Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mum and Dad Shoot - Day Twelve

Bit of a gruelling day today. Well maybe not gruelling (it's not like I was mining coal or gutting chickens or anything), just strangely hard-going. I don't know whether it's because we're into the third week and the tiredness is really starting to embed itself in me, or whether being in that house for so long has started to drive us all stir-crazy, or whether it was just having Christmas yesterday - whatever it was, I was finding it difficult to really keep going today. Again, because of the relentless, steaming, rivet-popping juggernaut that is our schedule, we had to pick up a whole set of (short) scenes which we missed yesterday, then move onto a bit of action which in the script is quite simple, but which by necessity I had to turn into a complex piece of action. (Basically, because of rushing things the other night, I got us into a situation where Lena had to have a chisel metamorphose into a knife in the space of a scene - which meant engineering some threeway hallway tussling between chisel-wielding Lena, knife-wielding Birdie and chisel stabee Mum.) Because of the complexity of the blocking (and none of us being experts in stunt coordination) the whole thing took longer than scheduled for and we had to carry it over until the end of lunch. For the second day in a row my lunch-'hour' then disappeared as we had to go and view the cellar location, which is being dressed in preparation for the next two days. As soon as we got back from there it was time to start again...

Not having the time to step away for half-an-hour really has an effect - it's like you don't get the opportunity to reset your brain - it just all rolls into one big mush of people saying things and doing things that you have to try and organise in something like a recognisable pattern. When it finally came to the day's biggest scene, I just felt knackered. Which is a shame, because it's one of my favourite bits - Dad's foot massage. The performances were great - luckily - so hopefully we've got a scene that works, but it didn't feel like I was firing on all cylinders.

By this point time was really getting tight - and we still had two - admittedly short - scenes to do. With only about 40 minutes left till wrap, we had to be really inventive and hone the blocking down so that we could still get all the action, but we could keep it to a minimum amount of shots.

So, we ended up doing two scenes in two shots - which must be some kind of record for economy in terms of the shoot as a whole. And actually, they both ended up working really well - thanks to some great lighting by Jonathan and terrific performances by Olga and Perry. Yeah, the whole thing is essentially a bit of a steal from the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but then again I must have referenced that film in every interview I've done so far (and I had three more today, from Rotten Tomatoes, BBC Film Network and Film London, again eating up any spare moment I might have had (although I'm not allowed to moan about it as Lisa reminds me that we still need to sell the film (and they weren't actually too bad in the end))), so maybe it's only right that I nick a bit of it as well. I mean, everyone else does.

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