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September 04, 1997 - Image 21

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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-04

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20B - The Michigan Daily Weeken Magazine - Thursday, Sepmber 4, 1997

Y YDS.

3 DAYS
Continued from Page 13B
become totally callous. It's at this stage
now where these things are happening
andI certain key factors start laying on
top of each other really quick.
"The film's within 3 days of this char-
acter's life, and by the third day, a lot of
these things have built on and it's just an
enormous amount of pressure. It's neat
because he's more or less an introverted
guy that needs to deal with a lot of stuff
you wouldn't want to deal with."
Claire Battersby, a talented English
import who plays Leslie's roommate
AUnabelle, added, "This is a story of
people. It's not people around a story -
it's people ... trying to get through life
where it takes them."
On this particular day, the crew was
shooting a scene involving Leslie and
Annabelle gossiping, and a scene
involving Randy, Leslie, and Randy's
arrogant friend Tabor (Sam Means).
Everyone had been working nearly
around the clock the last few days, as
Lee and producer Wendy Collins had
hoped to wrap up shooting in 3 days -
as close to real time as possible. While
the first scene was being set up, Lee
discussed the unique process that went
into creating "3 Days.'
"I put together a storyline. And what
I wanted to do was to get the actors
more involved. I've been actually

watching an interview about Mike
Leigh and how he put together 'Secrets
and Lies,' and how they did it through a
series of improv over about a year. And
then they got the actual piece that way.
"So I came up with the storyline
and plot elements that (the cast) had to
hit from Point A to Point B. Then we
rehearsed for about 8 weeks. We
would sit down and talk about the
scene. We would improv it 3 or 4
times. I would record it on a little
Radio Shack recorder, and then I
would go home and listen to the best
of all the takes, compile it on the com-
puter and come up with the written
scene. And then from there, the next
week we would reread that and fine-
tune it."
Many of the actors agreed that this
process of giving them free rein helped
not only in regard to chemistry between
the performers, but it also added to the
film's realism. Kinsella said, "The
script is kind of everybody's baby in the
sense that the actual dialogue we pieced
together through rehearsals"
As filming continued, though many
people were overworked or suffering
from lack of sleep, everyone was still
having a good time within the relaxing
and supportive creative atmosphere that
Lee fostered.
Lee admitted that filming had been
intense and many people were running
on adrenaline highs. "I keep saying that

I'm going to make it a little easier on
myself one day and have 3 months to
shoot a film. But the reality is, until
Hollywood or somebody plops down a
whole bunch of money, you've got to
find creative ways to make independent
films."
One quirk particular to this filming is
that the cafe was still serving regular
customers while the crew filmed. So as
the daily rush for coffee increased, more
and more wide-eyed spectators gathered
to watch the movie being made.
The scene involving Randy, Leslie
and Tabor took a little bit longer to
perfect, as Lee tried to find the right
blocking for the scene. But by the time
everything was ready, the scene came
off marvelously. The humorous verbal
sparring between Leslie and Tabor
(described by Means as a cocky guy
who's "got one frame of mind -- he
only thinks about the present moment
and how to advance himself") was a
lighthearted moment in the dark
drama.
With filming winding down, there
was much speculation as to how the
film would be received. It is definitely
meant for more mature audiences, due
to its subject matter.
When asked how he predicted audi-
ences would react to "3 Days, Lee
said, "I think there will be some shock
to it. I'm sure some people will say,
'Oh no, these people don't really live

Michael Kinsella (seated) stars in "3 Days ... 3 Hours ... 3 Minutes ...
3 Seconds." Sam Means and Amy Lee also appear in the film.

like that - nobody lives like that.' But
hey, I've known some drug addicts,
I've known some people who have had
to do some things that aren't very
pleasant to go through. It's true. It's
reality. These people exist, and we may
not know who they are because we just
walk up and down the street, and they
might look okay to us, or we might not
give them much of a second thought.
But they exist, and I hope that when
people see (this film), it'll get them to
think."
Other members of the cast also
hoped that this provocative film will

bring about a heightened awareness of
these people, and will successfully con-
vey the theme that they are real and that
they should not be superficially perse-
cuted or dismissed.
While it is uncertain where this film
will end up (Lee is gearing up for film
festivals and hoping for a domestic
release), it is quite clear that indepen-
dent filmmaking is not only alive and
well, but it has many budding stars
waiting in the wings. For Lee, who is a
veteran of television production among
other things, this looks like the start of
a promising career.

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