The Hollywood Theatre and filming for the first time

We took a tour of Portland’s historic Hollywood Theatre today. This year, the nonprofit theatre celebrated its 90th birthday. Doug Whyte, the executive director, was our tour guide and talked to us about some educational opportunities the theatre offers and how the Hollywood Theatre truly values community. For example, Doug explained that since having this job, he watches movies differently- always thinking about what Portlanders would want to watch so that he can bring that content to the theatre. They even hold events featuring filmmakers such as Quentin Tarantino and D. A. Pennebaker (Dont Look Back, Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars) as well as writers like Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club).

After the tour, Dylan and I filmed for the first time for our short documentary on Piano Push Play. Megan McGeorge founded PPP so that everyone can have access to pianos. The summer it began, Portland Piano Company gave Megan five pianos to set up around Portland. Ever since then, people have donated unused pianos and now in its fifth year, there are 20 pianos in public spaces this summer. When this season ends, the decorated pianos will go to places that otherwise might not have access to one- low income houses, health clinics, and schools.

We filmed the piano Anna, named after pianist Anna Fedorova, in Holladay Park. We shot a couple of interviews with pianists as well as some B-roll. Overall, the filming experience went better than expected. There were technical difficulties with the equipment, awkward moments in the interviews, and some challenges with the natural lighting but we learned from it and are now better prepared for tomorrow’s shoots. At the end of the day, we definitely realized just how important pre-production is; from having a checklist of equipment to storyboarding to having a list of shots. I hope tomorrow is another good shoot day!