|Posted by yellowfeverproductions on February 20, 2012 at 5:15 PM|
We were back at the fantastic Trigger Happy for tonights shoot with Anthony, Ruby, Leanne, John, Alan and Gary set to play a game of hide and seek in the dark.
Unfortunately, beat once again by light – my heart really wasn't in it. It seemed unorganised and a case of too many cooks as everyone piped up with idea's on what to do... but I just couldn't see it. Soon enough though, we started gathering some pretty shots playing with the camera light and shadows. It just didn't make any sense – and thats when I started to think...
As we pushed on, eat Ruby's chocloates and lost people in the dark, we soon got our hands on a great big fire axe which had everyone thinking.
Especially Gary – who suggested sneaking up behind the guys on the wall, and swinging it at poor Anthony's head... well, as much as I love him I could see it would make for a great shot, so we went for it and Anthony put on a brave face!
In theory, one shot would have worked, but sometimes our actors have a habit of breaking character half way through a scene, for example, when gary swings the axe at Anthony's head and he manages to duck (with the axe stuck in the wall) they both freeze up for a bit then ask what to do?!?
Lets just say by the end of the scene, the wall had a collection of axe holes which will help keep the airsofters cooler in the summer.
Moving them out to the maze for some final chase scenes, we were soon joined by big Brian who had arrived to finish his fight scene with the tired but wonderful little Anthony. Once everyone else went home, we moved inside to the location we filmed the first half at and got stuck straight in. As Roddy finshed make-up on Brian, I ran through the scene with Anthony and we were all set to go just after 11pm.
It was nice to get these 2 going again! A true David and Goliath battle with some funny scenes and rough falls. Poor Brian took a number of falls (and when you're 7 foot tall, its a lot further to the ground) flat onto his back with Anthony on his chest, before he climbs off him and takes a seat to catch his breath – my homage to Jackie Chan in Wheels On Meals...
With one final little stunt to go – Anthony swinging between 2 iron bars to boot Brian in the chest, I took the chance to see how it would look. As I swung through, general stupidity and tiredness reminded me I was slightly bigger than Anthony which was confirmed by a crack on the back which left me winded, although laughing! Once I could speak again, we motored on with Anthony getting to land his feet in Brian's chest a number of times – sending him flying into the wall and leaving him out cold.
Then my battery went.
I just needed 2 shots... Brian landing on the ground in a heap, and Anthony running away!
After 10 minutes of waiting, we gained an extra 2 minutes of battery life, and the shots were got. It was a wrap... a long day, a long night, but another step closer to finishing it.
And so I kept thinking of that new twist to make things better as I went to bed... but I don't think I lasted too long!
Big thanks to Rod and Trigger Happy for letting us play, and to my cast and crew!!
So as you may have read, there have a been a few bumps along the way during production of SA. That's not a problem... Usually if it goes smoothly, we get worried as to why.
Day 20 has crept in, a lot of changes have come about, dates changed and missed, cast and crew slowly breaking off to do other projects or work, and after a long think about how to pull this all together, I've finally pulled something out of my arse that seems to be for the best!
All will be revealed later... first there was tonights shoot.
I say tonight, in fact, we managed to get started in the afternoon for a change and done by 8:30pm. This was the much anticipated fight scene between Leanne and Paul in the office, and even that wasn't all ready. Thankfully, because of the cool set we have down at Trigger Happy, we could get away with it and continue with the rough and gritty fight.
As our guys got ready, Roddy and I prepared the office with props and such for their fight. It looked pretty atmospheric, with candles on the go, light streaming through some pallets into the dark office and some caution tape... and then it was time to wreck it!
Straight away, as Leanne charges through the tape into the room, Paul quickly follows – charging her onto the desk with a thump. We ran through this a good 7 or 8 times, each as loud as the last. As he tries to force his knife into her face, they wrestle around for a bit before Leanne boots him into the filing cabinets opposite. It was all good...
It was time to bring in the crash mat, and as Leanne tried to make a run for it, we had Paul grab her by the hair and yank her to the floor! A few times.
Once he pulled her to her feet, the fight was forced into more filing cabinets before Leanne picked up a polysterine head and clobbered poor Paul across the face with it. I have to admit, we all broke down at that stage laughing at the sound it made hitting off him and the look on Pauls face. Too funny – but revenge came swift, as we had him throw a fit and shove Leanne into the filing cabinet beside her, causing them both to smack hard off the floor! It was lovely!
So we did it another few times.
And that wasn't it... As Leanne rolled off the cabinet onto all fours, Paul moved quickly in with the same polysterine head and began wholloping her a number of times before grabbing hold of her straps and throwing her into the wall..! Once again, we broke down laughing – it was just too funny. After another take though, we were okay and watched as Leanne smacked hard off the wall and hit the floor.
Pulling herself by the drawer handles of the filing cabinet, Leanne's next move was to pull one of them out and hit Paul up the face with it. We did have to be very careful here... with the amount of beatings Leanne just had, it was for certain that drawer just might slip out off her hand by accident and really smack Paul upside the head...
Certainly it makes for great footage, but we still needed him alive.
After a few swings, Paul hit the deck. Dropping the draw, Leanne turns and picks up a book to throw at him but soon realises there is something in it... Opening the book, she finds a small hidden gun and pulls it out!
Just as she pulled the trigger, we were graced with our FX master Rachel who had just turned up at the right moment to add a bullet hole to Pauls head. After a quick coffee break, we were straight back in, with Leanne dropping the one shot gun to pick up Paul's own blade before kneeling before him and stabbing his gut like a crazy bitch!
And it didn't stop there...
Rachel had prepared a fake stomach for Leanne to start tearing into with her hands – ripping and throwing the guts from inside all over the room. On first chuck, myself and my camera nearly had a half metre long gut slapped on us, but everything else after that pretty much covered every other corner (and wall) of the room. It was lovely.
As she screamed and tore into the guts with her bare hands, Paul just lay back and took it...
All in all, a great wee shoot with plenty of bumps, bruises, blood and guts! Literally. Well done guys and thanks to all for getting hurt and messy (including us behind the camera). More to come!
Well, what a night. You know when you have that feeling that something aint right... Its nots all doom and gloom, but something just aint right!
You sit for the hour leading to your shoot thinking, 'should we go ahead with this tonight?' and before you know it, the cast are there and you gotta go. And sure enough, somethings just aren't right! Between myself and the 3 members of cast on this shoot, there was more exhaustion than an old peoples home... Big bad John was sick, and the kids minds were wrecked from course work for school and lack of sleep.
And me, well.
After getting our things together, we headed down to Trigger Happy. As Roddy and I prepared the set with draped plastic sheeting in the maze, the cast got ready. Ruby did the make up as Roddy had work to do, and after getting Anthony wrapped in his bandages, we were soon set to go. We hadn't much time, so every shot was vital...
Beginning with Anthony and Ruby making their way through the plastic maze, we started to see things lighten up as the confusing walk-through got them lost a couple of times. It was nice to see some smiles for a change, so we rolled on, eventually capturing that full open scene of them entering the maze from which we shot a few weeks ago.
Once done – Anthony was able to remove his head gear and rest for a bit as we moved on with the next scene involving Ruby being chased by John with the chainsaw!
This proved to be a little tricky – although was as close to what I had originally written – with Johns chainsaw catching the plastic as he ran through, pulling down the 4 metre sheet and plank of wood that held it up above. A few bumps and knocks followed, but we soon got them through to the main area where the action would take place.
Leaping from behind the plastic, Ruby comes flying out and lands on Johns back – stabbing at him with her knife. As he swings round with her, the knife and chainsaw start pulling down the plastic sheeting... and wood... and cast!
Yes, there was more bumps, knocks and bruises – and blood. Between Ruby punching the chainsaw as she stabbed at John, and the planks of wood that came crashing down on Johns head (of which was still bleeding apparently when he went home, although he says he couldn't find any holes) the scene was frantic, but shot behind the plastic with our little Anthony hurling cups of blood over it, it all looked very beautiful.
Finishing with Ruby on top of John stabbing at his gut, we ended with a great scene through the plastic of Ruby straddling a dead John before sliding off to cry about it. Finishing with the young Anthony running in to find her in a heap, they leave the shot and we were done!
Told you something just wasn't right...
Great night though, thanks guys!!
I guess I shouldn't be doing this, but since the real Day 22 consisted of a full cast, heavy down pour after hours of readying ourselves, and only 4 shots before we quit and everyone went home in a bad mood – its not worth writing about!
So onto the very next day, and things tend to roll a little better...
Back at Trigger Happy airsoft site, I was lucky to have Gary and John the clowns already there creating the set for tonights shoot. The main focus was on the clown show, with an audience of dead bodies and our 3 main heroes watching from the back. The stage and set looked great for what we had, but perfect in effect of the clowns making their own play house.
As the extra's for bodies dribbled in, the main cast all arrived late, with things working out okay as make-up and darkness needed time.
After Anthony, Ruby and Leanne got ready, I started with some close up shots of them as if they were watching the show from over the seats. Straight after that, we were into the show, playing with wide shots of the kids watching the clowns make asses of themselves, taunt poor Frances Burscough who was chained to a crate, and make the poor kids in the crowd experience some pretty weird shit.
Once we got that, the 3 heroes slipped off to learn their lines while we continued to have to clowns run a through a series of skits, some involving an ironing board, a unicycle, a saw, and some boxing gloves... Yes, without going into too much detail, you can just imagine what went on!
But it all looked good, and once done, everyone was sent off to get cleaned up while I moved on to part 2 of the night with Anthony, Leanne and Ruby.
Taking them upstairs, we ran through a major piece of dialogue that takes place near the end scene. It took a while, and a couple of giggle fits, but we soon got there with some great shots, nice lighting and wrapped well before midnight...
Thankfully I had our great producer John Gilmour up with me (who unfortunately had a 90 minute drive home) who was a great help all night and soon got me home.
Exhausted – but with another shoot done, most of the cast are done on Splash...
Thanks to all for coming down!
AND THATS A WRAP..!!
Yes folks, finally after 2 months of such an ambitious yet troubled production, we wrapped our last scene last night under the river Lagan in Belfast.
But as I've always said, things happen for a reason - and I always turn a negative to a positive - this time, working towards a new narrative for Splash Area, of which I will not be revealing until the screening...
So this is the end of the production diaries for now.
A new trailer is up next, and the premiere will be at the 4th Annual Yellow Fever Independent Film Festival Sept 9th...
Until then, live the dream.