Last week was a strange one and typical of the struggles I seem to have making films.
We filmed on Saturday, though a few weeks previously I had no idea what was happening with the film. One of my actors seemed unable, or unwilling to commit to a filming date, which was leaving me stressed and confused. Communication with the actor seemed temperamental, which didn't help and I was worrying whether the actor had a commitment issue.
In fact, I was convinced the actor had a commitment issue and decided to try and call the actor's bluff. Several days later the actor got in touch, which was weird, as I really thought the actor wouldn't and in my head I'd already been trying to figure out a plan of how I could still use the footage that had been shot with the actor.
Ironically, following this I chased up another actor for the shoot which has been scheduled for mid June for over 6 weeks, but who was worryingly not responding to my emails, my texts nor to my phone calls. I managed to collar the actor, who told me that they would no longer be able to do the proposed filming date in June due to paid work they were being offered, which was fair enough, that it was hopefully long term work with the play touring, which was disappointing but couldn't be helped, and as such they were pulling out of the film. I was fine with this reasoning, but then the actor had to go and say "I think my juices have ran dry for your film anyway."
It didn't come as a surprise, in a way. The actor had been cast since September 2007 and we'd yet to shoot a single thing with the actor. The actor had been privy to the scheduling nightmare that I'd had with this film, which part of me feels is necessary, as I think its only polite to keep people in the loop with what's going on, but at the same time it was probably detrimental to the actor's confidence and enthusiasm for the film. I guess there's a fine line between too little and too much information and I've yet to grasp it.
So, thinking I'd lost one actor, I'd in fact lost another. I've got less than two weeks to recast the role, sort out the costume and hope the actor can learn the lines in time - realistically, I've got about a week. I've posted a bulletin on the usual suspects websites and emailed as many amateur dramatics societies as I could around the region. Fingers crossed it gets sorted.
The shoot on Saturday was a touch worrying and stressful - the usual transport issues with people getting to the location, which suggests even more that I shouldn't work with people beyond the region unless they have their own transport and then, as we were filming in a public place during a wonderful day, we had to constantly stop for people to go by, or for their noise to quieten down. I was expecting some disruption, but not as much as we had to put up with. What shouldn't have taken that long naturally did. I really should reconsider changing that ironic Faster Productions mantle.
Its always good to see my regular crew all catching up every time we get together to film. I can see I'm working with a really good bunch of people who I can trust.
I woke Sunday morning aching all over. Not from a particularly physically gruelling shoot, but probably more from an accumulation of tension that has finally dissipated now this shoot is over with. Anthony, the d.o.p, contacted me to say the footage looked great. What I could see from the viewfinder looked really lush.
So in less than two weeks this film will either be completely in the can, or I'll be chasing another filming date. The next shoot will be odd as we're having to "shemp" the actor we've just shot with this weekend - hopefully my good friend Mark may be free to fill the role - and the shots I've figured out in my head should mean we can get away with the shemp. I hope.