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Saw 2: Diary #2

05.13.2005by: Gregg Hoffman

SAW 2 Production Journal
VOLUME #2 (5/06/05)

Greetings once again from Air Canada Flight 749 now en route from Toronto to Los Angeles. Week one of production on SAW 2 is now in the can and I’m taking off my producer costume and putting on my dad costume. Just to tidy up a few loose ends from my last entry – the Hungarian strippers still have yet to set foot in director Darren Bousman’s room.


Producer Hoffman (far left) and Director Darren Bousman (middle) doing the "view finder" thing

He claims he has a date with one this weekend, but my guess is he’ll blow her off and play PlayStation games in his room for the next two days. When I arrive back on set Monday morning, Darren will have some sort of sorry excuse prepared about why he couldn’t see Anka or Ruxandra or whatever her name is, which in turn will provide me with yet another weeks worth of ammunition with which to humiliate and embarrass him in front of the crew. Also, Leigh Whannell sent me an email saying he is quite enjoying the young boys we gave him and is taking a much needed vacation with them in the Bahamas.

On to new business. The cast was finally announced to the public several days ago. Now that we’ve shot for a week, I’d like to share a few thoughts with you about the actors who are currently in Toronto. The present group includes Glen Plummer, Frankie G., Beverley Mitchell, Emmanuelle Vaugier and Shawnee Smith (Donnie Wahlberg, Dina Meyer and Tobin Bell arrive in two weeks time). First off, this group of actors is probably the loosest and most fun group I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with. Despite being covered in nasty, sticky stage blood and a variety of makeup applications for twelve hours a day, being forced to cry, scream, and be squeezed into all manner of nasty Jigsaw torture device, there’s been nothing but laughter, hugs and camaraderie once Darren yells “cut.”

I share in that camaraderie by hugging Emmanuelle, Beverley and Shawnee whenever possible, even when there’s no real reason to do so – although Glen Plummer is occasionally a nice change of pace. While every single one of these people are terrific actors, I feel I have to give some extra props to Beverley Mitchell. She was the wild card in the equation. After all, who would think that the middle sister on 7th Heaven had any business in a horror/thriller? But after a week, I’m here to tell you that my girl Beverley can shriek, work up the tears and take a good spraying of blood like a champ.

And think of the cross-promotional opportunities once the Fall TV season starts – “This week, on a very special 7th Heaven, see Beverley Mitchell vomit blood and foam at the mouth….” She also drank Darren Bousman under the table the first night she arrived in Toronto and has taught us all how to do the “WB Pose,” which involves whipping your head around, sucking in your cheeks and having the wind blow your hair. Try it the next time someone takes your picture and see if you don’t look like you belong on a promotional poster for ONE TREE HILL.

In all seriousness, these people have really embraced their roles in the film and their efforts have forced all of us on the production and creative end to strive to give them the best possible dialogue and action. They are as committed to bucking the trend of schlock sequels to hit movies as we are. One of the highlights of the week had to be Darren Bousman getting a little over-excited on the second day of shooting and shouting out “Cut!” at the beginning of a take. Being committed to helping first-time directors be as prepared as possible for the rigors of making their first film, we here at Twisted Pictures have given Darren a handy reference guide to critical filmmaking language (see photo below).

Our Director of Photography, David Armstrong, has also lent him a really bitchin’ director’s viewfinder so that Darren doesn’t have to do that “I’m a cool film director so I’m framing the shot with my hands thing” anymore. (see photo on top of this page)

During the week, James Wan arrived in Toronto to continue prepping his film SILENCE. In between endless location scouts and budget fights, James managed to come down to the SAW 2 set one afternoon and even called out “Action” on one take. He was also taken to the prop room and shown the newly improved “Billy,” the creepy puppet from the original SAW. Having a few more bucks to spend on this show than the last one, Billy has been upgraded and now sports a set of remote-controlled eyes and a servo-driven mouth. James took one look at Billy and nearly blew a gasket! “Great!” he shouted, “I had to make a doll out of paper towel rolls and papier mache and carry it in my suitcase from Melbourne because you guys were too cheap to make a new one for me!

It’s Bousman’s first film and he gets more money, more days, and a remote control puppet!” “F**kin’ Bousman,” he muttered before leaving the room. James, you and Whannell are the 22nd richest entertainers in Australia for 2004! (take note of this fact, ladies!!) Bousman is still sharing a studio apartment with 15 illegal immigrants and his Aunt Sophie! He may be getting a remote control puppet, but you win, my friend!

During down time on the SAW 2 set, I simply have to run up a flight of stairs to the SILENCE production offices to tend to the business of hand of getting that film ready to shoot on June 20th. One particular task this week involved a conference call with my partners Mark Burg and Oren Koules to go over casting ideas for one of the roles in that film. Casting is a very subjective process and it’s very difficult for three people with different tastes to find choices we all like for a role.

I was reading down a list of actresses to be considered and we got to the name Rebecca Romijn. We all agreed she’d be a great choice, but no sooner did we agree than Oren yelled out “I’ve got dibs!” Little advice, Oren -- Actresses aren’t like cars. Just because you yell out “Shotgun,” it doesn’t mean you automatically get to sit in the front seat with her!

So that’s pretty much the week in review. Rather than another line of dialogue, I thought I’d leave you with a short selection of quotes heard this week around ”Video Village,” (where the live feed from the camera is shown on a monitor, and where the directors’ and producers’ chairs are located).

“Ummmm…..Action??”

“Brains or no brains on this take?”

“How much does an eight-ball of blow cost….is that Canadian?”

More random thoughts next week.

Gregg

READ PART 1 OF THE SAW 2 CHRONICLES HERE

Source: JoBlo.com

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