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The process diary of film director Glendyn Ivin

WEEK 4 & 5 / August 27th 2008

Glendyn Ivin

What day is it? Where are we? What are we doing here?

Our shoot is an average length for a low budget Australian film at 6 weeks (32 shooting days). But with the amount of material plus the days of traveling that we have been doing between locations, the shooting schedule is so ruthless and demanding of the cast and crew, at this point i think we are all exhausted. I was kind of prepared for the emotional stress and anxiety that comes with shooting a feature film, but the physical tiredness is something that has just crept up on me and hit hard. We have just over a week to go and it feels all to easy to slip into auto pilot, and accept things that a few weeks ago you wouldn't have. I've been really conscience of this and tried to ride that line of not burning myself out, but also trying to keep things at the level I want them when we are in the edit.

We shot the ending of the film, which was not only a technically tricky sequence of scenes, but also a very emotionally and physically demanding time for Hugo and Tom. We had a extremely cold night shoot, and a final scene that takes place at dawn that we pretty much tried to shoot real time. And Tom had to spend time in freezing water, while performing a pretty tricky and very important scene (which he did brilliantly). All of these sequences pretty much came off without a hitch, and the performances blew me away! In the midst of all this though, I had more than a few moments of thinking "What the hell am I doing this for, and why am I putting all these other people through it as well..." I guess thats what is most inspiring about having a hard working and most importantly a collaborative cast and crew, because at these times of extreme pressure, I have felt totally supported in trying to achieve my vision.
After our luck with animals on the shoot I was very hesitant to be shooting another dawn sequence with 3 camels. I had very low expectations of anything with four feet after the trouble we had with our goat and rabbit friends. But the moment these giant beasts came on set I knew that it was going to be special. I have never been real close to a camel let alone three, and these guys were very calm and co-operative. The did everything on cue and even provided a few moments that I could never have dreamed of getting. And not that it will ever make the film, but we had another scene with a goat that went totally no-where the other day as well. Freaking goats, what were we thinking! If I have learnt anything from this shoot it;s that goats are probably the dumbest animal to write into a film script, let alone trying to get one to do anything on camera even remotely useful. Anyone thinking of writing animals into your scripts, stick to dogs and cats, perhaps a camel or two.