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Never Film in a Bathroom With Automatic Toilets

June 15, 2009


When I wrote Quest for Comic-Con, I had to be hyper-aware of our filming limitations. We have no budget, and are calling in every favor we have to put this thing together. Everything I put into the script had to be something I owned, co-producer K. owned, something I knew I had access to, or something I wouldn’t mind shelling out a couple bucks for.

So when I decided my character worked at a frozen yogurt shop, I knew there was no way I could pull off actually filming in one of the dozen fro-yo parlours in my neighborhood. Not without delving into the sticky world of ‘asking permission’ and what not. So, where could two female co-workers gather for a meeting of a clandestine nature? The women’s bathroom of course!

All I needed was an industrial-looking bathroom, and there just so happened to be one in my dad’s office building. We film on the weekends anyway, I figured all I needed was my keycard to access the building.

Some of the more obvious things just didn’t occur to me. It didn’t cross my mind, for example, that the gate to the parking garage would be down, resulting in many trips up and down the elevators to let my actors and crew into the building, earning strange looks from the security guards and parking attendants who probably thought I was plotting some sort of heist for the bank downstairs.

It didn’t occur to me that the toilets in the bathroom flush automatically, so that when our sound man stood on one to get the boom mike into position, every so often there was a deafening flush.  And then there was the point where a woman came to use the restroom, and our male camera crew attempted to hide in the stalls.

I am occasionally an anxious person.  I live in fear of getting into trouble, so when I’m doing something that, while not strictly illegal, is possibly frowned upon, I get really tense and uptight.  Not pleasant for me or anyone around me, I’m sure.  I could not wait to be finished filming in that very echoing bathroom. It was really starting to feel claustrophobic, and it’s a good thing I was supposed to be pissy in the second scene; I could pretend I was just getting into character.

On the plus side, I got to walk around looking like the victim of a mugging, which was fun.

Quote of the Day:

“The sound of the toilet flushing will haunt my dreams.” – my co-star for the bathroom scene, via Facebook.


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