Thursday, September 17, 2009

Jammin' with Taurean Blacque on "Battle"

Jenique Mincey gets "last looks" before Taurean Blacque performs a scene at Circle Sky Records.

I told you that I'd post more about Taurean Blacque's visit to our little movie and now I finally can do so. First of all, let's not forget that Mr. Blacque was an Emmy-Nominated regular on arguably one of THE BEST television shows of all-time (yes, ALL TIME) in "Hill Street Blues". If you've never seen that show...well, let's just say in that unlikely scenario, you may have seen him in one of his countless guest appearances over the years on television or if you're a Sci-Fi/Horror or Nia Peeples fan (and who isn't right?) you may remember him from Deep Star Six. I wanted to ask him if he remembers working with Atlanta's own make-up effects Wizard Toby Sells on that one but we had a shoot day to get to in an open record shop no less.

So, as we're pre-lighting, Eddie (the Producer) keeps asking me if Taurean has called for directions yet...despite it still being well before his call time. He hadn't, but I tell Eddie not to worry as if that's going to stop him. Anyway, 5 minutes before his call time, Taurean arrives to the set...IN WARDROBE. We'd given him the script and character description and had asked for him to bring some wardrobe possibilities himself and we'd choose from whatever he had or whatever we had (yes, we had wardrobe choices available...we're ultra-low budget but not without some things handled), well, one less garment for Jenique to have to worry about getting wrinkled because his take on 'Blue' was perfect. He had two major wardrobe sets for the scenes he was shooting and he had great choices for both, complete with hats :)

AD Dave Watkins watches as Director Laron Austin lines up a shot.

So, after he meets our crew and chats with our lead HeadRoc, we're ready to rehearse the first scenes.

Taurean is off-book and at first just going easy to feel out the rhythm of the scene with HeadRoc.

He asks some questions of Laron and they discuss more about the characters and the scene. The rehearsals get sharper and more energized as we go. Still within a few minutes of our targeted start time for the scene.

Finally, we start rolling and don't stop til we're done with the day's shoot. Taurean brings 'Blue' to vivid life in front of us and everyone on set is "jazzed". Taurean kept getting better with each take and the important swing in the storyline is accented perfectly by the performances we got that day.

Even the customers of the store cooperated and they all wound up being extras in the different scenes that we shot that day. Just wanted to share the experience even though it's been a little while since this shoot day and of course finally share a few more images from the shoot.

HeadRoc and Taurean Blacque perform scene in Battle.

Martin Kelley
Producer, Battle

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