"I sit in the waiting room, waiting."

Added on by Chris WHITE.
Jerry Salley and me. On location: NIGHT DIVINE (1995).

Jerry Salley and me. On location: NIGHT DIVINE (1995).

I wrote, directed, produced, and starred in a 50-minute feature film (shot on Super16!) in the mid-90s called NIGHT DIVINE. It was an amazing experience for me, of course…not so much for my college pal Miranda Tumlin who was a production assistant for a few days on the film.

What follows is Miranda’s real-live journal of her work on NIGHT DIVINE, excerpted from an e-mail sent to our friend Rob McCartney on January 10, 1995.

THE TRIALS OF NIGHT DIVINE

Well, I've returned safely from the shoot for NIGHT DIVINE (but just barely). The filming itself went well, but my actual experience throughout the weekend was quite entertaining. Bear with me here as I launch into detail.

FRIDAY

6:00 p.m. - I arrive at the production office in Columbia, S.C. and immediately ask where I will be staying (I don't like not knowing where I'm sleeping each night due to some abnormal fear of being left out in the cold).

6:02 - I again ask where I'll be staying because when they said, "We don't know, are you sure Chris made arrangements?", I did not believe them.

6:30 - Chris arrives and tells me that I will be staying with his parents (whom I had never met). We ride to the filming site.

6:43 - I am told that I am a "typical female" because I find Keanu Reeves attractive due to his beautiful eyes and because I will not say whether or not I think he's got a brain behind those eyes.

7:02 - We arrive at the filming site, which is a lake house on the edge of some woods. It promptly begins to rain.

7:03 - I realize that I didn't bother to bring any rain gear.

7:15 - I get my first inside look at the lake house. I discover that "house" can be loosely interpreted as I fear the walls will melt in the rain and that a dropped pen will leave a dent in the floor.

10:00 - We finish setting up the filming site and call it a night.

10:11 - The other P.A. and I are stuck in the pouring rain, waiting for everyone else to get out to their cars.

10:13 - Tree branches start falling on our heads, and we watch many trees get blown over.

10:16 - We're still in the rain and the power around the cabin goes out -- we are plunged into darkness.

10:17 - The other P.A. and I are suddenly life-long friends.

10:20 - Everyone finally gets to the cars, and some of the crew members offer to take me back to Greenville with them. Since the crew members are pretty good friends of mine, I agree.

10:23 - We discover that the defrost in our car doesn't work, so we have to consistently wipe the windshield to have more than zero visibility (but not much more).

10:40 - The battery light on our car turns on, suggesting to us that the alternator is no longer working and that we probably don't have much time before our car dies completely. We turn back towards Columbia.

10:51 - We get stuck in traffic because a big power line has fallen across the little two-lane highway we are on.

10:52 - Fearing that our car will die any minute, I brave the torrential downpour in search of directions for another route to Columbia.

10:53 - I discover that the guy who had called me a "typical female" got Chris' car stuck in a ditch because he said he would have no problem getting the car around the power lines.

10:54 - Poetic justice served and directions in hand, we hurry on towards Columbia.

11:25 - We arrive safely at the production office and pile in my car, relieved.

11:26 - The radio announcer warns that there are tornadoes all around the area we have to drive through to get to Greenville.

1:47 a.m. - We arrive in Greenville.

SATURDAY

10:30 a.m. - I head back to Columbia alone because the two crew members are going in a separate car.

11:02 - I am pulled over for speeding.

11:16 - I get back on the highway with a big grin on my face because I have just talked my way out of a ticket.

1:24 p.m. - I arrive back at the production office, ready to work.

2:00 - We pull up at the filming site and survey the damage of the previous night's storm. It's not too bad--we're happy.

2:07 a.m. - The director calls it a wrap for the day. We head to our respective sleeping spaces.

3:11 - I arrive at Chris' parent's house to find the door locked.
Since several cast and crew members are staying there, I figure someone would have to hear me knock.

3:20 - After several minutes of ringing the doorbell and knocking, I pull out my phone and call information to get Chris' number. His number is unlisted.

3:23 - I page, call, send telepathic messages to several people, but to no avail.

3:24 - Deciding that I have been left out in the cold without a place to sleep, I head back towards the lake house where a few people are staying.

3:29 - I realize there is no way I'm going to make the long drive back to the lake.

3:33 - I check into a hotel.

SUNDAY

10:30 a.m. - I wake up and enjoy the privacy of the hotel room.

11:59 - I head back to the production office with the intention of helping out until 3:00 p.m. (I needed to get home for work on Monday).

12:16 - I am told that I need to be at the lake by 1:45, but that I also have to get a bunch of stuff from the store on my way.

12:38 - I discover that nothing in Columbia opens until 1:30 on Sunday.

1:29 - I go inside WalMart to find everything on my list.

1:32 - I discover that WalMart has absolutely nothing on my list.

1:41 - I check out at WalMart with a bunch of stuff that resembles what I've been asked to buy.

2:15 - I arrive at the filming site and am immediately rushed out again to pick up some pizzas for lunch.

3:23 - I return with the pizzas, hungry after having to smell them for 30 minutes.

3:47 - Full, I start saying goodbye.

3:48 - The key grip slices his hand while trying to saw some wood.

3:49 - I am on my way to the emergency room with the key grip.

4:01 - The key grip and I exchange life histories--he has to keep talking to avoid passing out.

4:23 - I sit in the waiting room, waiting.

4:40 - I have to share a large waiting room with a woman who has no concept of personal space.

6:47 - We return to the filming site; the key grip now has 9 stitches.

6:48 - I am asked to stay for "just a couple more minutes" to help out with the extras before filming.

7:10 - My car is inadvertently recruited for a scene in the movie (but only for one). I am told I need to stay for the shooting of that scene.

8:32 - I realize that the scene is going to take forever to be shot and that I am going to have to hang around the site while my car becomes a star.

12:54 a.m. - I am told I can go home.

12:55 - Dinner arrives and I realize that I'm hungry.

1:12 - I finally head home.

3:14 - I realize that I'm not going to be sleeping at all that night.

Oh, it's all a bit melodramatic, but every word of it is true. Actually, I am looking forward to going back this week despite the curse that seems to surround me and NIGHT DIVINE. A side note: Later I was told that the artistic director (Kirk) dislocated his shoulder and that someone else (actually, Kirk again) managed to talk himself out of a ticket. Can't beat the excitement.

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Thank you, Miranda. I’m pretty sure I didn't thank you nearly enough back then. Discovery of this account made my year.