Monday, April 30, 2007

Mum and Dad Shoot - Day Sixteen

The last shoot day (night) in Nottingham, and we were still in the offices - we're using a location which used to be Carlton studios, just off Lenton Lane - somewhere I've been quite a few times before in the past. Carlton TV left there a few years ago and now it's used by the University of Nottingham, but there are still the remnants of the TV station there - including an enormous empty studio, with a massive lighting rig, plus a props store. It's actually quite a good place to be, kind of like being in school out-of-hours. Everybody can spread out and be comfortable. The only problem with the place is that mobile phone and walkie-talkie reception is terrible, so we had a couple of occasions tonight when we were waiting to go for a take but couldn't track down key members of the crew because they were out of reception range.

We also had a group of extras tonight, including a couple of people I know - Dena Smiles and Yvonne Varnier. It was good to see them, although I did apologise to Dena for scandalously underusing her.

We got on a bit quicker tonight, although as soon as we went outside to do the exteriors (involving extras and van driving (with a cameo role for Trnovski as the bus driver)) things slowed again. It's weird, it feels like we've got a load of people and quite a lot of equipment, but realistically, we're still working on quite a reduced crew and with a limited amount of resources and it's when you try and do things like tonight that you feel it - Jonathan had lost a big light so had to be quite creative about how he employed the other lights we had - the kind of thing that makes you have to rethink your blocking and staging just to accommodate the fact that you want your characters to at least be visible.

As it got towards dawn we still had one more scene to do - the opening of the film. I wanted to do a shot from outside, looking through a window down a very long corridor, with Lena turning to walk away. We set up the shot, with light quickly building outside, then waited. And waited. And waited. Because Olga wasn't there - she was down the other end of the extremely long corridor where the make-up room was, getting her hair redone for continuity's sake. But with the bad reception, it meant that nobody knew that. Cue lots of frustrated moans from people, as it was getting brighter by the second. Eventually, we got Olga back and managed to get the shot, and the scene, just in time for dawn.

And that was it. While everybody derigged, I went into the enormous empty studio and found a battered football that someone had left there and me and Toby (Elbie) had a kick about. While I did feel bad about not helping with the derig (typical director), it also felt great to expend some energy, runing about and lamping a ball across the studio. It's only when I get the chance to relax that I realise how tightly wound I've been over the past couple of weeks.

Of course, we're not finished yet - we move down to London on Monday to shoot the ending of the film in a field near Heathrow. That's if the weather holds, of course. If not, there might have to be a hasty rewrite involving all the characters finding shelter in an empty warehouse.

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