TEN Principal Photography Day 1: December 4, 2012 – Wingaersheek Beach – Gloucester, MA (WARNING: SPOILERS)

The first day of TEN principal photography took place in Gloucester, MA at Wingaersheek Beach. This beach was selected to portray the rocky, metamorphic cliffs of Spektor Island. Almost all of TEN was shot out of order, but it is actually the case that the opening sequence of the film was the first thing we shot. Only the first day and the last day of shooting were at locations other than our Barrington, RI primary location, the Beach Mansion.

Day 1 was a minimal crew of MJE (that’s me), DP Kelly Davidson, Producer Sophia Cacciola, and two cast members: Kerri Lynch and Phil Opitz.
I wanted the opening scene of the film to depict a slasher-style chase ending in a sort of uncertainty. It’s kind of a classic, formulaic opening, and it falls among the types of images and ideas I hope to pay tribute to with this film. It was extremely tricky to shoot. We knew that we’d only have about 30 minutes of ideal light for the shoot, but decided to shoot a two-hour block centered around that time. We did pretty well with the light and did get an absolutely perfect 30 minutes. For the rest, as the joke goes, we’ll fix it in post! Really though, that is what we’ll do our best to do. The alternative, going back to the beach for 4 or 5 days for 30 minutes of shooting a day, would have been ideal, but is not feasible given our budget and time.
So, we dragged everyone up on the slippery rocks. It was kind of a dangerous place to shoot, but we did our best to be careful and managed to shoot everything from running completely blindly in a mask (no, you can’t see anything at all with our pig masks on) to falling off the edge of the rocky cliff without any injuries! Luckily, it was also a day of shooting where we didn’t need any sound, so it was easy to be mobile with just a camera, some lenses, and a tripod.
Once it was too dark to film the pursuit, we did a final FX blood shot and called it a day. There was about an hour of transportation each way, but we only spent about two hours on the beach actually shooting after which so many moths began to attack us that we had to run away screaming and head home. I say with complete sincerity that it was actually difficult to get the final shots of the day because of the moth swarms. Warm December weather has its drawbacks.
Here are some stills taken from the raw footage shot that day. Note: these are not images from the final film and have not been treated in any way post-camera. I’ve chosen these to show you some variation in the light that we dealt with. I had hoped to get everything to be dark and blue (like the middle image) in typical modern horror movie form and we will aim to replicate that feel with post work.




The TEN days of shooting:
Day 1, December 4, 2012 – Wingaersheek Beach – Gloucester, MA
Day 2, December 6, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 3, December 7, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 4, December 8, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 5, December 9, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 6, December 10, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 7, December 11, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 8, December 12, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 9, December 13, 2012 – Beach Mansion – Barrington, RI
Day 10, December 14, 2012 – https://mjeml.michaeljepstein.com/ – Somerville, MA

Extra Inserts/Pickups Day, March 3, 2013 – Sophia Cacciola’s House of Wax – Somerville, MA

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