Sandbar | Warrior Woman Film


It’s snowing today, thwarting my trip to Santa Fe to turn in the rebate paperwork. Now that the paperwork is done I want to get it off my desk, but it looks like I’ll have to wait a couple more days.

Meanwhile, we’re grateful for the rain and snow. It’s been dry here the last few months, and warmer than usual, which is tough on the environment, but it’s been great for my daily walks by the river. Last week, my husband Bill came with me to try out his new binoculars and we walked out on the sandbar where we had filmed some of the dream sequences for Warrior Woman. The river was lower than it was when we filmed, and through the bare trees we could see buildings that had been blocked by the thick summer foliage. Though close to a busy bridge, the sandbar feels like its own faraway world – we saw a kingfisher, a great blue heron, a bald eagle, many geese and ravens…

…and echoes of the summer… We came to the river on day 12 of the shoot. I privately viewed it as a make-it-or-break-it day: We’d already lost a day and a half due to weather and an unprepared location and our schedule was beyond tight. One more day where we didn’t make a scene would be absolutely crushing. And we had a lot to get done on that day — ten scenes to shoot, some of which included Alice’s prosthesis, which was always time-consuming and difficult. We had extras to corral, and the crew had to schlep equipment long distances through the woods and over the sand. We were getting close to the monsoon season, and every afternoon the clouds would gather and the wind would pick up, rain would threaten, and out on the sandbar there was no protection from the elements. Base camp was far away, and catering was in a parking lot on the far side of the river. An easy day to lose.

But it passed smoothly, despite all. Karen, Joanne, Etain, Aarti and the dream women were total troupers, rolling up their pants, hoisting their skirts, and walking barefoot over the sand, through the mud, into the water, laughing all the way. ADs Carlos and Taylor and PA Justin steadied them through the slick mud, while Corey, Nolan, and Ana stood in the river with the camera. Between takes, Carlos entertained us by instructing Justin to act like weird characters from various movies as we watched him in the monitor, egging him on. The weather held. We got our last shots in just before the light was lost.

We came back to the sandbar one more late afternoon to shoot a special effects scene with Uma and the dream women. The wind picked up as we shot – sand in our eyes, our clothes, our noses, everywhere – and then died back. We moved on, everyone lugging equipment back to the woods where we were shooting next. Somehow, I couldn’t move. Pete, our line producer, remained there too. We sat for a long time in companionable peace, chatting a little, watching laden crew members growing smaller and smaller in the distance, listening to the wind in the leaves behind us, watching the rippling water…

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