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Mortus Illumina the run up to the final shoot
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unfortunatly due to being in salisbury , i didnt get the time to add any more entries to this journal but the film is now well and truely in the can,
if you want to read a good blog of a film being made then head over to http://www.crooked-features.com/
I debated about adding one final entry to this log, have i learnt anything from the experience ? would i do it all again ? Do i have any words of wisdom to share ? and then i thought sod it,
i will do one final update, but it will be on the DVD of the film , so if you want to read it then buy the film.
Well , well well.
Believe it or not I actually had two entries to put in this here journal. The only thing that has been stopping me is the fact that for the last 4 week I have been out in the middle of no where.
I got a new job out in Salisbury at very short notice, only had enough time to catch me breath as I was whisked into a wicker man and dragged from london.
The first three weeks were spent going into small pubs, where a huge crowd would gather around and I would tell of stories of how in London we have buildings higher than 4 stories which arent cathedrals, how we travel around london deep underground in metal horseless carriages and yes, we too have a green man in London. Except ours tells us when to cross the road.
Luckily thanks to the lay lines in salisbury I have managed to hook up my laptop to the outside world so greetings from Salisbury! Im currently in a 600 year old pub and I imagine where im sitting all that time ago someone was sitting there with a busty buxom wrench on their lap whilst im sitting here with a laptop. Is that really progress ?
In all seriousness its not to bad out here at all, a quick run down on the pubs first
The Haunch and venison fantastic range of scotch imagine my surprise when I left to read this in the paper the next day!
The Wydham Arms fantastic beers called things such as crop circle and winter lighting
The New Inn they serve a beer called ferret !
The Bricklayer Arms nice small pub good for throwing darts and nice barmaid
And the XXXXXXX which is where im currently staying a. Nice pub with very friendly bar staff in and the room Im staying in is all right as well. So a hello to April, Linda, Laura, Fern and Jackie who are currently serving us beer and doing a good job of it.
So whats been happening for MI
Well the money is in place for the final shoot (still ;-)), and I have shot dates which are 100% there, I cant name the dates publicly yet but watch this space.
Also swamped but a mountain of CVs for the puppeteer, finally have got round to whittling them down and have invited a handful for auditions, I would like to take this opportunity here to thank everyone who sent their CVs in.
In this entry here I want to talk about where the cast and crew for the whole of Mortus Illumina have come from I think I have mentioned bits and pieces before but this is the full run down!
Susie Benton who plays Mary was in our short film Deadlights and so was Darrell Brockis who plays Veil. Paul Holden who plays Rico comes from another 5YLAC production Ad-Astra which was directed by Mike Peter Reed. Moral of the story here is make shorts before embarking on a feature!
Next up we had a series of auditions back in November 2002 which were advertised on shooting people, the auditions were held at the london school of speech and drama in Wilsden green. From these round of auditions we got Pegeene Rowley who plays Sister Judith, Kerry Frampton who plays sister Abigail. Ian Rixon who plays Matt and a priest (ill come to this in a second)
As shooting creeped up for the first shoot in April 2001, in march we put out ad s on SP for extra Nuns which didnt get a great deal of response , especially we had a Ad out for vampire lesbian nuns which only got one reply so we had to drop that scene. Though we did get Trine Van Thielen Mitchell who plays Sister Ruth and is a star. On the first shoot most of the female and male! Crew doubled up as our nuns if you watch the film carefully you will see the careful and calculated use of two nuns always walking in the background ;-)
Now the original priest who we had cast Im not going to use the word let down , more a case of different opinions on how things work and in all credit he was a good actor. But at the last minute I didnt have the feeling of confidence in the actor. So stepping in at the last minute was Ben Graves who was a friend of Susies to play the role of Father Oleary.
Coming up to the second shoot for MI, we needed a couple of extras for the beach scene and a old lady to play the role of Doga. We never found a old lady so Doga was supplied by KHY Animatronics and we landed Geoff Eyers who plays the Dead soldier on the beach, there were no auditions for these roles just a meeting in the pub!. We did have someone lined up to play one the dead gypsy but I knew the week before the shoot she was going to mess us around and my fears were confirmed on the Wednesday before the shoot, so Ana who is the clapper loader took up the role of the dead gypsy.
Moving into 2002 for the third shoot, this time round I werent taking any chances so I used a agency top get the extra for the bar shoot, though this turned out only slightly more succesful than previous attempts. I can understand people being reluctant to take unpaid low budget extra works, but if they are relucant then they should not accept the roles, this also applies to crew as well as it really does f*ck everything up when we are let down the 11th hour. On the day before the bar shoot I was worried that only about half the extras were going to turn up, so a couple of friends of friends were dragged in and some of the crew also appear in the scene.
The band for the bar scene I got In contact with direct, there was a 7 piece band who agreed a month in advance that they were up for it, but a week before they pulled out (see a pattern here ?) luckily the Alley cats stepped in for return that they could keep their costumes. We managed to kit out the whole band for less than fifty quic thanks to Mark, as we done so brilliantly well on that I went out bought brand new black ties for the band. The lead singers jacket is a converted cabin crew jacket btw.
For the Chapel shoot Nun extras, we originally held auditions back in the beginning of January 2002, these were one of my favorite auditions as we did a group audition in the form of the Nuns of 5YLAC have captured the worlds biggest fish in the Thames, the pope has heard of this good news and was coming round to eat the fish, so the fish needed to be prepared and his elegance also liked his salt. From these auditions we got Bea Gehr Swain who plays a nun and the mysterious white nun in the film. Also around this time some tickets arrived in my post for Circus of horrors to whom we grabbed Slvana Maiome from who plays a vampire nun in the film.
Moving on nearer the shoot itself , we put ads out on local web community boards near where we were shooting for extras and we got a good response from that. Though to stick our hands in the air it was very badly organized and I think we got through the extra situation with the skin of our teeth.
And thats basically where the cast have come from so far for MI! auditions for the puppeteer are being held shortly and Ill update the journal with a full run down of how that goes,
As shot dates are there the clock is now beginning to click down as its not that far away at all! This is where cobwebs get blown off and the frigin in the riggin is put on hold. I will try and get a few more entries into this journal as it is a bit all over the place at the moment, so watch this space!
Oh yeah, what I mentioned about in the previous entry about the SP business, this appeared the next day after my posting
Mortus Illumina - Apology II posted 01/03/2004 by "Susie" <XXXXXX.com>
Dear 5YLAC Films
Sorry to have misinterpreted your posting... Best regards,
Ok , ok , ok . The plan to keep this journal updated regularly is totally now out of the window. Instead you are going to have to put up with irregular updates. I either write a witty wonderful journal or I get on with making the film!
So what has been happening since the last update ? absolutely tons!
Firstly construction of the Puppet theatre is now well and truly underway , this thing is HUUUUUUUUUUGGGGGGEEEEEEEEE, Also now on the cards we have a rough shooting schedule courtesy of Matt who is the AD. The schedule is currently being reviewed and soon that is going to be concrete. Also I'm pleased to say the art department is also coming along nicely.
Finally the search for cast and crew expanded out onto shooting people , those of you who read my journal before I edited my last entry would know that I wasnt exactly keen to put it lightly on posting out on SP. But in the interest in the film I bit the bullet , Still have to put the crew ads out on Mandy but good response in general.
Casting has been a great response have about 40 CVs to go through, already a couple have really struck my attention, was surprised to read that someone has already played a similar part to the puppeteer! Tonys character as well has got a great response. Looking forward to doing the auditions and receiving in more CVs.
Have to say auditioning is one of my favourite parts of the process and the auditions coming up I have a cunning plan for them! Originally I was going to make the puppeteers character audition by doing a one man show of the opening of faust , the talk between the director and the clown. But I have something much better in line ! more appropriate to the puppets character is all I shall say at this point.
Not everyone was taken with my Ad on shooting people though, If you dont subscribe to shooting people here is my AD that went out for casting.
This is the very final casting call for Mortus Illumina, Mortus illumina is a
tale of a girl who sells her soul for five years worth of happiness but takes
refuge in a convent, unaware that her soul holds the key to the very
destruction or survival of the deadlights realm a realm that exists between
this and the next, all told by a faustain puppeteer.
By completion of the film over a 100 people would of been involved in the
production and to date, over three years, we have filmed 75 % of the film. We
are now gearing up for the final piece of filming in the first quarter of
2004. The roles we ar looking for,
READ CAREFULLY!!! I am not looking for someone X height or X build. Im not
looking for someone X years old and i dont care what your hair, skin, toenail
colour is. I dont care if you have done X years at RADA or just stuff with
the local amatueretics. In fact Im not really interested in you at all to be
honest. What I am interested in is the character of the puppeteer. The
Puppeteer is our "narrator" through the film. in pre production we have been
refering to this role very much as the "anchor" role for the film.
Here is a quick run down of the character,
Over 300 years old, the puppeteer possessed by the book Mortus Illumina
carefully selects his audience to put on his unique form of puppeteering.
Telling stories forewarning of greed, lust and pride. He is the ultimate
showman (well after 300 years who would'nt be?) and has a unique way of
getting his story across to the audience...
If you want a comparison of the character think
the persona of Peter O'Toole in the Man from La Mantra
The showmanship of the Nightclub owner in Moulin Rouge
Body language (sic)Benny Hill
Also a very important point. This is not simply a case of turning up and
shooting, There will be several meeting's leading up to the shoot to build up
the puppeteers character, the key to the sucess of this role lies in the
delivery and the substance of the puppeteers dialouge hence the meetings.
this is a great opportunity to really work and create a character.
In contrast to the puppeteers role, Tony is a person very much on the wrong
side of the tracks, we are looking for someone late 20's Male with definetly
a "bad boy" look. This is a supporting role and there is great emphasis on
"reaction". Tony is very much the "straight" part in the entire film and this
is very important as we need this to provide the contrast. Also as an actor
we are looking for someone who is very very patient as you will be involved
in two live-animation sequences.
Filming is taking place in the first quarter of 2004, over a intense long
weekend up in Elstree near London. Auditions will follow in the following
Travel Expensies, catering , credit , DVD copy and point share
Please send CV's to the follwing address
Ps. Want to see what other people have said about working on 5YLAC projects
then check out the following two linkshttp://www.5ylac.s5.com/Wordon.htmlhttp://www.5ylac.s5.com/Tosay.htm
And here is what appeared the next day on SP ,
Subject: Mortus Illumina posting
Usually I am not the one to complain, but there was no need for the Mortus
Illumina posting to be so rude and unprofessional. I am a casting director
myself and sort of understand where the person is coming from. We all get CVs
that totally do no relate to the brief!!! But, although that can be quite
infuriating, I realise that actors do it in the off chance that they
might end up on files rather than on the recycling bin!
It would be good if the Mortus Illumina guys understood that actors train
and work very hard to get jobs that are mostly unpaid and often not that
good. The last thing actors need is to start off a relationship with a
director that writes "in fact, I am not interested in you at all" on his
casting call. With that attitude, no wonder the man has had over 100 people
involved in the project and has taken three years to complete 75% his DV
film!!! Susie Gossling-Valerio
And also I got this in my inbox as well
From: "Tom Wood" <firstname.lastname@example.org
I am not intersted in working with imperious, self-important, deluded wannabees who have chips on their shoulders and their heads stuffed up their backsides.
LEARN SOME MANNERS BEFORE YOU OPEN YOUR STUPID LITTLE MOUTH
To shooting people I replied
An apology to anyone who took offence at my posting.
I agree if you paraphrase me"in fact, I am not interested in you at all" on its own i agree that it does sound rude and unproffesional. BUT! it was in context of the description for the puppeteers role which is very much a character role and there fore iam looking for a character actor. Unlike on the same ad, the role of Tony which had a very much descriptive Ad. And I will state for the record in the AD i mentioned i dont care what colour your toenails are and i still dont care what colour your toenails are.
As for receving CV's that dont fit the brief , i dont know where that has come from. I always welcome in CV's from actors. Over the five years i have been working in film the majority of CV's i have received whether advertised or just freely sent in, have been filed and from time to time on my own and other productions i have worked on I have refered to this file, which having worked with a great deal of people from this board im sure there are a few who can vouch for this.
I am quite proud of the fact that there will be over a 100 people involved in this production by completion as i think that is hell of a acheivement for a low budget film.
For the record Ms. Gossling-Valerio I have had over a 100 people involved as i tend to find crowded bars and packed church scenes seem to work better with more than a handful of extras and also I find that lighting and cinematography seem to work much better when there is a crew behind them.
Yes the film has taken 3 years mainly down to the fact that it is self funded by myself and i like to push the budget as far as possible, this film so far has been mainly big locations shoots which the scale of is few and far between in low budget films. If you had taken the time to follow the links aat hte bottom of the AD to what other people had to say on 5YLAC shoots, you would of seen that a good timr has been had by all and the final shoot will be no exception.
Again i would like to apologies to anyone i caused offence to. it was not my Intention and I hope most people read the Ad for what it was , a casting for a character actor.
5YLAC Films www.5ylac.s5.com
Judging from the amount of CVs I received I think I'm safe to say that the majority of the people actually took the time to read the ad properly and interpreted it properly, things like the above really do p*ss me off. I know I have already gone into a massive rant early in this journal about people, so I wont go off on one,. But I will say this,
An important bit of advice to anyone in low budget film land
Be nice to your runners as one day you could be working for them or in this case The world of low budget filmmaking is a small one, be careful who you p*ss off
not to bothered about the whole affair, had plenty of slagging e-mails through this production and for every slagging e-mail there are 3 or 4 of good luck e-mails, I think the funniest slagging mail has been is a guy went to great deal analysing my stills on fotki and sent me a lengthy e-mail detailing my photographs along the lines of you can see the camera , that person is wearing make up , That s a costume to this day I still have no idea what the point was , except he was a very angry young man who had to much free time on his hands. bizarre
The MI machine is ticking along nicely at the moment, admitedly were about a month behind schedule but I'm sure at the pace the good ship is moving along we will make up lost time very quickly.
This weekend is the Music Video shoot which I'm now looking really forward to doing, I brushed off the cobwebs off my Union Jack shirt and pretty much geared and wired to go. Few last minute problems with extras and make up which hopefully will be sorted today. Will stick some photos up on the site after the weekend.
Busy week on the film side
Firstly tonight the ads are going out on a couple of websites for crew and casting of Mortus Illumina, looking forward to getting dirty with that! They are appearing on www.ukscreen.co.uk
and depending on the response back from that will depend on whether to expand the search out, there Is another casting site I have come across so might give that a go too. Check out those sites and you can see the ads
Anyway back to MI ,The potential location for the final shoot was recced last Friday and it is ideal for our purposes. The location is an old school up near Elstree Studios. It is used by TV and film quite a bit so , one example is it was used for the court that Alfie ran into near xmas to get his marriage licence.
On my visit there they had cunningly hung a police sign above the entrance , and the car park had signs say DC Ashwood, etc etc. Murder in suburbia is being filmed there at the moment and they are using quite a few of the rooms to strike sets in. Whilst reconnoitring the location managed to see quite a few of there sets. Its kind of a good and depressing thing to see as I always like seeing big films and tv in this case in action, but it depresses me to think that one of there sets probably costs the same amount as I need to finish my entire feature!
One of the rooms I saw which used to be the old school gym would make an ideal Puppeteers workshop which where the action takes place for the final shoot. The thing I like about the school gym is its tall and it dark!
Another good thing about the location, is the amount of lighting and kit the surburbia guys had around them , there seems to be no problem about power which is always a good thing to hear!
Another reason for the visit was also to say bon voyage to mark (wardrobe master on MI) who is buggering off to Morocco for 5 months with the film Sahara. Sahara costume base Is based at the school and I had a good chance to look around. Costume on MI has consisted of My Mum on the sewing machine, and Mark and Rookie running around charity shops. Seeing the layout for Sahara was mind blowing, a room for materials, a room for cutting, a room for dyeing , a room for assemble absolutely massive operation! Though if you want to sum up the difference between Low budget and big budget costume, on my film if you want a costume dirty, you drag it through the mud and beat the living day lights out of it. On the big budget they have a machine to do it , which! Costs twice as much as my entire costume budget!!! One day I to will have a film where the costumes are dirty fied by a machine. ;-)
Nothing is concrete about the location yet , but I have two aces up my sleeve. Firstly the Sahara connection and also the people who manage the location turns out to be the very same people we negotiated the beach location for. Going to be doing another recce soon and hopefully get some pen and ink on paper to sercure it for the shoot.
Also the weekend just gone was spent over in Somerset with Eddie (animator) drinking smiles beer and cracking through the planning for the animated sequences of MI. In total there are 6 anaimated sequences of which one has been shot so far (see photos in MI animation folder) . The final animated sequence is the most complicated and we spent a good deal going through storyboards for it.
Eddie also has the task of building the puppet theatre for the film. Remember these puppets are 3ft tall and the theatre Eddie is building is ABSOLUTELY HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGGGGEEEEEE!
Plus this theatre hsas to do some pretty amazing things for the script so it is being built fully operational. At the moment all that exists of it is some wood carving of Arabic arches which will decorate the top. Some giant table legs and old stair railings which will go into the making of the sides of the theatre, a old spanish galleon (sic) which will go on top of the theatre and all these old scripts and magic book pages which will decorate the theatre. Oh, plus some cewl nasty looking boards which will make up the stage. Going through the plans and the materials so far for this theatre, can quite safely say this thing is going to be huge, and absolutely blow people away.
So a good weekend in all hopefully this and next week are going to be equally productive. On another note pleased to say I made Brian Madigans (composers) monthly newsletter note once but twice! Here are the entries
Courtesy of www.madigan.de
For a temptation sequence in his forthcoming mini-feature Mortus Illumina, film director Chance (5YLAC Film, London) asked for a piece that combined quasi-classical and porn-film music. He claims to have had the idea whilst staying in a cheap hotel, where over the classical music he was listening to, he overheard the porno soundtrack from the next room. Anyone else out there sceptical?
Anyway, I really loved this as a musical premise and the finished result evidently met Chances approval: Think you have hit the nail on the head, i think the electric guitar is the killer nail. it is quite interesting to hear that against the strings
I also really like that the music has a kind of downwards feel to it.
Every successful artist will tell at great length of how they come from a humble background and how they suffered a deprived childhood. Well I too was deprived but in a way that those artists could never understand. I was denied the dignity of a proper working-class upbringing. I had to withstand years of being comfortable, well fed and properly educated. What hope, then, in the big, bad world of creative angst?
This is the theme of my song Middle Class Blues, for which film director Chance is planning to shoot a promo video early this year. Were hoping for a summer No.1, massive MTV exposure and a Sony Award for Best Video
The Video shoot is on the 29th of February which I'm really looking forward to doing, going to be good to get back in to the Union Jack shirt.
Ok, New years resolution to update this journal more often, December has always been a funny month in the 5YLAC Calendar. I dont think there has been one year in all the years (ekk!) I have been doing this, where I have got what I wanted to do in December done. Think it has something to do with this damm thing called XMAS, and this December has been no exception. Oh also on another note, the whole trying to be sensible thing I am scrapping. That has got us absolutely no where. Got a find a new job in the new year and I will be going back to the debauchery et all a far as I can tell being sensible gets you sacked. Anyway on with the show
Firstly if you go over to www.troymovie.com
and head over to the picture section. You can see some of the shields I made whilst working on the film Troy!
Going back to my own film ,
The Great 5YLAC Puppet Caper!!!!
If you have come through the main Website to this log., you will notice in the synopsis for the film it says a Faustian puppeteer tells the tale
.. well for a Faustian puppeteer there needs to be puppets!
One thing I learnt working at the studios was assembling lining. All the shields we made for the film 3500 odd were designed in a way so they could all be assembled line. For Mortus Illumina we need to build 18 odd puppets and I have designed the puppets so they can be assembled line. It has taken sometime to do, to get the design right and I m beginning to appreciate the skill involved in assembling lining well anything!
If you go to the photo album MI puppets you can see the result of our very first puppet the priest I started with the priest as Ben who is the actor is exactly 6 ft tall, from this all other puppets can be scaled to size. The Priest puppet at the moment is just a little over 3ft tall and there is still some work to do. Mainly we have a official hip problem. I wanted to make these puppets as easy to assemble as possible and if you see , the Torso is a Imperial leather bottle and I have been trying to find something similar to use for the hips , but it look s like we are going to have to end up cutting wood.
Now, This is such a Beautiful plan even if I do say so myself, as mentioned the puppets have been designed to be assemble lined. The first major constraint I had to over come was cost, I am pleased to say all the materials for the puppets come in less than a fiver. Also and this is going to be a real test of communication. Various components of the puppet are going to be built by different people, for example one person Is going to work on skeletons, another few on heads, someone else on costume , someone else on hands another person on feet. Then finally we will all get together and do all the controls and stringing. Now in the workshop on Troy it was a similar thing, some people did this, some people did that but!!! we were all in the same room together. With the puppets on MI we are all over the UK so it is going to be quite a challenge to make sure when we all turn up In the room with all the separate components they all come together ok. I am extremely confident in doing this and as said it is such a beautiful plan!
This is all kicking off very shortly ! Ok maybe that is one thing I do like about nothing much happening in December. Always in January in the 5YLAC calendar there is a huge acceleration and things start to happen badda bing!
Saying nothing hasnt happened in December is not exactly true. Ive been working with Brian who is the composer on MI for Music for the car scene (see MI first shoot) This is one of the first pieces of music to be composed to the actual footage of MI , reason being there is a dance sequence involved. So I wanted to get the music sorted early on so we can get a choreographer (who should be joining us in horlty ) so we can work towards the shooting on this scene and also get a dancer on board. I'm not saying how this fits in with the film , youll have to wait and see! But some great music in place for it.
Also some casting and crewing is taking place very shortly . Ill save my casting spiel for a entry nearer the time we are doing the casting . but crewing ? boy! Has it been a mission.
I think it is fair to say , I have received over 700 odd CVs for crew for Mortus Illumina, from that 700 I have probable met/interviewed about a 100! So where did all these people come from ? well the main source of crew has been from shooting people (www.shootingpeople.org
) , Ukscreen www.Ukscreen.co.uk
, word of mouth and networking. Also and this is one of the biggest arguments for doing a short before a feature is a lot of the crew and cast have come from previous shorts that 5YLAC has been involved in, most notably Ad-Astra and Deadlights. The biggest advantage there is you already worked with these people and you realise over time how important the working relationship you build over time is.
To give the run down of the full 5YLAC crewing experience, this is how it works
1. Firstly the ads are prepared and posted
2. You are hit with a flood of e-mail for the next x number of (sic)weeks
Going to be totally blunt here, all e-mails I get with just please find attached CV go straight in the delete bin. Also any e-mails which start I dont have any experience . Ill come back to that in a second , then after that deleting session I look through peoples emails and weed out anyone who I think is going to waste my time. To be honest and it is a horrible thing to say is there is so much bull shit and crap out there and people who think they are the bees knees. Over time and experience you get to spot tell tale signs in there covering e-mails and C.v.s to weed these people out.. To give some examples. Phantom credits! This makes me laugh more than anything else, especially when they put a film on their CV who you know the people involved. The next is where they havent read your ad properly or applying for the wrong film all together. Another favourite is people who ask for the whole shoot to be re-arranged around them ! there are lots more! So, after another deleting session for arguments sake 50 initial replies, there will be about 24 left From that 24 left I will then take the time to read through the CVs , initially also as well there will be a few good e-mails where people are just leaving there details for future contact which is always cewl. Id say if I was taking on 6 people then I would arrange to interview about 18,
I think it has been fifty/fifty on MI but interviews take place in either All Bar one in Dean Dt or in a hired venue. To be honest I prefer interviewing crew in a bar as it is a lot more relaxed atmosphere then a hall and some chairs. I also try and interview everyone in the same day , I think the most we have interviewed in one session is about 22 which was right back at the beginning of pre-production on the film, boy was that a long day. Have to confess I hate repeating myself and I guess thats the side of crewing and casting I dont like! So doing everyone in one day, is only one day of it.
Its not uncommon for crews to be crewing up around pubs in Soho, numerous times we have crossed past with other low budget filmmakers. I think the best tale is way back when we were crewing for Deadlights. One of the crew members sat with another production crew for 20 minutes before realising it was not Deadlights!
Moving back to the whole crewing process. Out of that 18 people I would of interviewed I will take on 9 people, even though I'm looking for 6 reason being from experience, a third of the people you take on will vanish by the time of productions begin for numerous reasons. So top tip is to over crew !!!
Id just like to make another point here as well, sometimes we have it got it wrong. I think when we did the two big shoots back In 2002 , that was the first time we had so many people and I dont think are chain of command was wrong but I think information filtering up was. With any crew member coming on board there is quite a bit of paperwork and then the logistics to be organised, and though we have never had a situation where someone has turned up and its who the hell are you ? weve come close! And I would like to take this opportunity to apologies to those few people now.
Going back to the experience thing I mentioned earlier. With the I dont have any experience line, dont get me wrong first of all, I have this thing that enthusiasm is just as important as experience. but the same way experience is proved with a CV, enthusiasm also has to be proved and normally covering notes that start I dont have any experience are a bad sign as what normally follows is dull crap to be honest. If someone sends us a long mail saying why they want to work on a film, what they want to do , what they want to achieve etc then yeah I will take note , but someone who dwells on what they havent done straight into the delete bin.
So that is a basic run through of the whole crewing malarkey, and to anyone doing any crewing my top advice would be, interview 3 times the amount of people you need and always take on more crew than you need. And youll be grand.
Coming to the end of this entry over the coming weeks as we move up towards the shoot, there should be a lot more frequent entrys into his journal so please do keep coming back
Had my regular dose of Edwood recently a film for all low budget filmmakers, really does send a chill down the back of the spine!!
Week late entering this entry into the journal, mainly because of a b*tch but good week last week. but here is the entry,
And so the return to All Bar One after a years absence! if i remember correct the last time we were there as a whole was the week before the chapel shoot to do the pre-shoot brief. Then In the weeek up to the shoot i was there on my own on the wednesday before.
I always do a "last Chance Saloon" before a shoot where basically anyone with any last minute problems or questions know that i will be in X pub at X time. but no one ever
comes :-(, so normally it turns into my last night of peace before the intricate network of gears and pulleys start churning , and the beast which is the 5YLAC machine fires into action for the shoot.
Typical imediate run up to a 5YLAC shoot, is the weekend before is the pre-brief meeting, where everyone is assembled who is going to be on the shoot are there. The shooting schedule is discussed, last minute logistic issues are addressed, any budgets for transports and consumables are servered up and basically a big Q&A session. These Pre Brief meets can take up a whole day, sometimes They are held in a pub, but quite often or not i hire a hall over in Brixton for the brief. (some meetings you can get away with in pubs, other need the quite of a hall) Then on the sunday is normally when things that need to be at my house get delivered and things that need to be elsewhere end up well ..elsewhere
Monday and tuedsay and wednesday are normally solid in phone calls, faxes and e-mails. things such as confirming the hire kit , confirming insurance, finalising things such as electricians, etc etc. Then Wednesday Night is the "Last Chance Saloon" and Thursday is when all the hire kit is picked up and more things end up where they should be. Then friday is the first day of the shoot.
One of the most frustrating things about low budget is you get let down a lot by people, which is a real shame, so there is always last minute crewing and casting going on in the week to the run up, which is a pain as other things need to get done.
Also to try and establish the bigger picture, Normally all the H.o.D's are running around up to the week before the shoot. again things such as consumables, kit etc. A hell of a lot of work goes into that run up week. This is one of the thing's that i always point out in shooting briefs is that whilst the majority of people have turned up nice and fresh for the 18 hour days of shooting that lie ahead, a few have already done a week of 18 hours days to make it all possible.
Moving back onto Saturdays meeting, The main aim of the meeting was to get everyone singing from the same hymn sheet, which those who were present im sure are now and those who are not will hopefully pick up from the minutes ! One of the most important things of the meeting was the debut' of our first puppet for Mortus Illumina. (not quite complete as we have a official hip problem!!)
I took a lot of photographs of the puppet in the pub but annoyingly the photos didnt come out as i had a duff film :-( Though planning to do a update to the journal next weekend called the "Great 5YLAC Puppet Caper" which will explain the relevance and construction (planned) of the puppets for MI and i will make sure i have some photographs to go in the MI Puppets album on fotki for then.
Also next weekend some fiendishly difficult puzzles are appearing on www.5ylac.s5.com
, if you complete them you will find something out about the "Mortus Illumina" hopefully too a teaser trailer will be appearing on the site soon as well, so keep having a sneaky peak!
The puppet caused attention from some of the other soho yokels in the pub, which is always a cewl thing to do, plus Sylvia (head puppeteer) bought along several other puppets, so we were a dmist with puppets!
Through all the puppets and drinks on table, all in all it was a very succesfuly meeting. it was good to bring everything together to give an idea of how the progress stands at the moment in the run up to the shoot. It also became clear very quickly in the areas that we need to pull in,.
Annoyingly there is this thing called christmas happenign in a few weeks which does grind everything to a halt so the pressure is on to get certain aspects tied and dusted before then.
Their are three main areas at the moment
The first is the casting of the puppeteer., the puppeteer is our "narrator" through the film, I've been refering to the character as very much a anchor character in the film, This character pulls together all the seperate elements and his casting is absoultelty vital for the success of this film. I want to work very closeley with the actor in the run up to the shoot as this is a real character role, it is important that the dialouge is the characters which is the main thing i want to work on. As time ticks down to the shoot the longer period i have to work with the actor the better.
Next up we need to get the rushes so far captured, we have three live animation sequences which need to be filmed and the start and end frames of certain scenes are absolutely vital to match in with some of the animation and puppet sets.
Also, one department we need to build up is the production side in terms of logistics and support. To give you idea of the 5YLAC machine at work. at the Chapel shoot there were on average 30 people a day down on location and on the first night there were 50+
The 5YLAC crew and cast are spread out across the uk , from southampton in the south , to manchester in the north. Plus on top of this there was props in East London and Windsor that needed to arrive on set along with a Dodge ram (RIP) and A Transits worth of lighting and camera kit that also needed to arrive on set. On top of that all these 5YLAC'rs need feeding and the majority need accomodating. This all falls into the hands of the production manager and their team. But it doesnt stop there, the production team are on hand to make sure the shoot runs smoothly and that can mean anything from sourcing last minutes props and consumables, to dealing with irrate yokels, plus health and safety , wellfare , morale , comms and the list goes on
having a good production manager is vital to the success of a shoot, luckily we have got steve on that side. but for many reasons the production team itself is lacking in bodies. The main people who go into the prodution team are
1. Transport Captain - organises the movement of the 5YLAC Machine
2. Unit Driver - dedicated driver used before, during and after the shoot. the driver can be doing anything from picking up kits and props, to runnign cast and crew back and fourth and going on those all important we're out of milk runs.
3. Health & Safety Officer / Welfare - duties include risk assesment, is a first aider , makes sure everyone is getting there fluids down.
4. Caterer - feeds the entire 5YLAC machine!
5. All Star runner - Runs across all departments where and when needed.
For the final shoot of MI, in some ways it is going to a lot easier operation, firstly we are looking to have around 20-24 people down on set. secondly we are filming in Elstree which is very easy accesible so trasnport isnt going to be so much of a issue and we are in the luxury of being indoors for the entire shoot. Not that we can complacement but it should definetly be a more smoother ride. (distant laughing heard in the background)
As the drinks flowed and the meeting came to an end, i believe fair to say it was a very good meeting, In true 5YLAC style what followed was a bit of a pub crawl round the west end, mainly taking in the errie pubs and plenty copulous amounts of drinking.
most odd for a 5YLAC occasion was not one pint of beer was consumed , everyone was on either soft drinks or spirits. These times they are a changin!
For Prosperitys Sake here is the official 5YLAC Pub crawl.
Rules: Start out on a saturday at 1pm, your aim is to make it to 3AM the following morning. Venues can be visited in any order and the emphasis on drinks is quantity!
Venue:White Horse Carnaby Street
Why?: 5YLAC original home from home
Venue:All Bar One Dean St.
Why?: 5YLAC's base of operations for bigger manouveurs
Venue:Gossips Dean St.
Why?: Many times a retreat from the meetings at All Bar One
Venue:12 Bar Club, Tin Pan alley
Why?: Another retreat and its great watching bands when you cant see their heads
Venue:100 Club Oxford St.
Drink:Scoth & Soda
Why: A bit of swing didnt harm anyone, another after meeting retreat.
Venue:Bad Bobs , Covent Garden
Why: Original 5YLAC hell hole for debauchery, visit long overdue!
Venue:London Stone, Cannon St.
Why: Another 5YLAC meeting place, used primarily meeting people half way across town.
Venue:Prince of Wales, Brixton
Why: We hire a hall near by when needs call for meetings, this is the retreat look out for the "Oh yeh oh yeh's!"
Firstly i have recently discovered pearls before swine (www.comics.com
) it is one of the funniest things i have come across. Just got the book through the post as well and it had me in stitches.
having a very much well chuffed week so far and its only wednesday!!
Firstly long over due clean up of the site at www.5ylac.s5.com
, (ok it is short and sweet but you should of seen what was there previously!) and if you load up the site, you see at the bottom of the page the word "Dead" highlighted, move over your mouse and you'll see a spotlight revealing the translation of Mortus Illumina, that is the first thing im well chuffed about this week.
Secondly in the big Jake Guzik's accountancy book for Mortus Illumina, there is something in the income column!! a whopping 45p (76c) !!!!! which has been made by the selling of photographs on the fotki site for MI. The final cost of the film project is looking to be around £40'000 so that means we need to only make 39'995.55 and were in profit!!!! that yaught in the south of france is looking closer than ever ;-)
And finally This is the first "proper" (been playing the getaway a lot so maybe that should be prounced prau-per)entry into this Journal!!!!
Last night at the White Horse pub off of Carnaby street. there was a meeting with the cinematography team for MI, Before going into detail about the meeting i think the White Horse deserves a mention in this journal
Way back in september 1999 was when the very first ever 5YLAC meeting took place.(see photos the begining) How 5YLAC started is another story all together which ill save for another entry in this journal but to give a brief summary, I started 5YLAC from basically a series of postings on message boards and going through yahoo profiles e-mailing people who had a interest in film. The project i had in mind at the time was In the Key of A (one thing in life you could do again what would it be ? ) a low budget feature about a band coming down from manchester to london where they meet a fatal end. (this project is on the shelf at the moment as i dont feel the time is right to go back to 1994 which is when the film is set) The very first people i met for the film, i met in the White Horse pub. And from then on it became officiallly the main base of operations for 5YLAC. Deadlights was planned and executed from there, all the early 5YLAC and ITKOA meetings were there and the early and smaller meetings for Mortus Illumina have taken place and taking place there. If i need to meet someone anything film related then that is usuall the first place i suggest.
It does however have a downside, that is it is a small pub if im meeting any more than id say 12 people then the next port of call in 5YLAC operation rooms is All Bar One on Dean st. (where we will be on saturday as we have a general meeting there. first time i would of been there for over a year!)
The White Horse though is very much and always be the original home from home 5YLAC Films, many memories of adventures and misadventures! luckily i only work 5 minutes away from it at the moment :-)
Last Nights meeting was basically a "pre-meet". what is a pre-meet ? well we've been having loads of them recently across the 5YLAC barracks. what i call a pre-meet has basically evolved from what has worked before in run ups to other shoots and hopefully now we have it right. The 5YLAC definition of a pre-meet is it is a meeting where the director (thats me!) and the Head of Department/Department meet informally and discuss the script and initial ideas/concepts over a beer. The end result of the meeting is the HOD goes away and works on those initial ideas. Nothing is in Stone at this point.
TO give you the bigger picture, There is a deadline in place off November for all departments to have initial budgets , concepts, initial plans of action in place, then over December those initial thoughts are going to be started to tie down.
As said there have been several across the barracks at the moment. The first meeting was with Eddie (Animation) and Brian (Composer) back at the end of October. I was really please to have these two in the same room together as the last bit of shooting mainly revolves round the puppeteer character (casting for that soon) and Eddie who is doing the animation, is also building the puppeteers theatre which is crucial to the puppeteers character as it is really his effigy(sic). Also with the music, it should reflect not only his life, but for he is one of the ultimate showman. It was a great meeting, it was really reverse engineering a character. The Puppeteer is over 300 old and of a faustian nature, and it was a great conversation going around table working out the back story behind the character. before i went into that meeting the character sheet for the puppeteer was a page and a half, after that meeting it has now grown to about 3 pages.
Though both Eddie and Brian are buggers cause they planted this idea in my head about Tony (the other character in the final shoot) discarding a motorcycle tyre which i couldnt get out of my head and caused much cursing at the keyboard trying to write in.
The Next pre meet took place with Rookie and his Merry men, Rookie is building the set for the puppeteers workshop (where the final shoot takes place) and is also responsible for the props and costume aspect. had a stinking evil commuter cold (why cant people cover their mouths when they cough on the train!!!!) and could hardly speak through that meeting, but aside from that it was a very productive meeting.
There have also been various phone and e-mail exchanges across other departments all on this pre-meet basis, and to make sure everyone is singing from the same hymn sheet. this saturday we have a general crew meeting to update everyone involved.
over december/january (curs-ed xmas), the process will be repeated, ie seperate meetings with departments to tie things down though this time it will be more formal, and then a group meeting to bring everyone up to date.
Once that is all out of the way then the plans are put into action and leads us up to the shoot. well thats the plan anyway and unfortunatly its not quite that simple as the list of things to do mutates at a alarming rate the nearer you get to a shoot, but by having the basic organisation there it keeps everything from breaking down into anarchy and makes it manageable ( laughing can be heard in the distance)
So moving onto last nights meeting, the pre-meet for cinematography!
the main thing to come out of the meeting was kit. before on previous MI shoots we have had a fair amount of lighting kit and "toys". The final shoot takes place in the pupppeteers workshop, there's this whole realtity within reality thing going on and to contrast the footage that is going to be shot there with the rest of the film, i want to limit the kit we are going to use.
The film to date has been shot on a DSR-500 DV Cam, for the next bit of shooting we are going to downsize to a PD150. Lighting wise, as you can see from the previous shoots we normally have a overflowing transit load, we are going to have probably just a Dado light kit and a couple of red-heads. Toy wise the Dolly will be there and also we need to get in a mini cjib crane in which will be the first time we have used one of a 5YLAC shoot so looking forward to that.
going back to this reality within a reality, the concept im trying to acheive is i really like the opening of faust where the director is talking to the clown before jumping into the story of faust, and im trying to acheive a similiar thing with MI in terms of this outside world from the story. it does get a fair bit more complicated than that but youll have to wait and see the film !
A lot of what has been shot so far has been very cinematic, there are a lot of "big"(ie tracks, movement etc) shots and there is a very deliberate slow pace in the shots so far. for the final shoot the pace is going to be picked up and im looking to acheive a very nitty gritty nasty realism look for the shoot to help aid in this whole reality within a reality doobrie. Also i am not storyboarding this shoot.
to have a waffle about storyboards, for the very first shoot of MI there was a shot list, floor plans and camera movement diagrams which worked succesfully on Deadlights, but on the MI shoot i found myself doing a lot of storyboards on the fly so for the second shoot i decided to storyboard, which you can see in the albums. They wernt very succesful storyboards, they worked to some degree but one of the things i have since learnt is for storyboards and i think is an area where a lot of people go wrong as well, is depth and perspective are absolutley vital for the format you are shooting on. what i mean by this if you draw somethign which cant be framed on the camera or lens you are shooting on then its a bugger! For the third and fourth shoots i again did storyboards this time a hell of a lot more succesfully you can see them up on the walls in the club in the mi third shoot album and also there's another example in the fourth shoot in the what goes into a shot sequence of pictures. They were drawn on computer which made them extremly quick to do, and though they look rough and ready they certainly do the job and i think their finest hour was at the chapel shoot.
shooting without storyboards or even a shot list is risky business, there are certain SFX shots and sequences which will have shot lists as it would be ludicrous to do them without, but the bulk of shooting will be done without. The shooting with the storyboards has been very smooth as im going for the nitty gritty i want to take that element out. Also point to make here is that im not going to simply just turn up and shoot blind. over the coming week's to the run up to the shoot there will be many talks with cinematography regarding actual shots and i will have a plan in my head of what i want to shoot and how and hopefully cinematography will have a good concept of that as well. To be able to succesfully do this, a great deal of it fulls on to the continuity guy to make sure we get the right amount of coverage. Luckily we have got a sh*t hot continuity guy in the form of Samhu. We have tried catching him out many a time, from flipping costumes around, moving props, jetting him out to a foreign location whilst he's asleep and more, but have yet to succeed in catching him out. Without someone as good as Samhu i would not be able to do this.
Another thing to come out of the meeting last night was logging. The logging on the last two shoots and in general over MI hasnt been brilliant. Where we have also had different people doing the job there is no consitency across the logs. This is somethign that has been addressed before but its one of those things that get mentioned then seems to dissapear to the bottom of the list of things to do, so it was good that it was bought up and hopefully this time round it wont slip to the bottom again.
The rest of the night was mainly talking about Stephen King books, the first world war and future 5YLAC films, most likely the next film is going to be a comedy as i really need to get it out of my system. The script i have is entitled Ying Yang Ying Yang po, Nigel A Fishant of the N A Fishant cocktail umbrella factory dies unexpected. Can Arthur Cheese his trusted side kick save the factory from being repossesed by the Little Bank of Scicilly ? Featuring such classic love songs as there is somethign in the air tonight and its not the sewage works! as said need to get it out of my system!
All in all though a very succesful meeting, hopefully saturdays meeting will be equally as good.
Oh and for a PS my plan of being "sensible" went straight out the window last night,not for the want of trying. note to self must try harder.
So what did go wrong!
The first part of this journal as said before is through rose coloured glasses plus mainly concentrating on the film shooting side.
I would like to make a very important point to anyone who undertakes a project of this size, it will take over your life and you have to be prepared for that.
Cracks began appearing very shortly after the third shoot of Mortus Illumina, at the time I was working 40 to 50 hours in a investment bank , plus on top of that I was working 30 to 40 hours for a freelance client as well a week. Money wise I have never earnt more in my life, it enabled us to only have a gap of only two months between the shoots , in my mind If I could keep up this level of working for three or four months I would have the film in the can before the year end,
From the outside the good ship 5YLAC was at full speed , as well as the production of Mortus Illumina, other projects were beginning to get planned and we started the WRAP networking Night for low budget filmmakers , musicians etc etc (thats another story in itself) Like any ship, the first time you take it to full speed you are going to get some creaking in the hull , the bearings need to be worn in and generally if you keep an eye out when you take up to full speed first time no problems. But in the case of the good ship 5YLAC, no one was on look out.
The first cracks to appear were first with my own health, living on four hours sleep a night is definitely not to good on the system. If you look in the Third shoot photos I do a cameo by the graveside, I look absolutely shit in those photographs, my weight had ballooned to 15 stone and you can tell by the colour of my skin , the sleep depravation. There is the saying Healthy Mind, Healthy Body. I think that is also true the other way round as well. (glad to say I'm back down to 12 ½ stone now just got to get back down the gym!) When you are pushing yourself it is very important that you keep a healthy body and a healthy mind, otherwise one or the other is going to give, That was Crack number one
Crack Number 2 I cant really go into much on this journal, but to summarise it was a huge gamble financially to do the two shoots so close together like that, especially on the cash flow side. It ended up with a lot of the fourth shoot being paid for other 5YLACrs credit cards as something, something halted the immediate cash flow before the shoot, it also wiped out any security on something. The 5YLACrs were all paid back immediately after the shoot but due to that something, it ended up causing me to loose a lot of money, which I am still recovering from even to this date. Sorry I cant go into it more but there are reasons why I cant.. But that was Crack Number 2.
Crack Number 3, I cant talk about this one either sorry ! except it was a crack in the structure of 5YLAC at the top.
Crack Number 4, Is a horrible case of Life imitating art. You know I mentioned my cameo at the graveyard ? A few weeks after the chapel shoot I would be doing that for real. In July of 2002 my dad went down with serious septicaemia., three weeks later he sadly passed away. Sub consciously I wore a very similar suit in my cameo as I did to my dads cremation. (ouch!)
Someone told me that you dont really start to grow up until you loose a parent, very shortly near the time I could believe what they were saying but it has taken a year to fully understand what that means, Keeping to the film side and to go back to what I said near the beginning about a project like this taking over your life ? since I was twenty and started 5YLAC films, everything I had ever done had been towards building up the co, first the shorts and then onto Mortus Illumina. Every week I would do at least one thing towards building that up. All the people I know are someway involved in past/present/future projects, I live and breathe what I do.
In June of 2002, I was at a pinnacle (albeit rose coloured glasses) I was earning enough money to make everything a reality, I was even going to buy a house as a investment to help fund the films, I had the fourth shoot for Mortus Illumina coming up and the end of the film in sight, I was also seeing someone at the time and we had the networking night starting up and the sun was setting less and less on the 5YLAC empire. In the space of a few weeks that all came crashing down extremely fast. To give you a mental picture of what It feels like, it feels like someone sticking there hand in your brain and yanking it right down through your body ripping everything out along the way(nice huh ? ) It also sent us on a spiral downwards.
I can say this now, but coming to terms with my Dads death was extremely hard, what I guess I found hardest of all was I kept thinking I needed to find a new level of normality in my life. Which in hindsight was the wrong thing to be looking for. I dont want to go into it to much here as its another topic all together but, the point is where before constantly going through my mind had been film stuff etc etc, I was finding it extremely hard to get my focus back there. Imagine when you are trying to find your favourite radio station and all you get is static.
Also from those stupid hours I used to work I was both physically and mentally worn out. (hence the healthy mind, healthy body! Point) there was no way I could go back to working even half those hours or even in somewhere half as stressful. To use another metaphor I needed to get out of the ring, someone ready with a sponge and a change of tooth guard and pushed right back in, unfortunately that person was no where to be seen!
Over the coming months, I tried to keep life breathing in Mortus Illumina, not very successfully but enough to keep some sort of pulse running through.
By the end of 2002, which should of seen the film completed I couldnt even see away of even getting the cast and crew together for a meeting let alone for a shoot. That year ended up with us getting the shit kicked out of in Edgware (you can see the photos from that on the site to!) which I think is quite poetic justice.
Every now and then a David Copperfield producer pops up, I call them David Copperfields, (Tony the Lighting Director first came up with that reference to give credit where credit is due) because they pop out of nowhere , promise lots of things and offers of the earth, then simply vanish ! and low and behold January 2003 one of them popped up.
They wanted a promo of what had been shot so far in a ridiculous short time scale, so it was down to myself to cut the promo. I make no claims of being an editor, ever wanting to be an editor or even call myself a editor. I have 100% full admiration for editors, I prefer my 18 hour days on the front line rather than in a cosy room!
To cut a long story short, the promo was cut and sent of to Mr. David Copperfield,
.Absolutely nothing, I got a few phone calls a promise of a letter that was going to be sent to myself and never was and then in that puff of smoke they vanished!
On the plus side though, doing that promo gave me something I could show other people involved in the film which would help that weak and dying pulse a bit of CPR. I also decided that I would get the promo cut properly as well with the intention of sending that out to as many people as possible to raise the awareness and the cash to finish the film. In around March of this year work started on the clean cut of the promo, by Jon an editor down in Brighton.
The real salvation however came in April. By pure chance, I was lucky enough to get work at Elstree Studios in the armoury for the Warner brothers film Troy (sparrow boy Brad Pitt) and then also for a few weeks on King Arthur.
And I absolutely loved every minute of it, it was great working at the studios and the team of people I worked with were a really great bunch. For anyone working at Elstree Studios around that time, I was the instigator of the infamous Elstree Glued Pound Coin oh how we laughed!
The best thing about working at the studios was being in a environment where the whole days conversation consisted of film, ( oh and winding up the Big brother lot) plus all the film activity going on around constantly. Also a mention to Nicole the bar maid at the studio bar who has to be the best barmaid I have ever come across.
Working at the studios really got my mind back in gear on the film side, which since my dads death I was finding extremely hard to get my focus back. I showed my promo to some of the guys and gals I was working with and it was great getting feedback from them as these are people who are used to working with Spielberg and such and I made some great contacts there.
Like all good things it eventually came to an end at the end of June, I tried getting onto other films after that, but my biggest problem was most of the people I knew had gone out on location with either Troy or King Arthur. Quite a few had moved on to Alexandra and I was hoping to get on to that film but I was very much in the reserve ranks and I missed out on one job on that film because I dont drive (DOPE!) I Also tried to get onto Cody Banks 2 and Sahara, Sahara was promising but after a wait of 4 weeks then another potential wait of another 4 weeks , finances were beginning to run down fast. ( I did get offered a few days on Sahara later on but had to decline youll see why later on , but also Sahara has another nugget to add to the MI stockpile which you will find out much later on in this journal).
I had also by this time long split up with the person I was with and was living in a Bed sit in Elstree ( 3 minute walk to the studio ;-) ) I recommend everyone should earn their stripes in a bedsit, I think to sum my place up, If I wanted to assassinate someone, I would live there. Top tip for living in a tiny bedsit is keep everything you need to find in the morning in your shoe, ie phone, lighter, cigarettes, wallet, keys etc etc. otherwise you have two hopes of finding them in the morning.
So a year on from the pinnacle of my life, here I was in a bedsit , out of work , penniless. Far cry from being in a position to buy a house and having a cash flow which funds films. But dont get me wrong I'm not negative about that whole experience, it makes me laugh looking back at it. oh the irony! If anything that was an end of a chapter and a sigh of relief.
I was still waiting to hear on Sahara at this point, and as money was running low I decided to move back down to Kent to my Mums house. Where the rest of July and first part of August I worked as a odd job man ( you should see the kitchen ceiling I built!) and my plan was as a back up to get some contracting work or temporary work, and get together enough money to throw a party for everyone involved in Mortus Illumina and to be able to send out a 1000 copies of the polished promo, on the basis of finding the money to complete the film this way. So the party was planned for September for this year gone.
At the beginning of August I got a phone call about a job, back in the city ish ( its in the west end ) The money was extremely good and would allow us to complete the film independently which has always been my intention all along. I knew there would be bit of a wait involved and around the same time I got a phone call re Sahara, which I declined so I could be available for this job in the city. Come the beginning of September we threw the party for Mortus Illumina , have to say it was not the most successful of parties I have ever thrown, I think the strain and damage to the good ship MI had taken its toll. I was still waiting to hear from that city job, ( two interviews by now ) and I am going to be a real pain here, as a result of the not so successful party, the only way I could see of salvaging MI was to sink it and rise it ( hence the pictures in the zzmood album) . I cant really go into details as it is all a bit fresh at the moment. I know there have been quite a lot of things In this entry which I cant talk about and must be very annoying to the reader. Main reason being, is the fresh argument. If I was to do all warts et all now, It would be out of context and unfair. Maybe when the film is finished I will come back and fill in the gaps, as then it will be context and in laughable phrase. The important bit in this catch up on the MI story is since sinking the old ship MI and raising the new ship we are now back at full steam to completing the film.
A couple of weeks after the party I got offered the city job, which was fantastic news ( after 6 weeks of waiting) as it now means the money is in place not only to complete this film, but I am under contract for a year so I'm hoping to complete MI then save the rest of my money (hope to be there a bit longer than a year ;-)) and shoot my next feature in a solid block ( no three years business!)
It was very strange going back to the city after a year absence, I used to have a very much work hard play hard attitude, many a tale of night-clubs, parties, champagne , debauchery and waking up in strange places and more debauchery. But I have decided to now be a bit more sensible, the Nightclubs have been replaced with a evening course in Italian and I'm also joining a gym near by ( would of done it this month, but after my first pay cheque in 4 months, it when straight in my bank account and straight out!!!!) and in general I'm keeping the going out down to a minimum. It makes me cringe when I think of the amount of money I have spent on some nights out , do have to admit I have a weakness for a good bottle of Bollinger. I'm trying now when I do go out to do more the things I ve always wanted to do but never got around to, such as go and see the Royal Ballet and also Carmen, stuff like that, just need someone to go with. I guess also in a move to people who know me well, this is a bit like the late Oliver Reed taking up knitting or Ozzy Osbourne starting a petting zoo. I have started dealing in stamps, just came across a big bag of them in a cupoard which hasnt been touched since 1967, and have been chucking them up on e-bay in lots and also now I'm buying in stock from various sources (went to a stamp fair which was a bit scarey) . Have to say it is going extremely well. its not going to make me rich or anything but it is filling up the war chest for MI quite nicely. Thing about dealing in them is, my stock consists of a big cardboard box which lives under my desk., distribution is extremely easily as all lots are in envelopes ready to be sent out, and most mornings when I get my posts theres lots of lovely cheques there. The only real effort is the sorting out and scanning in (really need to buy a faster scanner)
Trying to find a element of cool in this I have tried to find other famous people who have dealt or been involved with stamps. I could only come up with two names. Freddy Mercury and The German Tank commander Rummel. Mmm great spectrum to be on.
I am hoping I am going to be 100% right with the following statement. I am not going to be able to prove this until I complete the film, though could prove myself right if I dont. Is to get something of the ground like this is a hell of a lot easier then trying to get something you have already started back off the ground after it has fallen flat on its face. Reason I'm making this statement, is I get extremely annoyed at wannabes (theres thousands out there!) also I equally get annoyed at people with a lot of talent who get knocked down at the first hurdle then give up, and finally to people steaming along in there projects at the moment a warning not to get complacent!! A rant that I could go on for pages is here in the UK is peoples attitude towards someone who is doing something different or look like they have a chance of being successful, we all seem in this country prefer to knock them down then rather rally round behind them. And this goes on right across the spectrum, a fine example is to open up and British newspaper (especially a tabloid) and pick a story at a random. Even when we do on the rare occasion get behind someone, at the first moment the wind can be knocked out of their sails, we do!
It is very sad to sum it up.
Moving back onto MI, Hopefully you have read the first entry in the journal and now know what has been shot and reading this entry you know what went wrong and over the coming weeks up until the final shoot youll see whats happening.
To give a quick run through of where we stand at the moment., Since September work has truly been underway for the completion of Mortus Illumina, at the moment we are at a concept stage. This is where all the various departments are working on different aspects of the final shoot. Nothing is written in stone yet, more a case of ideas being exchanged before being tied down. Shooting is planned for the first quarter of 2004 and the money is (at least on paper) in place for the shoot. Over the coming entries now in the journal, you will be able to see what goes into the planning of a low budget shoot. I think one of the main reasons I want to do this journal, is to really show how much of a team effort it is, and also to show how much work does actually go into a shoot. By the time of completion of this film over a 100 people (you can see some of them in the Trumps album) will have been involved in the production, all who have donated their time for expenses only, I really want to show in this journal how much work these people do too, rather than having just a list of credits at the end of the film, as I will always be thankful and indebted to them.
Mm Fotki need to do some serious improvements to this journal thing, need more options! and a edit function please :-)
anyway here is the last bit of the first entry
So, hopefully reading through this now you have got a good brief idea of shooting so far, just to add some more ammo to the mix , here are a couple of links to what everyone else involved has had to say about the experience of MI and as some of the crew and cast were on deadlights, what they had to say about that as well, http://www.5ylac.s5.com/Wordon.htmlhttp://www.5ylac.s5.com/Tosay.htm
There is a degree of rose coloured glasses to the above and it is really skimming the surface, plus as storys get told and retold, bits get added, bits get forgotten.
To end this first entry into the Journal I want to go back to June 2002 and set the scene for the second entry. (ill try and post it next week)
5YLAC Films was running at full speed, Mortus Illumina was 3/4 of the way through shooting with the end of the shooting planned to take place in the comming months and was due to be finished and in the can by the end of 2002.
It then all went horrible and spectacully wrong.......
The first few entries in the journal are going to attempt to try and bring everyone up to speed, that way the rest of the journal should flow more easily.
Mortus Illumina began life in September of 2000, we had just finished shooting Deadlights and Ad-Astra (Directed by Mike Peter Reed) (two shorts see photo albums) and i was keen to start on my first feature. I had this nightmare about two blacked out face nun's and i was joking with everyone on the set of deadlights about doing a film about nuns, which no one took too seriously.
After a glorious wrap party for the two shorts, which involved everything from smoke grenades, people falling down balconies and all kind of manners of debauchery taking place (plus more!)! ,I began to write the first draft of the script. The working title for the script was called "Nunning things" and was very much a 1970's Hammer head horror. Over the three years the script has changed considerably, it has involved into quite a deep supernatural/Faustian thriller. When I finish the film I will post the original script just so you can see how much it has changed!
Moving onto the film itself, the first shoot took place in April of 2001 at Rainthorpe Hall in Norfolk a 16th century country house. The shoot was badly budgeted and badly planned to be honest. mainly down to lack of inexperience at this sort of scale, but the main bugger was,we were originally meant to be filming at a castle near by, but we lost that location 4 days before we were meant to shoot! Amazingly we found Rainthorpe hall in 4 days and sealed permission to shoot their in that period! mainly thanks to Steve the production manager on MI.
With 4 days to the run up to the shoot, we didnt have time to pre recce the location which added to the delay, plus we lost a day on the shoot waiting for an electrician to install a distribution box so we could plug in our lights! . Also to note at this stage the script was still in its hammer head horror mode.
For 9 days we battled against the elements! but through all this there is one night of shooting that really sticks out, and that is the car shoot. (see photos in MI first shoot) This was one of the first scenes to be written and is why the film has a 1940's feel to it, when you see the final scene in the film you'll see why it wouldnt work in a ford escort!
The reason this bit of shooting sticks out in my mind is firstly to contradict Robert Rodrgiuez (anyone who has visited the discussion board on www.exposure.co.uk
will know that i have a real nemesis thing going on with Rodriguez) Rodriguez in his book Rebel without a crew says you can call yourself a filmmaker even before you have set anywhere near a camera, which i for one has always thought as b*llocks. Even though i had directed two shorts before, produced another short , it was not until after i had filmed the car shoot that i was happy to call myself a filmmaker and a director. Here is why;
The shoot was planned for early evening on the fifth day of shooting. The car turned up in time (we had agreed to hire it for the definition of a few hours) The afternoon had been spentm getting the lights in place (see photos) for the car outside the house. actors were in costume and make up, all we were waiting to do was for the sun to go down so we could crack on with filming the scene, but then it rained.......
Being on a low budget we could only afford to hire internal lights, which we were using outside, Myself and the DOP watched in dismay as the rain began in small showers, stopped and then started again. By about 9 pm it seemed the rain had stopped long enough to actually be safe to start turning over the camera and fire up the lights.
The moment we got outside and fired up the lights and camera rolling, bang! The heavens opened again before camera rolling could be called. All the lights were taken from their stands and bought into the hall of the house, the crew and cast huddled up in the library (see photos of first shoot ) and sat round the fireplace.
By now it was about 11pm amazingly the people who lent us the car were still happy bunnies as we served up dinner (pasta with a cold tomato - dont ask!). It was now rolling onto about 11pm crunch time.
It was still raining heavily outside, talking with the DOP it was a case of do we call the shoot off , or continue to wait for a break in the clouds which didn't look like it would appear. (nb. if we had external lights it wouldnt of been so much of a problem) we came to the conclusion that come midnight would be the crunch for the decision,
Midnight came and we decided sod it, we will go for it! I dont want to get into safety to much here otherwise this first entry in my journal would go on for ever, but we decided to take a risk WHICH WAS CALCULATED and the risk would be carried by two people, myself and the DOP)! We would shoot no matter what.
To do this we first needed to get every bit of our lighting kit bone dry. This is where everyone really began to come together as a team. Every hair dryer, heater or anything that produced heat was bought into the hall with the lights and everyone did their fair share of drying out the lights.
The next step in this plan was to move the lights and kit back outside and keep them covered as much as possible , so everyone (cast, crew etc) were outside standing over the kit in two's covering the lights with plastic sheeting, ready to remove them at that crucial moment. Once the DOP and lighting director had gone round checking and hooking all the lights up, the sheeting was removed, the cast and crew moved well back and the DOP hit the switch.
Due to the external/internal issue once the lights were on, they were staying on. Next was to come up with a human cover for the camera (ie people covering the camera with umbrellas, plus monitor etc,etc) next was to establish a coffee train to keep hot drinks constantly flowing to the guys and girls outside, next was to do redo all the make up on the actors which had now faded, next was all the jiggin that always has to take place before a shoot, this included gels (which needed to be literally bolted down to withstand the rain and the wind) , light jigging, (we had to use someone car headlights to kill an extra bit of spill we couldnt cover with lights), the car in the shot had to be jacked up (something we did not for see luckily the guys with the car helped out here) camera moved into position and shot blocked, sound moved into place , clapper loaded and by about 1/4 to 2 in the morning we were ready to go for the first shoot in that scene.
Over the next 5 hours, the battle between 5ylac and the elements was fort. When the wind blew down a flag stand , there was a 5YLAC'r to pick it up, when the rain soaked an actor , there was a 5YLAC'r ready with a warm cup of coffee and a coat! It was a really nice case of everyone pulling together and working as a team.
As the sun began to came up the next morning, the scene was well and truly in the can, the battle between 5YLAC and the elements had been won! As the car owners drove off (amazingly still happy) and the cast and crew retired to the yawning tent for a few games of scrabble. I retired to another tent.
Absolutely soaked to the skin I made a mistake of putting my hat in the microwave to try and dry it out forgetting their was metal in it (see again photos from the first shoot of my beloved hat!). After watching my beloved hat go up in smoke, I switched on one of the redheads(lights) pulled a chair in front of it and dozed off. As the heat of the light dried out my clothes and after i got my couple of hours sleep before the next days shooting schedule began, then I was happy to call myself a filmmaker and a director.
Following on from the first shoot, seeing the footage we had shot i did the first major rewrite of the script taking out the hammer head horror aspect and concentrating more on the faustian side, my reason for doing this was the quality we had hit from the first shoot. To do justice to this the story in my opinion needed to change.
It wouldnt be until September 2001 that the next shoot would take place. In between that i faced near bankruptcy and the stress from that ended up putting us in a back of an ambulance! but by September this was all forgotten and we were ready to shoot the next bit of MI!
The organization this time around was a 1000% superior, in fact looking back I think it is the most organized shoot we have done to date. But take note! , though the organization was good, unfortunately some of the elements werent. Some out of our control others which we would learn from next time around. To give an example we had a good plan for catering , but in the end the catering was pants , not down to the planning or organization just the elements. The biggest let down was the getting everyone home bit, which spiraled the budget (which up and to this point had been under control) way out of control. This was due to unforeseen circumstance, though a contingency was in place the unforeseen circumstances totally blew that out of the water too.
The shoot took place at a RSPB Nature reserve, in Kings Lynn (see MI second shoot photo album), for me personally the run up to the shoot was a nightmare. At the time i was working at an American Investment bank. The week leading up to the shoot was that of September 11th. On one level depsite the obvious dramatic effect i ended up having to work past midnight every day that week, after a week of doing similar hours for a totally different reason. To say I was shattered both physically and mentally for the shoot is an understatement.
Also the whole incident of September 11th effected people in many different ways, there wasnt the usual bubble of energy at the start of the shoot. Remember the 5YLAC vs the Weather from the first shoot ? well the weather would seriously take its revenge on this shoot. gale force winds, torrential rain all into the mix. Two days after we had finished filming the whole location and the camp site we were staying on were destroyed by flooding! Welcome to the beach of death!
Which is quite appropriate really, as the beach is our background for the deadlights world in the story, a bleak and ever changing landscape ruled by Veil (pronounced VALE) and occupied by lost souls. Thanks to the weather we got some great atmos into our shots which really help set the mood.
One star who shines (brightest amongst many! )from that shoot is James Butler our mixer (www.vobine.co.uk
) . Amazingly through all this torrential rain and gale force winds we have perfectly clear audio, also his amazing Tardis of a bonnet contains every bit of kit you can imagine!
Another hero of the shoot was my Trusty American Dodge 1984 RAM Mini Van (mini A-team van) which unfortunately I had to get rid of this year (RIP). Whilst a pain on the fuel guage driving around surburbia ( it would depressingly go down fast ), on the motorway it was King! ideal for that motorway trip from London to King's Lynn. Plus, it served as a much needed sheltered area on the beach for Make up , costume , catering and most importantly for the cast and crew to jump in the back to keep out of the elements! Also thanks to be carpeted inside it was also my digs for the nights, though, lesson learned make sure you leave a window open!
Note in the photographs (MI Second shoot) how well everyone is wrapped up, this was a lesson learnt from the first shoot. Before the shoot i prepared a document called "how to be a happy surf bunny" which basically was a step by step guide dealing with what to wear , how to deal with everything from exposure to the elements and anything else you can imagine to being out in a environment (do not be fooled by the sunshine in the photos!) like this. It payed off. the people who followed the document (which was the majority) were in deed happy surf bunnys.
You might also notice that by magic my hat which I burnt in the microwave has reappeared! Unfortunately that is not quite the case. My first cap i had owned since i was 15, it has been on many adventures and mis-adventure's most notably where i had to carry 9 1/2 stone over dartmoor in appalling conditions, plus my times i have worn it over Salisbury Plaines, Billingsbry and many a film shoot. It was an absolute perfect fit and i have to confess i cant remember where it originally came from. The hat on the beach was an attempt at a replacement and it just didnt fit right L. I have had many attempts of finding a replacement since but have yet to find a perfect match :-(
One final thing on the beach is you might notice the megaphone, kept closely by my side at all times after threats by various members of cast and crew to steal the batteries! One of the disappointing things though, in gale force winds it turned out to be immensely practical which took away all the fun really :-(
The next shoot for MI, would take place in April 2002 the main reason for the gap for shooting this time round was purely down to the British winter and the short days.
In the beginning of 2002, All was in place to get the film finished by the end of the year, well that was the plan and as you will read, that all went a bit pear shaped to save the least!
January and February had mainly been spent tying down locations, taking on extra cast and crew and planning for the two imminent shoots. That being the London shoot and the Chapel shoot. Originally the chapel shoot was planned to be before the London shoot but due to location difficulties with the chapel (see later on) it worked out the other way round.
The London shoot in April (MI_Third Shoot album) without doubt was the most successful shoot of the film so far, though it did have a very rocky beginning!
Our first location for the London shoot was a cemetery in Richmond, we had arranged permission from the council and had turned up at the cemetery ready to set up and shoot. After a long wait before the gates opened, we went in set up and got ready to start turning over and...... the graveyard manager turned up , screaming blue murder at us.
Apparently Richmond council had failed to inform the graveyard of us coming, plus my exec producer at the time was on a train about two hours away with the paperwork prooving we had permission to film. After much ranting and raving (All from the graveyard manager, she was extremely highly strung!) we managed to compromise and we agreed to film in a very disused and abandon part of the cemeterty(in all fairness there was some confusion on our half with the location as well) though her last words to us were "The gravestones in there are old and if you touch one it will probably fall on you and kill you" happy ey! I also lost my sunglasses in her car which was annoying :-(
But after that initial hiccup plus being directly on the flight route for Heathrow (lesson learnt here is always when reconnoitering locations check sound levels!), the shooting over the next 4 days went extremely smoothly.
After the day at the graveyard our next location was over in Stratford east London for two street scenes, the first with the motorbike and the second with Rico and Mary, ill come to the latter in a second but the motorbike you can see in the photographs, was amazingly bought back to like thanks to Mark and Rookie on the crew. The bike had been purchased a week before the shoot and was literally a lump of rust, thanks to another 5YLAC'r spending some days painting up and wacking on lots of chrome cover, the bike looked passable. What Rookie and Mark did though was another story, creating a HT lead from bits and pieces from old refrigerators along with god knows what else they managed to get the bike turning over and running! a huge cheer went round the set when they did!
The second street scene also went extremely well, but a little story behind that. That is the third time we have attempted to shoot that scene, if you look back through the MI shoot albums you'll see the street location present, albeit Marys dress changing each time! The first time we attempted to shoot the scene, it was rained off pure and simple Second time, It was just poor i think partly because of the september 11th feeling, (it was the first day on the second shoot) and also technically it suffered, but third time lucky! (albeit there is one shot missing but no one needs know if i keep quite ;-)) In the promo cut we have of the film so far we have used footage from all three shoots of Rico walking down the stairs in the background, technically it took him over year to get from the top of the stairs to the bottom, blink and you'll miss it.
The third day of the London shoot, took place at a canal near by the Stratford location , unfortunately there are no photos from this, so i wont go to much in detail just to say it was a successful days shooting. Moving on the last days shooting was the bar shoot.
With out doubt for myself and many other's involved in the film this has been the absolute highlight so far , everything about that shoot worked fantastically, especially the crew and cast.
This is also the most expensive piece of filming in the whole film, For the master shot of this scene(you can see the stills in the album MI Bar shoot) which is a 4 minute track around the nightclub, one tenth of the entire budget of MI so far was spent to achieve that shot and it was worth every penny (every penny had been pushed to the max) Again like most thing's in low budget filmmaking it had it fair share of bumps before we got to that point.
Firstly a week before the shoot the band who were meant to be in the background pulled out, luckily the Alleycats (http://www.alleycats.fsnet.co.uk/
) stepped in, in return for keeping the costumes from the shoot.
Also for a test, I used a casting agency for the extras,it was clear the day before shooting we were going to have only about half turn up (hence why in the photo im wearing the shirt and waistcoat) But this situation was turned around thanks to everyone in the team pulling together. Most of the extras in the bar scene are crew members and friends of cast and crew.
On the day of shooting in the afternoon every one got stuck in traffic literally all on the corner of Aldgate which was 5 minutes from the location but grid locked for about an hour and a half!!
But the moment everyone got down on set, everything came together like a well oiled greased up nun film making machine. The speed at which we moved was unbelievable, this was also the biggest accumulation of cast and crew on set so far (apx 50 + people). I remember doing the brief that evening. I always do briefs before a days shooting or even sometimes before a specific scene yardy yardy yar and it is always something i do automatically. You plan what you are going to say way before hand and then it is just a case of saying it and rallying up the troops. but i went to do the brief that night and i looked out of literally the sea of people and it was like "wow". it really took us by surprise!
This might sound strange, but i dont really notice what goes on around me on set in a sense..... reason being as a director i have a very specific role on set, my main task is to get the shot. To do that i have to have the entire sequence of shots in my head, then to ensure continuity i have got to also got to visualise what is yet to be shot for the entire film and also recall what has been shot so far. I have then got to remember on top of that the schedule for the nights shooting, plus all those pre-production meetings relating to the shoot such moments where the DOP says we are going to be doing this for this shot etc etc.
Next role as a director is to make it happen, to do that i spend some time with each department and leave them to get on with it, so everything is in snippets, i dont see any of the cast or crew go through make up as im busy with say the sound guys then I dont see the sound guys get set up as im busy with the cinematography guys. Etc etc
On top of this I am also the producer as well which adds another list of tasks into the list. Going back to that Rodriguez filmmaking malarky, to add another point. My first shoot Deadlights in my opinion I didnt direct that film, i produced it and had a chance to play with the camera simply because the producing element took up most of the time on that shoot (very small in comparison to MI). On MI after the car scene i was definetly directing and the bar shoot is probably the only time i have been able to fully 100% concentrate on the directing side. this was down to the fact how everyone worked well as a team. What i will do on a later blog is run through the crew and cast and what people do on set. Some words to the crew and cast that night, Bloody amazing!
Shortly after the shoot someone showed us some footage of the "making of" and i couldnt believe it!
Everything went extremely well that night, in some sense the night's shooting ran itself. We wraped at about 4am the following morning, after the take down it was around 5, 5.30 am in the morning, most of the cast and crew were now safely on there way back to their beds and it was just a few of us left.
The owner of the club then offered us a round of drinks. Have to say that is the best beer i have ever had! Watching the sun come up in Whitechapel!
The next piece of shooting the Chapel shoot (see photos MI Fourth shoot) would take place two months later, filming took place at a secret location in Cambridgeshire.
Finding the church, was an absolute nightmare, In total i investigated about a 1000 different deconsecrated churches, contacted about 500 of them initially, which soon whittled down to about a 150. After further contact with all of those churches it came down to a list of about 10 which soon whittled down to the final one.
It was the biggest amount of work done on the film relating to locations. Why was it so difficult ?
Firstly if we had money and could pay the £1000 to £1500 day shooting fee's im sure we could of got a church just like that, but we dont have that sort of money!
secondly, this is true of all locations is each location needs to match criteria relevant to the production. We had quite a few options to shoot in churches in Wales, but the cost of moving the 5YLAC machine out there far out weighed any advantages. Other issues such as local amenities, power distribution, camping facilities, vehicle access and much much more come into account.
Thirdly, a lot of the churches in shall we say a 200 mile radius of London said no at the first mention of film. The story we got (alebit several different versions of) is a BBC crew who filmed at a church, totally wrecked the graveyard with their kit, to say the owners werent happy is an understatement. As many of these churches are owned by organizations such as friends of friendless churches, and smaller communities of deconsecrated churches, this story has spread like wildfire making filming extremely hard at such locations. but we got our church :-)
Looking back at the church shoot, in some ways it was bit of a strange one. In terms of wantended up in the can, it was definitely by far the most productive shoot, but i dont think there was anything special about it or anything bad about it, it was just a average shoot in a whole.
I know from talking to some of the crew and cast that they had an absolutely fantastic time, whilst others wernt so happy and some are sitting with me on the middle of the fence. Like any shoots it had it's fair share of problems , but nothing really specific sticks out. (maybe time has clouded) I would say one thing though as well as being the most productive shoot, it was also the most productive in terms of comic moments, everything from singing and star jumping nuns (thats another story in itself! but you can see a singing nun here (http://www.5ylac.s5.com/fldfiles/SingingNun.mov
) and also Jason the Camera assistant was an endless supply of frank Spencer style amusement.
For the first time on a location shoot i didnt stay with the rest of the cast and crew down on the camp site, which in a lot of ways was an advantage but i did miss out on all the usual debauchery associated with a 5YLA C location camping experience. Eddie sent us some pictures from the camp site of one of the crew members in a field with a horse and a double bass! the mind can only boggle!
All i do know is where i was staying caused a rift of rumours between the crew and cast on the campsite. There was a book going on where it was, bets came in for everything from the church crypt (the church didnt have one!) to the A-Team van and hanging in the bell free(a favourite to lead the book towards) no one got it right im pleased to say :-) a lot do know now, but for the ones who dont, I m leaving them guessing,
I think the shoot was best summed up by a crew member who wasnt present at the shoot, to quote "sometimes on a film you have good days and you have bad days, normally the bad days are forgotten the moment the next good day comes around - the problem with MI is that , as the shoot is disjointed , it easy to look at the last bit of shooting rather than the whole experience as a whole" Tricky one,
THIS ENTRY CONTINUES ONTO THE NEXT ENTRY IN THE JOURNAL