Two of My Favorite People

Jul 27, 2018 9:38 PM

My Polycarp Movie Diary, Day Five*

Saturday, July 27, 2013 - Day 6 of shooting, Day 5 for me, was one of my favorite days of the shoot because I got to work basically all day with the young lady pictured above, Eliya Hurt—our Anna. What a delight! 

One of the scenes we shot today (which was also one of my audition scenes) is one of my favorite scenes in the film. Now, I think the casting for our movie was expertly done and that each actor is playing the role right for him or her. But I literally cannot imagine Anna being played by anyone else. It is as though this part were written specifically for Eliya--even though she was one of the last actors (if not THE last) to be chosen.

Eliya is a remarkable girl and a remarkable actress, and I have much more to say about her...but I shall save it for later.

* * *

After working under Joe Henline's direction for a week I'm understanding his approach more and more. His confidence and quiet leadership belie his young age. He does not dictate to the actors how to play their parts, but expects us each to know our characters and our lines and to be prepared when we walk onto the set. He'll tell us what he wants, and discuss it at length with us beforehand if it is a crucial scene, as much to find out how we want to play it as to tell us how he wants it played. Then with cameras rolling we'll do a take, and afterward he'll come out and say, "That was really great. Now, can we do it this way?" 

His most common direction, especially to me, is to bring it down or slow it down. Rarely is it to give him more. He has a clear vision of what he wants to see, and an internal sense of volume, timing, and tempo. I trust him, and judging by the responses of people who are viewing the rushes, my confidence is well-rewarded.

Top Left: Eliya Hurt, grabbing a snack while in the makeup chair. Top Right: Eliya gets a makeup touchup from Rowen (RoRo) Talmage. Center: Joe Henline, center, discusses a scene with Garry Nation and Eliya Hurt on an outdoor location shoot.

*This is the fifth anniversary of the filming of the award winning Christian film Polycarp in which I play the title character. The experience of making that film proved to be far more momentous and impactful in my life than I ever anticipated. To celebrate this anniversary I am re-publishing my diary from those days which I wrote on the back of the daily sides.