day, as all of the stolen goods from the car that were showered onto the street after the accident, the smoke coming from the car, and the 1950s car itself are all considered "props" and all within Jeff's
domain. He had to make sure that all of the "stolen items" were in position for each take and that the right amount of smoke was coming out of the car at all times.

Next we moved to Tompkins Square Park to film a moment of Ginsberg and Kerouac sitting on a bench together and struggling with their early writings. And then the entire crew hauled their equipment a few blocks away to recreate a San Francisco storefront where Allen jealously took a picture of his friend Neal Cassady and one of Neal's many girlfriends.

Today we also recreated two classic photographs: Jack Kerouac smoking on the fire escape and Ginsberg laying outside on museum steps and smoking a joint.

While we were walking up to the third floor apartment to film on the fire escape, our director of photography, Ed Lachman, noticed how beautiful and in period the staircase was, and we decided this would be a perfect way to end the sequence we shot yesterday of Allen walking through the "negro streets at dawn". Allen would finally walk up a flight of stairs at his apartment building and stare up blankly to what lay ahead.

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