Monday, August 22, 2011

Filming Continues

4 hours of filming this evening, from approximately 9:30pm onwards. We finished at 1am. I'm exhausted. And yet, here I am, blogging. Can't help it, I suppose.
This was a much harder shoot than Saturday. I was doing a large chunk of the script, direct to camera, in a space that was meant to resemble a black-box theatre. Thanks to the lighting genius of our camera maestro, Justin, a crumbling, white-washed barn (converted into artists studios) took on the necessary appearance. The set up looked more than a little amusing, with one large-ish light on one side of me and a mirror (propped up on a duffel bag and quilt) and giant sheet of white paper (pinned to a dressmaker's dummy) providing the necessary lighting on the other side. This is what a no budget film set looks like, people.
So, it turns out, that in spite of my ridiculously optimistic, 'I loved filming' post from Saturday, I still hate camera work. Turns out, what I hate about camera work, is the line-delivery. Quite happy to do all sorts of ridiculous behaviour on camera, as long as it doesn't involve lines. Curious. Especially because lines and line-learning have always been my 'thing' in acting. I've got a knack for line-learning. Can do it ridiculously quickly. Unfairly quickly. And as a kid at YPT (Young People's Theatre), I always used to measure the 'goodness' of my part by how many lines it had compared to all the other roles.
Anyway, tonight was not the night that proved my ability with lines. The minute I was staring down that camera lens, I was terrified. I was so anxious, I was so self-conscious. One small hesitation became a small line mix-up, became a huge line screw-up. The first scene took 7 takes. By the end of the night, I was Jenny 'One-Take-Wonder', but only because I had screwed up so many takes before hand, that there was only a very limited amount of space on the camera, and we kept deleting any take that wasn't exactly right. So, the clapper always read 'Take 1'.
But, we got through it. There were some hysterical moments, like, at the start of the night, when I attempted to lift myself up on to my high stool, but instead, got my foot caught on the long train of my dress (I was wearing something highly theatrical, to heighten the sense that I was in the Theatre, capital 'T'), and went catapaulting towards the edge of the un-fenced, un-guarded landing, and the concrete floor a few meters below. But, said suicide attempt did not win me any sympathy and we still had to complete the shoot. At about 12:35am, just before the final take, when I had to be all emotional, my director attempted to click the clapper (that sounds great!), but instead, kind of twirled it out of her hand and towards my face at great speed. This meant that for the next 10 minutes, every time she went to click the clapper (still sounds great), she, or I, would dissolve into hysterics, to the great joy of our cameraman, who wasn't at all tired and wanting to go home to bed. In my experience, this happens at least once in every show, when everyone is absolutely exhausted, and/or you are attempting the hardest, most uncomfortable scene in the production. This evening, it happened to be both.
I had thought that putting all the stuff that I'd written on to camera would be much easier than saying it live in a theatre, and was very pleased that I didn't have to cross that threshold yet. However, it turns out that its just as hard to share your innermost thoughts and feelings to a camera, as it is to do so in front of a group of people. If anything, I found it harder. The camera lens is so cold, so judgemental. I know its making me look much bigger and uglier than I would like. At least, if you get the right people in, you can look out into a sea of encouraging or sympathetic faces. You can pretend that they all think you're beautiful. And thin.
Anywho, its been an experience. I'm learning a heap more about film and filming and being on a movie, and that's exciting, and useful, I feel. We have another evening of filming on Friday, then something on Saturday morning, I think, and then I am pretty much done, for the time being, as its on to editing. I will, of course, be helping with Melbourne as much as I can from Ireland, but I get a little bit of a break, at least, which is nice.
Speaking of helping, please do support our show through FundIt, it you are based in Ireland. We are getting a Pozible set up asap for those supporters in Australia.

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