Week 2 done already? Does it feel like we have shot 1/3 of the film? Freaky - if its true.
Shot some beautiful scenes this week, both from a visual and performance aspect. A couple of dawn sequences where the weather looked after us. Magic hour here is just that, the way the light and mist hangs onto the landscape is amazing, freezing cold, but amazing! We have a great crew on board and we have been able to shoot in sequence through the transition of pre-dawn > dawn > sunrise. A very fast and exciting way to work.
We also had the pleasure of having Anita Hegh with us for 3 days for the role of Maryanne. It was such a joy to see her work with Hugo and see them both lift their characters and their broken relationship off the page. Maryanne is only on screen for a short time but she needs to resonate through the rest of the story. I think Anita delivered such a wonderfully rounded and honest performance that will stay with the audience throughout the film and hopefully well after the credits have rolled. The only bummer about working with Anita was that she was with us for a such a short time. Her energy and presence onset was so warm and friendly. We joked about keeping on to assist the Gaffer just to have her there.
We also shot a very scrappy but brutal fight scene with Hugo in a packed pub (full of locals, who couldn't believe they could get paid to hang out in their pub for a day). Hugo does his own fight and stunt work (Hello Agent Smith!) and it was very cool to see the chaos unfurl. I've never really shot a fight scene before but I am really happy with the level of energy and the 'wrongness' in which we were able to choreograph the action so it felt nasty, fast and scarily real.
I'm finding many differences between making a feature film and short films and commercials etc, but the biggest difference is that with the shorter form I find I can always have all the elements of the production in my head. So when you are shooting you can gather all the pieces kind of knowing how they may fit together in the end. But with a feature you have so many different pieces it's near impossible to have all of them in your mind at once. I really felt this towards the end of this second week. The more we shoot and the further I work my way through the script the harder it is to see the overall story working cos you are fixed on making the the 190 or so separate scenes work as best they can. On more than one occasion I have found myself losing my view of the bigger picture, forgetting that we are telling a story, rather than these seemingly random shots. I trust though, this is a normal, and just another part of the process.
Stock, shooting ratio and time are still pressing down on, and perhaps will be for the entire shoot. It's the one and only constant battle so far. A couple of times throughout the week I was trying to summon up the spirit of Nash Edgerton and his way cool ability to block through stunning one shot steadi-cam sequences, but since we are punk-ass and cant afford all the toys all the time (not that Nash can either I 'm sure : ), we are devising simple and hopefully just as effective methods for getting quick and cuttable coverage without compromising performance and the film in general. This is where I really feel I'm at the coal face of that old filmmaking equation, the constant juggle of time, money and quality. However, I feel very confident being surrounded by my cast and crew that we can squeeze every last drop of goodness from the resources and time that we do have.
We are still based in Quorn and we are slowly taking over the town. The locals are great though and very friendly, Jane did a great job wrangling a bunch of people for the pub scene and we feel very at home and welcome. The air is clean. the sun is shining. Mid week we move to Mt Ive Station and Lake Gairdner (Salt Lake!).
ps: Against good advice I rewatched Lost In La Mancha this morning... no matter how hard making this film gets, it's comforting to know it will never be this hard...