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SAW 2: Diary #4

SAW 2 PRODUCTION JOURNAL
VOLUME #4

NOTE: You can now e-mail Producer Gregg Hoffman with your feedback  directly  by clicking on his name in the top right of this box!

Week 3 of 5 is in the can and we’ve passed the halfway point of production. I’ve decided that I’m going to let Darren Bousman off the hook a little bit in my column this week. My only commentary about his love life will be as follows – the Hungarian strippers changed their cell phone numbers. As if suffering that indignity wasn’t enough, Bousman also sent me a text message at about 10:42 PM last Friday night after leaving a bar with two fine young, nubile Torontonians. The message (below on pic) pretty much sums it all up.

The week was certainly an eventful one. We shot the ending of the film on Wednesday and Thursday. Going in, we knew it was going to be really hard to top the ending of the first SAW. We also knew that audiences are going to be paying a lot more attention and looking for clues a lot more carefully this time around. Leigh Whannell was summoned back to Toronto from his vacation with the young boys we gave him several weeks ago to do some additional work on SILENCE, James Wan’s new film, which is now 5 weeks away from shooting.

While he was here, we took the opportunity late one night to rewrite a number of scenes and retool the ending a bit. The idea had come from a suggestion by Peter Block and Jason Constantine at Lion’s Gate, who I have to admit are two of the smartest and best executives I’ve worked with anywhere. It would have been nice if they had thought of the idea oh, say, maybe BEFORE WE STARTED SHOOTING! But, a good idea is a good idea and we had to run with it.

There’s nothing quite like issuing brand new pages to your crew two weeks into shooting to the get everyone’s blood pumping. As if our production design team didn’t have enough to do already, there were a few new items that needed to be built. The actors had to sign off and feel comfortable. Tobin Bell gave the pages the Jigsaw seal of approval. Even Donnie Wahlberg, who arrived just this week, jumped into the thick of things and made a suggestion on set, in the heat of the moment, that was one of the single best ideas of the show. I am quite hopeful that we’re going to surprise and delight the SAW faithful once again.

With all of the last minute changes, it’s only fair that I take a moment to give thanks to one of the unsung heroes of the SAW universe. As you all may have noticed, there’s usually a LOT of different producers on any given film. Executive Producers, Co-Producers, Associate Producers, and just plain old Producers like yours truly. Every one of the producers has helped get the project on its feet in some way -- be it financially or creatively.

But one of the Co-Producers, Dan Heffner, or Daniel Jason Heffner as he likes to be credited, has the thankless task of being what’s known in the industry as the Line Producer. The Line Producer’s job is, in the briefest possible description, to make sure the film gets shot on schedule and on budget. He deals with all of the crap that I don’t want to know about, so I can be free to flirt with the female members of the cast and crew at my leisure. When we’re running behind, it’s his job to push the crew to make the day.

Every Line Producer has a different technique for moving the crew along. Having now made three movies with Dan, I have to say that his is the most unique. It’s a ritualistic dance of sorts, that involves walking onto set, pacing in circles while looking at his watch, sighing deeply and loudly, and rubbing the top of his bald head. He might also take a moment to hug one of the younger female members of our crew, but I’ve come to suspect that the hugging has nothing to do with actually making the crew go faster, but is more just one of Dan’s guilty pleasures.

By virtue of his job, Dan and the director often clash. Dan’s job is to make the day on schedule, while the director only cares about getting the most shots and the best performances. Below, you can see the expression Dan wears most days while watching Darren work (see below).

Have I mentioned that I HATE Air Canada’s airplanes? The seats are so uncomfortable I think they may be causing me irreversible rectal damage. I am contemplating a law-suit. Sorry, just had to vent for a moment.

I close this week by giving you small selection of nicknames Darren Bousman has been given over the course of the show –

Noser (In reference to some personal issues with the inside of his nose)

The Closer (this one should be obvious)

Forrest (as in “Run, Forrest, Run!)

Dookie (Donnie Wahlberg’s pet name for him)

More coming your way next week.

READ PART 3 OF THE SAW 2 CHRONICLES HERE

READ PART 2 OF THE SAW 2 CHRONICLES HERE

READ PART 1 OF THE SAW 2 CHRONICLES HERE

Source: JoBlo.com

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