Well, really … I couldn’t have asked for a better birthday, from the drama and soap opera situations we got ourselves into before lunch to the perfect takes we somehow managed after lunch, all rolled into one day. This was a good day of shooting, and yeah the cake was nice along with the home made pasta – and the gifts. Also, my son (struggling a little bit with Icelandic but trying to be perfect) called me up and said “Merry Christmas Dad” … 🙂 and of course Jo Jo was my rock as always! Just like Lemon was Chris’s Aid and he was her Rock, Chris Rock… ah yeah, well whatever.
Today was a great day of shooting, felt a bit like the good old day’s when everybody told us the movie looked shit but it was funny as hell … (when we shot the first 20 minutes, back in December). We’ve had a few of those day’s but some of our bigger “set pieces” have felt like – well, honestly, like we don’t know what we’re doing. But despair not, these kind of day’s are ahead of us. Thank’s to the production team who started us off on all the big scenes (plus the scenes we’ve not written) and eased us into the scenes that we’ve shot a 100 times before … of course 🙂 Anyway, This was a great day, some comedic genius at play!
PS. feel, free, to , … fix the punctuation, anytime, mister … co administrator! ? !
People are tired, real tired … feels like this shoot could go on for 3000 day’s. We’re on day something of a schedule that is ever changing and getting longer and longer as we speak. Originally suppose to wrap tomorrow on my birthday, we’re now wrapping tentatively on the 17th of June (my countries national day). At the same time I am now starting the process of a rough cut since I’ve put myself a deadline of a rough cut by the end of June. My life is now starting to feel like “All That Jazz” and I’ll by having nightmares about Jessica Lange before I know it, so far sadly I’ve just been having weird dreams about Chris Loton. Oh and I did have my first “storming off the set” moment the other day, it involved Carlos Ottery our main actor and it belongs to one of the quotes of the day :
Updated the website and made it … well cooler. More info on Gary (GEE) was also added.
We’ve shot for the past two days and there’s been some additions to our small crew which was strange enough but has only grown stranger if anything. We added two make up artists to the one we already have in a film that doesn’t use any make up, but who are we to say no to people when they want to help out? So, now we have Shadow, Ting Ting and Ming Ming … Ting Ting and Ming Ming are a boy and a girl (well as far as we can tell), they’re both heavily into make up and could happily spend 5 hours doing make up on a person, sadly we can’t really provide that happiness for them, but they do look pro and wear those designer glasses without any actual glass in them. We’re just a bit worried about what Shadow will think once she discovers that we’ve hired two people to sit around and do nothing with her.
We’ve also hired a born again Christian as a B-Unit cameraman, he’s Belarusian. First off, we don’t need a B-Unit, we don’t even know what that is. Secondly, we hired him because his translator is super hot. Thirdly, his translator moved back to Russia and left him with us and he doesn’t speak a word of either English or Chinese. I’ll give it to him though that he’s very enthusiastic, a bit too much sometimes when he manages to draw the local authorities attention on us by directing traffic around Tiananmen square, something I wasn’t really asking for.
Most of the times we can’t get all the crew together at the same time, so it’s pot luck who turns up at any given shooting day. Monday we had three make-up artists and two actors, so I took controls of the camera and sound. Tuesday we had two cameramen and a runner turn up, so I could concentrate on make up and costume issues. Directing? Maybe when everybody turns up at the same time, it would be nice.
Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the moment our Belarusian cameraman and our Chinese cameraman decided to have a meaningful conversation about camera equipment. Our Chinese guy speaks limited English, not much at all actually and I’ve often felt like a character in a Woody Allen movie when I’ve been discussing shots with him. The Belarusian guy speaks NO English at all. So the two of them discussing lenses, sensors and light issues … let’s just say the rest of the crew went silent in disbelief before not being able to control the laughter anymore.
But I am thankful for these bunch of misfits being so helpful and making our movie a reality, they’re all doing this without any pay and we all believe that this film is something special. So far, we’ve got:
Jason on camera from China, Grisha on camera from Belarus, Shadow doing costumes and make-up from China, Ting Ting and Ming Ming doing make-up from China, Billy the line-producer/runner/best boy from USA (or an alien planet), Lin our translator, Jonathan our casting agent and of course the actors.
All we need now is a helpful investor … well or a sound guy would also be fine.
Gary (Gee) – A feature film by Robert Douglas.
We had a longish day of shooting yesterday. I’d finally decided to hire a pro cameraman (or that’s what I told the actors), Jason is a pro wedding photographer but has never really shot any movie, he’s helped me out with music videos before and his equipment of lenses etc is impressive, he’s also come a long way since the first music video and I think he’s actually getting more impressive as a cameraman although he’s still not sure if he’s shooting a corporate video or a feature film, he keeps asking for what business this is meant to advertise.
The day didn’t start off well as I had semi-fired the main actress, or she kind of fired herself, this being my blog my version of the story is going to be one sided, let’s just say we had conflicts when it came to the schedule and … well I wasn’t paying her anything. So I do realize that keeping hold of my two male leads is something I should be thankful for, but they’re not as demanding, a couple of beers here and there or a game of Fifa on my Xbox and they’ll do the next scene.
Although my main actor is a bit of a primadonna, complaining that if he does do more than 2 days of work per week then he needs at least a week long rest after, seeing as he teaches English twice a week then me adding a shooting day on top of that completely destroys his time-schedule, so at best he can shoot 1 day a week for me, although I admit that sometimes I push him, push him to his limits, it can be scary to see an actor push his boundaries, Christian Bale losing 50kg in The Machinist, Rene “whatshername” adding 10kg in Bridget Jones and Carlos Ottery working on a Wednesday … scary indeed, so I’m constantly in awe of what actors are capable of.
My other lead actor is practically a saint compared to the demands of Mr.Ottery, Chris Loton shows up on time and is even OK about taking long lunch breaks from his regular job of selling Semi Conductors to Nuclear Plants, to act in our movie. Although if you promise him Chicken Parmesan and they deliver a bastardized version of Chicken Kiev in Bolognese then he quickly loses any motivation for his character and becomes increasingly “difficult” to deal with. I’ve learned not to offer Chicken Parmesan on the lunch menu anymore, KFC will do from now on.
Shadow, our make-up and costumes woman didn’t show up yesterday, but she rarely does. She’s showed up twice for the film so far, first for a general meeting and then for an actual shooting day where she turned up about 3 hours late, then she usually sits herself down and starts blogging on her mobile phone. We like having her around it adds a certain dimension to the crew. She says she understands our English but rarely do we understand hers.
Billy the Kid, our runner, best boy or as he likes to say; Line Producer. He’s a man with ambitions and keeps talking about a script that he’s writing, a romantic comedy about a Texas girl working for an orphanage in Chengdu who falls in love with a local tour guide, it’s an OK idea, it’s actually Chris’s idea but now Billy can’t stop talking about it and has actually written a script and believes it to be his idea, I think Chris was just sort of muttering ideas to the beer glass when Billy picked up on this … Billy also wears a radiation suit and a anti-cosmic ray bandana, this is no joke, he’s also a guy who has two compasses on him at all times and believes that reading is bad for you, so audio books is a necessary evil to get wisdom from and Catcher in the Rye was the last book he listened to. He does do the runner job very well though.
At the end of the day though, if you’re crew doesn’t offer you the potential of interesting stories or situations then maybe you don’t really have a real film crew. We’re looking to add to our crew, the more the merrier.