Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Few Dolours More

Four steps forward, maybe only two steps back...this is progress!

After very reluctantly deciding that the hotspot on the wall in Vicky's footage really wasn't acceptable, I had to face the fact that I still hadn't actually shot anything that was going to appear in the film. Not only that, but I was also facing having to tell Vicky (and Lucy from the previous week) that it needed to be done again.

On the plus side, I had ironed out the final kinks in the set-up on a very minor shoot, and now had three talented actresses coming to deliver (slightly) more substantial lines. I was lucky to get them, and only sorry they weren't available for something more substantial. Still, six whole lines to go in that can...

Except they had to cancel the night before.

For perfectly good, professional reasons, it's true; they were involved in a play which had taken up all of their concentration for some time, and the morning of the shoot was the day of the final performance, and they didn't feel they'd be able to do me or the play full justice with their energies spread so thin. Still, good reasons notwithstanding, very dispiriting. I looked forward eagerly to getting even one second of footage in the can...
And with the help of Mishkin Fitzgerald, lead singer of alt/punk/goth/classical band Birdeatsbaby, this was achieved! A whole ten seconds, probably - maybe even twelve...! Mishkin is not an actress, but performed creditably in a tiny role in one of my previous films (not available online pending festival submission) and took direction perfectly. Footage! Finally!

The rest of the last week has been spent rewriting, going over the niggling little bits of the script I've been trying to ignore because I know there's something not quite clear, or the line is weak, or overwritten, or a slight non sequitur...

And all the while trying to ignore the fact that one of my three leads is not available even for a readthrough until mid-June at the earliest, and one of the secondary leads has an audition for the Edinburgh fringe...the price of working with good performers, I guess.

So I had to abandon my plans for anything like a full-cast readthrough before beginning to shoot the bulk of the film.


I have cast the lead, after over two months of 'Yes!' then 'Nooooo'... (Not a very long time, you might think, but quite long enough to spend on an emotional rollercoaster, particularly with an unofficial deadline of July for completion of shooting!)
So, I present to you Talia Cohen, who came my way through what might be called good karma; a meeting with a young man on another set where I was helping out, who, when I described what I was looking for in a lead, said: 'I know someone who fits that description...' Talia has specialised in musical theatre (for which she's just received a rave review in the Brighton Fringe) but a quick reading confirmed her serious acting chops, and (almost) best of all, she wants in on the production side and brings several eager helpers with her.

And we have a (nearly all) main cast readthrough this afternoon. More on that soon.

Is it actually happening? If the world ends between now and 2pm (EST), you'll know who to blame...

(p.s. Birdeatsbaby are currently touring the USA. If you're reading this on the other side of the pond, go see them - they are astonishing...)

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