Today, we smashed a glass against our living room wall, threw a Macbook Pro off a table – violently – and smashed it against a light, and poured a bottle of wine on the new wood flooring. All in the name of art, dahlink.
The shoot’s going really well – halfway through so far. But it’s by no means without it’s hiccups. We quickly realised that we’d have to cut our original shooting schedule in half to be able to complete anything in the 7 days we’d alloted for this; so we decided to postpone all the scenes that don’t involve our UK based lead actor, Oliver Le Sueur, to a later date. We’re still cramming it in tho: two x 16hr days, and two x 14 so far (calculated from breakfast meeting, to heading to bed after backing all the files up)
Set ups are taking considerably longer than we’d imagined, partly because we’re a new crew (1/3rd of which are normally documentary makers, 1/3rd student film makers and 1/3rd who are total newbies), partly because we have entirely new gear that none of us have used before, and partly because we’re fitting this in between our normal day jobs…so, Dave having been away on a job in France til the very same day our actor arrived, & the rest of us all havin 9-6ish jobs til Shoot Day One, meant we’d done nowhere near enough pre-shoot prep & were ‘lacking focus’ to use a dreadful pun. Dave and I are used to working like this when we make our documentaries or pop promos or corporate stuff, so I think subconsciouly we thought ‘ah it’ll be fine’ – how naieve we were!!
Because of this lack of time & focus before shoot day, we’re operating without a storyboard and Dave is having to work out shotlists on the day we film the relevant scene. Not a good idea people! It’s led to us missing out a few crucial shots from an editing point of view (I’m editing bits and pieces together roughly as we go along, just to check everything fits), so we’re having to squeeze in pick ups where-ever we can. And it adds a ridiculous amount of set up time to the day, as our camera dept have to plan & block each shot before we shoot it.
I’m also finding it hard not to be as involved as I would on a normal DAM shoot. As mentioned before, Dave and I would ordinarily do everything – from concept to script, from lifting to lighting, from camera to final edit. So it’s odd to be surrounded by 18 other crew members and find myself being a bit of gopher again, without a specific job to do except ‘everything that other people aren’t doing’. That currently includes making lunch and evening snacks for 19 people… after two days of bacon & sausage baps, I’m running low on ideas!!
The budget has increased on a daily basis too – suffice it to say, we’re waaaaay over the money the Arts Council gave us and poor ole Dave’s bank account is straining under the weight.
BUT, having said all that… the footage looks incredible… the Canon is incredible, as is the Zacuto rig – we’re all really, really chuffed* with it *if you can still use that term? Chelsea (aka ‘Marley’) and Oliver (aka ‘John’) are utterly brilliant on screen (and utterly mad off it). The story is coming to life in a way we could have only hoped for and I’m particularly proud of Chelsea, this being her first ever role; she’s not only perfectly captured the spirit of Marley, but the ’emotional stuff’ she filmed today actually brought a real shiny tear to my eye!
Also, our crew have been top notch; everyone’s pitching in to help out where-ever they can, and they’re all going away above & beyond – remember we’re all doing this for nuffink (cept the love people, feel the LOVE!)
All in all, we’re learning a LOT of very valid lessons from this experience already. And (mostly) loving every minute. And (mostly) totally and utterly and completely cream crackered.
Night all…more to follow soon.
ps. here’s a little behind the scenes footage for you – of our Macbook destruction stunt!!