Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Deliver Me - Shoot Diary - Day Four

8.15pm We're back outside the hall location. It's absolutely freezing and we've got a whole scene to do out here, but we're having problems with lights. Cooke wants a backlight on MyAnna, but we can't run a cable across the (very busy) road, so he ends up sweet-talking the owner of a house to let us borrow some electricity to run a 150W lamp for an hour or so. (When I say borrow, I mean he promises her twenty quid. Good job we're not out here all night, or we'd have spent all our contingency.)

Earlier we did a couple of shots on a bus, which we managed to get for free from Nottingham City Transport, who were very amenable and were happy to take us round whichever route we wanted. I know that sounds like an advert, but I'm just surprised that they were so accommodating. Maybe it's the spirit of Christmas...

12.00 midnight. We're in the hall, setting up to film the extras for the opening scene. To save time - because we lose MyAnna at 4.30 today - she's catching a plane to see her Mum for Christmas and can't leave any later - I've changed the shot from a track to a pan. By strategically placing the extras, we've managed to make the hall look slightly more full than it is, and thanks to some great lighting by Cooke and some great performances by the extras, the shots look great.

Then it's on to do the most complicated shot of the night - a track back, jib down, zoom out, pull focus from an ECU of a brass crucifix on stage, down past the healer's bowed head (managing to not knock her out with the jib head by having her crouch down out of shot and stand up on cue so that it looks like she's always been there) and down onto a big close up of the man being healed. We do a couple of rehearsals - John Ross jibbing, Cooke zooming and focusing and me tracking back - partially because it's the only way to see the monitor - and then we run four takes. The last two are good, but still a little wobbly, so we do one more. I track back a little faster, managing to (hopefully) merge the speed of the track with the speed of Cooke's zoom out and it looks great - perfect end framing. The whole thing's still a bit wobbly, but I've come to accept with these shots that it's part of the deal. The other way to do them would be with a computer controlled camera, but there's something about doing things 'live' - having to have three operators all in sync - that is really exciting and really reminds me of why I want to make films in the first place.

7.10am Back at home. We wrapped on time - the only fuck-up being that we nearly lost some of Glenn's dialogue due to extremely loud birdsong - and MyAnna left in time to get her plane. We had to stay behind to clear the location and restring all the Christmas decorations in the hall, which took ages (although, to be fair, I wasn't really doing anything, squeezing the last few dregs of Director's Privilege out of the situation before I go back to not having people do things for me anymore). Then it was back to Tina's to drop off the kit before coming home.

I thought I'd feel exhausted, but tonight I actually felt pretty awake - maybe it's my body clock getting in sync with nights, (just in time to switch back round again) - and by the end, I was thinking that I could maybe go on. Obviously, I didn't voice this to the crew or Tina (who has probably had less than 12 hours sleep during the whole shoot), but it makes me feel that maybe doing the feature won't necessarily kill me...

Sleep now. Edit starts tomorrow...

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