Sunday, 17 October 2010

scAIRcrows Is Wrapped

You honestly have no idea how much I've been dying to write the above. Production on the film dragged out way too long - not anyone's fault, it's the problem you have when working full time and also trying to organise and shoot a plus half hour long film.

It has seemed like forever since we first sat in those auditions in July and first put scAIRcrows out to 'strangers'. Did I honestly think I'd ever be writing this? No. The script is far too ambitious for a no budget film. But others clearly believed in the project enough to turn up and audition and right there and then, the film became very real.

Suddenly people outside of the small circle that I'd shared this idea with were embracing this thing and helping create it in front of me. I think the auditions told me that this film could be pulled off - it took on a life of its own once people started bringing their own take to it and bringing the characters to life.

And I just helped it along where necessary.

I've made films in the past, in college, and for some reason, it always fell to me to write these projects and sort've see them through. So, there's five films out there somewhere that I've written and I'd say very loosely directed. Problem with doing the student films were that they were group projects and whilst people were happy to let me go away and write these things - when it came to filming them, everyone had a say and it became impossible to wrangle. I don't own any of them and don't want to - they're not mine. They're not anyone's - they're contorted, lifeless things that've been pulled apart by people moving in different directions. The one thing that will always stand out to me, the one scene we shot for a college film that made me realise I was never going to get anything worthwhile done with the people I'd been thrown together with was a suicide scene.

At the age of 16 I'd written this quite warped script about infatuation and how someone lives with unrequited love. The ending I'd originally written and planned simply put was NEVER going to happen. It was the ending that I'd wanted and it was the ending that would've made the film stand out. My friend and I didn't even bother running past the rest of the group, we knew they wouldn't go for it and we potentially had another year and a half of working with these people - we didn't want them to think we were that twisted. So I changed it before we put it to them, the character now killed himself. Bit more conventional but I thought that the rest of the group whose sensibilities were way more mainstream, would be happy with that.

Nope. So we got to the scene where the suicide should've been and instead we shot a massive fight scene for absolutely no reason. And because I just didn't give a shit about it, it was all one shot and completely all over the place. Half the 'characters' in the fight scene weren't in the script - mostly this happened because people who hadn't been involved in the film but were there that day wanted something to do.

Thing is, I'd already compromised on the original ending and replaced it with the suicide and the rest of the group, when we get to shooting claimed it wasn't realistic enough for that to happen. And I agree to an extent because I didn't want suicide either but if they weren't buying suicide, they weren't buying the original ending. So the fight scene happened. The film was shoddily cut together with equipment appearing in shots etc and the film got ridiculed when screened. And for some reason, I still felt embarrassed by that. And I have no idea why. I think it's because, through all the mess, I could see remnants of the script that I actually thought was pretty neat. But utterly destroyed by a bunch of people who had no unified vision for this thing. Everyone knew that I was 'behind' it and by that point, there was little to be gained by telling the true story. So I sat there whilst people laughed quite openly, smugly knowing that their group's film was much better. And it was. But it wouldn't have been if we'd shot what I'd wanted to - original ending or the revised one.

Which brings me to scAIRcrows. This really, if we're being technical, should be my sixth film. But as far as I'm concerned, it's the first. For once, my script has actually transferred to the screen intact. Every little thing I wanted is in there. Over the past two months, I've finally been shooting something that I will quite happily stand behind. And to suffer through as many as 5 false starts, you have to appreciate what a sense of relief I'm feeling now to know that it's all there. Flying scarecrows, magicians, eye patches and more. Everything I imagined and put to paper is in there. No-one to interfere, for better or worse - my vision has finally found its way to film!

Of course, it's only the principal shooting that's done - we need to go back for effects shots and maybe some establishing shots of the area but the script is now fully shot, we're finished with all our actors.

I'm three shoot day blogs behind but as you might appreciate, we've been on a bit of a sprint finish here! Expect those and pictures in the next few days as well as a website update and a few other things in the next fortnight. I'm not feeling terribly well at the moment so there might be a bit of a lag but I'm on it.

Before I go though, I wanted to say to absolutely everyone involved, from the actors to the producers to the caterer - if you were involved in scAIRcrows in any way, shape or form -

Thank you so f-ing much! I have no film without each and every last one of you and don't ever forget that!

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