Behind The Scenes
Filmed May, 2004
Chicago, Ill.




All photographs by kind permission of Phil Donlon, director/star of 'A Series of Small Things'

Click on the thumbnails to see a larger image

Doug, who played the Homeless Man, always got in full wardrobe before he came to set. He had a very nice car rented for the production and drove himself to the set. He stopped in a very hip and trendy part of Chicago and went into Starbucks to get coffee. On his way out people gave him the most dumfounded looks, trying to piece together a Homeless Man holding a latte, getting into a rental car.

Anytime he was at craft services, real homeless people in the area usually thought that the city of Chicago was holding some kind of food drive for the homeless in the area. He did a convincing job.

Phil Donlon on Production

The one thing I was hugely impressed with was the team comradely - all the actors who were flown in from Los Angeles ended up sleeping in Steve's [Ed: Steve Ordower, Producer] house. Doug Jones slept on a mattress on the floor. In his last film, HELLBOY, he had his own floor of a hotel in Prague. So it flattered me that everyone was willing to put aside egos and put the project first. Even our behind-the-scenes documentary director, Mark, ended up sleeping on a chair, and he paid his own way from Toronto to be on set.

When I arrived in Chicago I knew I had to connect with the Korean community but did not know how. Through a casual conversation with a friend, I was put in touch with a Korean woman, who basically cast the film with extras, and her husband played a role in the film! These little things meant so much.

Actors and crew stayed late, worked overtime, and were willing to do what it took to get what we wanted on film. Wes, who headed our art department, and who had just gotten off 'The Weatherman' with Nick Cage, had some time on his hands before going back to Los Angeles. He gave up his week and worked for free, and brought on his staff to do the same. One day we were short on grips, and the writer, who slept on a couch next to Doug, was lugging lights off the truck. Everyone was willing to help make this successful and it deeply touched my heart.

We worked fast and very hard, we shot the film in four days with two days of studio-insert shots. There was no down time. One day we had 18 set-ups. It was set-up, break down, set up, breakdown, we moved very, very quickly. We moved so quick that I forgot to eat for an entire 14 hours. I personally got little sleep, maybe a few hours every day. I definitely had my hands full acting, directing, and producing.


IN THE CAN FILM Presentation

A Series of Small Things 2005 all rights reserved

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