Halfway Through Shooting

HALFWAY. What a feeling.

61 scenes have been filmed, with 61 scenes remaining. Yes, if you’re paying attention, you’ll notice that 61 plus 61 equals 122 and the original scene count was 137. We have omitted 16 scenes! Cut, combined, altered, so the remaining scenes to shoot are the definitive meat of the film.

What’s happened since our last update? Well, we’ve filmed a lot with Nova the superstar. This weekend her voice was fading but she soldiered on like a champ regardless. We filmed her last on screen appearance at dusk, rushed and with some beer drinking residents watching us from their balcony. Ever the pro, Nova performed and nailed her scenes in one or two takes.

Abby Damen, Simeon Duncombe, HJWBTS
Abby and Simeon on the set. The Alleyway.

We spent three hours last Saturday shooting with Abby Damen, my talented and wonderful girlfriend who is playing a role in the film. The scene is set in the morning so we traipsed down to the location at 9am and had a nice long cafe breakfast as we planned to shoot until after midnight and didn’t want to start too early. However, once we finished breakfast, it started to rain. We waited the rain out for an hour then got prepped to shoot. Alas, now the sun was popping and ruining the light. The sun is too harsh to shoot with – it causes harsh shadows which make people’s faces look like skulls. So we waited. And waited. And finally, we got cloud cover. But then the pedestrians started coming. It’s like they waited until we called action then came down to ruin the shot. Savages. In the end, the sun came back out and we had to give up on the scene. We wasted three hours and were very depressed.

On the bright side, on Wednesday we got up at 5:30am and got the scene in the can before work! We only had a nice wee chicken to put up with…

This weekend we shot a lot with Michelle, which was a breeze after last weekend where we shot a love scene. Oh yeah. It happened. It was comfortable too, lots of nervous laughter and mucking around, no awkward boners or anything… Yeah, I’m not gonna post a picture of that scene yet. However, i will post a picture of the set of ‘Sophia’s Room’, coz it’s pretty.

Awwwww fairy lights. Out of focus in the background of a shot – gorgeous

Simeon set up a cracker of a spreadsheet on Google Sheets, and I entered our scene breakdown in it. The maths behind it all is very exciting, except once I’d finished marking what scenes were done and what scenes were still to shoot, I noticed something rather terrifying. We may be halfway though the scene shooting, sure. But we’re only 30% through the page count. Which means there is still the majority of the dialogue to be shot.

Pie graphs. Wonderful and insightful but terrifying too.

I leave for Europe in two months. 8.7 weeks to be exact, and we have to shoot an average of seven pages and seven scenes a week to make it on time. Because we usually only shoot one day a week, that means seven pages and seven scenes per shoot day. That’s a lot. And the scenes we have coming up are tough too, heavy on the emotion and they all involve cast whose availability we are working around.

Take into account the weather and the decreasing hours of sunlight per day and you’ve got yourself a frightening prospect. Shooting a feature film with no money, plenty of cast, heaps of locations and a whole lotta dialogue – it might not be for everyone but we’re having a blast.
This coming weekend will bring with it some new cast members. I’ll keep you updated.