Sunday, 22 August 2010

The Shoot - Day Two - 15.08.2010

Now, as mentioned in the previous blog, between viewing all the footage shot that day as well as charging all the batteries, I only managed to get to sleep at 4.30am Sunday morning, getting up at 7am. The fact that I was up and about since 7am the morning before really didn't help either.

The reason I mention this is because the closest thing we had to a problem resulted from this I think.

We met the actors at the same time and went down to the set and prepared. Now, we left scene 6 partly shot the day before. We took it as far as the action comes in. So that's where we started. With the help of the actors, we'd roughly blocked how this was all going to work but then we came to shoot it and I really lost focus of it all. I'm my own worst enemy as I wrote it all into the script!

The problem I faced that morning, apart from the obvious lack of sleep, was the fact that there's four characters involved in the action, all in very different places and simply stuff like figuring out where someone should be, how they get there, how long it takes to get there - it all became very technical very quickly. I knew this going in but then actually running through it, the size of the task presented itself.

The other main problem I had was that up until this whole point, I'd been running a second camera so every single scene I've shot is well covered (I have about 8 or 9 options to choose in editing for any particular line of dialogue/event). And I realised I had to divorce myself from that as having two cameras moving around, one that I couldn't monitor too, was way too awkward. If we'd had more time, we would have been find but we didn't - an end time of 2pm was set in order to allow for enough time to get the final two scenes shot, plus we also had to re shoot for the shot we weren't happy with the day before.

So we shot the action with one camera and broke it down shot by shot. We got everything we needed in the end, we were over schedule by an hour but we at least managed to finish the scene - something that, at 10am that morning, I really didn't think was going to happen.

Something to mention and I will make no attempt to hide this either - there are a couple of instances where I simply didn't direct. Wayne, our sound man, played the 'live' scAIRcrow and amongst all the chaos, I simply hadn't really talked about what we were doing in the scene. It was part forgetting and part assuming that he knew what I was thinking, simply because he was on the crew. It makes no sense but that's where my head was that morning. It made for some very funny outtakes though - two of which will be posted before the day is out. I obviously got it together but I'm appreciative of the fact that everyone put up with me for what I think were three or four ropey hours.

Two key things - action is fine as long as it is very well prepared for and get enough sleep! We've structured the rest of shooting schedule so we don't work consecutive days now. The reason for this is, all we have left is action scenes now!

Because of how tight we were for time, I never got to incorporate any blood into the two death scenes we do have. They were always planned to be shot with effects later on but it would have been nice to have some on set blood and something I wish we could have done. But you live and learn. It won't hurt the scenes at all as they were always scripted and tested to be done separately from the shoot.

So, we finished scene 6, said goodbye to two of our actors and moved location for two of the final three scenes.

I'm loathe to say too much about the final two scenes though there is something that happens that I hope people will remember. There's a very tender moment (played perfectly by our leads Damien and Victoria) that ends abruptly and from far out left and hopefully ends up being something that sticks with people.

One thing about those last two scenes from a technical point of view - the sound was a challenge. We needed a very enclosed, wooded area. Somewhere where it'd be difficult for the scAIRcrows to fly through. We found it but it was right at the back of a pub and by a main road and whilst you can't see any of it - you can hear it! Kids, ice cream vans - the lot. We were obviously very careful about recording this and we'll have sound that we can use but it was another of those moments where I was far too focused on the actual film to notice the ambient sound. It's worth keeping an eye on because, if our characters can hear ice cream vans - they'd by inclined to run towards them for help, not stand there having a very deep conversation.

The good news is, we managed to finish ahead of schedule. We only had half an hour spare so half an hour anywhere along the shoot could have put us back but we did it!

Twenty pages of script for scAIRcrows was shot over two days and now sits on the hard drive. I begin editing next week - just waiting on delivery of software.

So, with that done would like to say the biggest thanks to my actors - Victoria Smith, Damien Warren-Smith, Elisa Armstrong and Gareth Halfpenny. I really hope you guys realise just how important you were to making this work - it will never be forgotten.

And my crew - Jenny and Wayne Diamond and Lindsey Dean. We've all still got a bit of a ways to go but we're that far along because of you all. This film would not have happened without you and that's the honest truth.

Also - another mention never hurt anyone! Biggest thanks to Emily Rudge for the catering - I'm sure some (maybe all) saw it as the high point of the shoot!

Now - we look ahead to the remaining 7 pages where the scAIRcrows do some damage!

The pictures from the shoot are on Facebook and also can be found here:

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