Week 5 and 6

These last couple of weeks have been rewarding to say the least. In spite of all the issues we’ve had with distances, casting and time itself, it feels so good to see the end barreling towards me.

I mean barreling in a good way. While it’s usually a terrifying feeling–impending finality–when everything seems to be going so fast and there’s nothing you can do but float around, trying to plug the holes and rescue everything that needs rescuing before the wave hits. You can see it coming and you know that everything you’ve built so far is about to either get flattened or (and this is what you’ve been working for) it stands up on it’s own two feet, and you know that you’ve made it happen.

What is that they say about mixed metaphors?

We’ve been plodding along. Since the last update, we have moved almost everything out of our old house and into the new one, so I’m camping in an empty flat for a few more days. But at this point, a few more days is all we need. We are that close. Between shooting days, I (along with my co-director) have been reviewing footage, and piecing together a (very) rough cut–because we want to make sure it’s good, and because we’re impatient, and everything makes more sense when it’s sitting front of you.

It is good. And it does make sense.

The week 5 shoot was a technical one, a detailed, nitty-gritty tight-scheduled night. No simple shot-reverse-shots, or static angles, and not a tripod in sight.

I’m not going to lie and say we have a big budget. We don’t. To anyone that has been following this blog-series that is painfully obvious. Tackling the shots we wanted without the money to rent, and time to set up, rigs and dolly-tracks means we have to use our initiative. It means I have to step into my roller-skates and become a human dolly–which is not as easy or as fun as it should be. But it is effective in a pinch. Despite scheduling half of the most complicated and time-consuming shots on the same day, and coming up with nifty work-arounds, we actually finished a little ahead of time. Everything went so smoothly, I almost feel we must have missed something (but we didn’t, thank glob)

Our last shoot (week 6) was the one I had the most reservations about. We only had two shots to complete (and one in reserve if we found some time), far fewer than usual, but we also had extras (a lovely group of people who stepped in and were consummate professionals, and put up with a lot of boring sets ups and near-endless re-shoots. A big thank you to them, seriously, Thank You). Enter 1st Assistant Director: stage right.

Since there are a lot of things that need to be done, and not many people to do them, we double up on pretty much everything. So, our 1st AD is our DoP, and also our editor, because he’s talented and works too damn hard. True to his style, he took charge of the background artists with aplomb, and they nailed it (over and over and over again). I am no longer concerned about these sequences, which means I am no longer really concerned about any sequences. I can finally say, with only one more week to go, I think we’ve got this–fingers-crossed–if we carry on at this pace, we’ll be done well before that looming deadline when everyone leaves town indefinitely.

I’m going to shut up now before I jinx it.