Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Filming Ends

So, after a couple of sleep-deprived nights over the weekend, the film, that is, my section for Melbourne, is 'in the can', so to speak. There is still a massive edit to do, and some audio recording, but the filming, which is the bulk part of my involvement right now, is over and done with, so that's exciting.
Filming ended up being a blast, once I got over my nerves from the black-box session. Sunday was a massive day. I got to Kinsale at 1pm, and didn't leave until 1am. We were mainly filming a very long monologue in an empty nightclub, which required some very tricky work with lights, which was difficult, as we only had one spotlight and the lights they use for the disco. Film acting requires a lot of standing around and waiting. The standing around and waiting is only made worse when the film has no budget, so the only crew is the cameraman and the director, and the only light is the big, old one that the director keeps in her house.
If nothing else, this whole process has given me a much bigger appreciation of the work that goes into filming, and the importance of lighting in particular. Its interesting watching the cameraman setting things up, and the small things that can make a difference. A simple A1 sheet of white paper on one side of me, for example, to bounce light and make the light balance out, or a mirror to do the same. Ingenious!
By 9pm on Sunday, I was ready to gnaw off my own arm in hunger, so we went to a local pub to get some dinner. One excellent thing about going to a restaurant in Ireland desperately hungry is that they always give you far too much food. You get free, heavy soda bread for starters, then your main meal comes with cooked vegies or salad, chips AND garlic potatoes. Unbelievable. Even if you are so hungry you are ready to kill the waitress and eat her, you rarely get through an entire meal at an Irish restaurant. Bliss.
Whilst we finished at 1am, we could potentially have shave half an hour off that time, if I hadn't consistently collapsed into hysterical giggles near the end of the shoot. It really wasn't my fault. It was a combination of the sleep deprivation and the quips of the cameraman. Its probably a good thing though, as some of the material we were dealing with at that hour were particularly heavy and depressing, so being able to laugh hysterically for a while probably helped the whole situation and stopped us getting too sombre. The shots at the end of the night also got quite... well... we're calling them 'arty', but it could conceivably be called, 'nonsensical'. I feel 'whimsical' is a good description. Every show needs a dose of whimsy. I wouldn't be surprised if they're the shows people walk out of the theatre talking about, as they're just too funny and interesting.
Anyway, last night we completed the mammoth task, first driving out to Cork City Gaol for a shot, and then completing it at Acton's Hotel in Kinsale. We had a few extra actors on board that night, who were both lovely and good sports, especially the guy who was playing my love interest. I had to get dressed into a wedding gown (which kind of made me look like Miss Havisham), and waltz around an empty ballroom. Its kind of disturbing the automatic romantic reaction I got to stepping into a long, white gown with a train. It was far too fun to be in that dress. It goes against my rational, post-feminist sensibilities.
We finished yesterday evening at 2am, due to some more hysterical outbursts, and to ensure that we had enough footage for the film. My poor director then had to drive me back to Bandon, as she had picked me up, and then head back to Kinsale afterwards before she could sleep. I've been exhausted all day, but I'm also feeling really happy, really excited and really intrigued to see how the film all comes together. I'm sure I'll hate hearing myself back on film (I can't stand the sound of my own voice, and I can only just bear to see myself on camera. Mainly I shove my fingers in my ears and squeeze my eyes shut, only now and then opening them to squint at the screen), but I do really want to see the result. I'm also ridiculously excited to see Cathie's corresponding video.
Well, that's it for me. Having gone to bed at 2:45 am last night and 2am the night before, I really want to get a good night's sleep this evening.

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