Today, the shoot moves to Charlotte’s trailer. It’s another cold, brisk day. I walk over a small bridge, cross a creek. Bright green kudzu swallows trees and telephone lines, eating everything—beautiful, impossible to stop. Today, basecamp—where the crew parks, and where the catered lunch is served—is at another church. A velvet print of The Last Supper hangs above the tables, Jesus and his disciples watching us eat.
It’s freezing cold, especially for the crew whose been out here since 7 am. I pull up my hoody. Jacqueline Oka, Director’s Assistant, kindly passes out Hot Hands handwarmers. Paul Dillon, boom operator, puts them in his boots.
First scene, Cole and Charlotte in a pickup. Cole’s pickup won’t start. The first line of the scene, Charlotte says, “What a piece of shit.” It’s a simple line, but it’s straight from my novel, and my chest thrums. This will happen to me again and again on set—the dream and strangeness and joy of being here, watching this unfold.
The fantastic Stacy Martin plays Charlotte, Cole’s on and off again, troubled, pill-addicted girlfriend who dreams to get out of Dove Creek. As Charlotte, she has long dark hair with ends dyed purple, a haunting face. We chat briefly on the set, and Stacy, like all the actors I’ve met so far, is generous, kind, and warm.
The day focuses on various scenes between Charlotte and Cole (and I’ll write more later on the brilliant Philip Ettinger). I love getting to see the interior of Charlotte’s trailer, where the art and set departments have worked their magic. It’s a nice touch that they pinned up pictures of New York, and also a snapshot of Charlotte and Cole, smiling for the camera.
For the last scene, we’ve changed locations to town, near the train tracks. Cole drops Charlotte off at the bus stop. It’s dark and cold, and everyone is hungry. Ashley Williams, who runs craft service, also known as Crafty—coffee, soda, snacks on set—offers up a tray of hot, microwaved Bagel Bites, and everyone is delighted.
It’s an emotional scene—the dialogue between them, and in what is not said—the gaps of silence, the tension. Cole gets choked up and teary. Charlotte too—she’s finally leaving Dove County, heading out into the unknown. I’ve now been on set only 3 times, but already, I can see how much potential this movie has—Declan Quinn’s gorgeous shots, Braden King’s vision as a director, Elizabeth Palmore’s tight script, the actors’ nuances and richness. Every scene hums with tension and beauty.