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F U N N Y    F A C T S   3

The Longest Night
At 2 AM, after a 12 hour day of shooting, director Eric Byler and production designer Robert Shinso were the only ones left at the house. "What's up for tomorrow?" Shinso asked. Byler looked at the schedule and realized they were shooting Lori's bedroom in ten hours- and at the moment, Lori's bedroom was unpainted, unfurnished, and piled high with lighting equipment. Byler and Shinso stayed up all night to paint, furnish, and dress Lori's bedroom. They finished just as crew members arrived the next morning.

The Night After the Longest Night
At 1 AM that night, the exhausted crew, and sleep-deprived director had only one simple scene left to shoot. It was to depict Eugenia Yuan as "Lori" slipping out of bed and getting dressed, careful not to wake her boyfriend "Justin." Actor Matt Westmore was released for the day-because all they needed was a lump under the blankets with black hair. Byler was the only member of the crew with similar hair, so Byler got under the blankets with Yuan to serve as body double. Somewhere during the first take, Byler fell asleep. The faithful crew of six didn't miss a beat, and shot two more takes under the direction of cinematographer Robert Humphreys. Unfortunately, Byler's virtuoso performance as the-lump-under-the-blankets-with-black-hair did not make the final cut of the film. But, the tail end of the same shot did: moments after the opening credits, "Lori" is seen depicted getting dressed and turning out the closet light. As she does so, a furtive glance at her boyfriend "Justin" is actually pointed at her slumbering director.

 

Lost Line of Dialogue
When Jacqueline Kim as "Darcy" abruptly leaves the rooftop, she whispers to Eugenia Yuan as "Lori" as the two hug good-bye: "I thought about what you said. I won't see him again." The words, which are barely audible in the final sound mix, make clear a connection between "Lori's" accusing words and "Darcy's" decision to give up on her love affair with "Michael." Sound mixer Brad North convinced director Eric Byler that a soft voice would not realistically be heard from such a distance.

Punched for Nothing
Prior to one of his more challenging scenes, lead actor Michael Idemoto asked gaffer Cain Angelle to punch him hard in the ribs. Angelle obliged and Idemoto successfully transferred the pain in his ribs to the emotional pain his character felt but was unwilling to show. As luck would have it, the scene was cut.

Darkness Falls
During filming of the infamous scene where "Michael" listens through the wall, the house blew a fuse, and all but one of the lights went out. Rather than fixing the fuse, the crew simply adjusted the aperture and kept filming. That's why the scene is so dark.

"There Used To Be A Door There"
The wall that Michael Idemoto listens through in the above-mentioned scene was fashioned by production designer Robert Shinso. Shinso built the wall, which was to cover an arched doorway, on a very tight budget and an even tighter schedule. With only hours to go before the first scheduled shot to include the fake wall, Shinso plugged in a giant fan hoping to dry the plaster in time. The result was an intricate system of cracks that made it perfectly obvious where the real wall ended and the fake wall began. When he arrived and saw Shinso's handiwork, Cinematographer Robert Humphries was not exactly pleased. "Would you look at this?" Humphreys said in his baritone Zimbabwean accent. He turned to director Eric Byler and quoted one of Michael's lines from the screenplay: "There used to be a door there?! …No shit!" Byler joined Shinso and the other crew members in wild laughter. Byler had already announced that he loved Shinso's fissured wall, which he considered a poetic reminder that Michael's childhood home was no longer whole. To this day, Byler and Shinso delight in repeating Humphrey's exclamation, pitiful Zimbabwean accent notwithstanding.

Punched for Nothing II
So back to the filming of the infamous wall scene: if you look closely at the last glimpse of Michael Idemoto in that scene, you'll see a man who is about to punch his fist into a wall. Unfortunately, Idemoto's powerful strike landed just to the left of the flimsy fake wall, smashing through a well-reinforced, actual wall instead! (In Idemoto's defense, it was awfully dark-- see above…) The next morning, director Eric Byler filmed Idemoto as "Michael" fixing the same wall to give him the option of using the punch in the film-- scenes had already been shot without the hole in the wall. But during editing, Byler decided not to make the punch part of the story. Both the punch and the fixing of the wall are viewable on the DVD bonus features.

Road to Nowhere
The road trip undertaken by Matt Westmore as "Justin" and Jacqueline Kim as "Darcy" was shot over the course of 12 hours in different spots along Interstate 5 between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Director Eric Byler and Cinematographer Robert Humphreys were the only crew members to accompany the actors, which meant Byler also served as sound mixer, boom operator, and assistant camera. For the car-to-car shots, Byler was also forced to operate the camera because Humphrey's Toyota had a standard gear shift and Byler, at 29, still hadn't learned to drive stick! As the sun went down, the four stopped for dinner at the Willow Ranch Inn (pictured in the film) in Buttonwillow, CA. After ordering his food, Byler grabbed the camera and jumped in the picture car- a BMW which was thankfully an automatic-to grab one last car shot. Byler filmed out the driver's side window, speeding north on Interstate 5, and captured the beautiful dusk-lit shot of cars zooming the opposite direction.

Sometimes the truth is in the lie
This cryptic truism, featured on the "Charlotte Sometimes" poster, was penned by Jacqueline Kim.