Archive for January 2008

On Trial and Error

For years I’ve called the process of making Benji movies trial-and-error film making. I always – well, usually – know what I want to see up there on the screen, but almost never know how to get it on film. I remember late one night in Oregon on Benji the Hunted there were about twelve of us crammed and bundled around the camera which was sitting on the dirt pointed down at a tiny little cougar cub who was supposed to be looking up at Benji, pleading with his eyes to not be left alone to be eaten by some larger predator (his mama had been shot by a hunter). The look in the cub’s eyes had to be right. It had to make us (the audience) choke up a little, feel the plight of this poor helpless baby. So there we were, this huge crowd of people all scrunched in a ball gawking down at this wee cub with a bevy of bright lights in his eyes, and I was supposed to be holding the “look” of the cub (as if he were gazing up at Benji) and I was also supposed to be doing something that would evoke just the right expression. Something that would make the cub’s eyes beg pleeeze don’t leave me here… Read More→