Last day! It doesn't feel like we're anywhere near the end of this thing though - however, I've now fully kitted up the hardware, I have the software and more importantly, I'm feeling well again so hopefully we should start rocketing through the editing.
So, last Sunday, we shot the final scene - not final in the film mind, that had been shot the week prior. In terms of the original script, this was scene 3. So quite close to the beginning of the film considering we have 12 scenes in total.
By my count, this scene is the one that got shifted around the most and I had actually reached the point where, if it didn't happen on Sunday for whatever reason, I was going to cut it from the film. Probably not the best decision to make but it we'd changed dates 4 times on this one - it did just seem like it was the scene that didn't want to be shot.
However, I always like things going wrong because they get you thinking in ways you just wouldn't if you were able to follow the preplanned path. For example, the best thing about this scene was that, coming last, I had plenty of time to think about it and where it sat in the film. Originally, it involved a couple who were engaging in some friendly banter. In a way, I am a bit sad that we lost it because it was quite fun but the way things had worked elsewhere, it just seemed like the film was going to be full of couples. And that to me was extremely boring and worth losing the dialogue that I liked for. So I did a very soft rewrite to make the pair same sex friends. I say soft because whilst the banter is mostly gone, everything that's said is just a tweak of the original lines so the essence of the scene is very much there.
Also, there was something that I'd bullishly resisted whilst one of the characters was a man that I decided worked when the character became a woman - it's basically connecting these two characters to other characters in the film. It was something I didn't want to do before but it works and I feel makes the film feel less segmented.
Let it be said that problems are to be invited - truly the best things usually come from things that don't work out. Everything's an opportunity if you're open to change...
The two actresses that starred in this scene, Esther Eden and Hayley Gilbert, we knew previously from the auditions and had really liked them so were pleased when the opportunity to work with them presented itself. Now that the film's shot, when I look back at everyone in the film - the only person who caused us any trouble now was the one person that we didn't see at the auditions or get a video audition from. More on that here: http://scaircrows.blogspot.com/2010/10/on-acting.html
We shot in a slightly different area to the other locations we'd used - the reason for this being, I want the film to look as big in scope as is physically possible and having scenery that looks varied helps that along. I definitely think that this location was the busiest one we encountered across the whole shoot. The leads were opposite a rugby/football pitch but no-one there actually walked through into our area. One brilliantly random moment was when a man and a dog appeared from a cluster of trees - the man was holding a baseball bat and looked at us holding bloody implements and probably gripped that baseball bat a bit tighter! I also noticed (either forgot or was oblivious due to co-ordinating the shoot) when cutting together the trailer that Esther got chased by a dog. It's not the first time that dogs have wanted in on the production, I guess people running and rolling around are just too much for them to resist!
This shoot was remarkably easy - we were playing a bit of a fighting game with the sun which kept moving, throwing shadows into shots that we didn't want. But other than that really, it went without a hitch.
I do have to say separately - the actresses were fantastic. We'd given them new lines Monday morning before a Sunday shoot and they knew the thing better than I did, cues and all! It honestly makes things a million times easier if the actors know what they're supposed to be doing and I was expecting this one to be a bit more difficult, purely because I'd thrown the script changes on them pretty much last minute. It's not something I'd want to make a habit of doing but these creative whims must be obeyed....
And by 3pm, scAIRcrows had wrapped. And I was glad to see the back of it. I hate hearing the word scarecrow now - it's just a word now to which I think I'll forever be linked to. But I had fun doing all the shoots, working with all the different actors. It was a great experience and something I'm totally glad that I did. But I won't miss the early mornings, the time spent after work trying to organise things when I really weren't in the mood. I'm glad that's all done and behind us now and so we look forward to the edit which is where my focus now is. In my head, I'd like to get the film picture locked in the next fortnight - I don't think that's impossible save for the effects shots etc. Then audio and mastering the image is what'll probably take the most amount of time. But that's another story for another day.
Esther and Hayley - I'm glad we got you into the scAIRcrows family, it was a great way to go out, stress free... Thanks for dealing with the last minute rewrites and the occasional waiting as we had to reassess how things were going to be shot. I hope me being sick didn't affect how I came across - if I didn't say much at all, it was because I genuinely couldn't speak!
Jenny and Wayne - all done - I'll see you on editing nights!
Thanks everyone for helping us get to the end of scAIRcrows and we'll see you back here shortly!