“It’s go time” Detective Wade McCall
We started the shooting process with two days we basically looked at as test days. They were more than a month earlier in the schedule then the rest of the shoot and the idea was to give ourselves a taster so we could be more prepared for the rest and ensure everything was going well in post.
We, of course, decided to start with the scenes of our lead actress in chains, which did lead to a slight fear that Delaney might not come back (she did of course). Below are the production reports for your amusement.
Production Report for Saturday 26th January 2008
Scenes: 46, 53, 55, 60, 63, 65, 67, 70
Estimated Wrap: 5am Sunday 27th
The shoot day started fairly early. We picked up a few last minute bits and pieces and were on set around 5pm.
Setting up went fairly well, cleaned the kitchen area and placed everything where it would be needed. Alison, of course, arrived early and helped us to set up. I colour coded the padlocks to ensure they could be unlocked quickly.
Mike arrived at 7:15pm. He went and got some food and then went about arranging the lights in an easy to access fashion. Jeremy text to say that he would be arriving late. Greg arrived next. We showed him and Mike the test footage. Greg said that he really liked the effect and was looking forward to the shoot. Delaney arrived a bit late and was very nervous. She was still excited though. Jeremy arrived 30 minutes after scheduled shoot start. We started shooting around 15 minutes after that.
Greg really hated the stew that we were making him eat but did it anyway. He accidently spilt some of the stew on the light we placed under him to get monster lighting.
When shooting the wide shot of the first scene Jeremy discovered a beeping coming from the camera. After many attempts to find the beep and after sending the actors on a break, we decided to carry on filming even though the beep was there.
Due to the technical difficulties we became very behind. It took a while to get into the swing of things and some shots had up to 7 or 8 takes. By the time we had a break for supper at around 12am we had only finished the shots with Greg behind the table.
After a short break, during which everyone’s spirits seemed quite high, we got back into it, starting with the shots of Priscilla waking up in chains. Delaney was a real trooper staying in the chains for most of the night. At one point she needed ice as her wrist had become slightly swollen.
We had a supper around 12am for which we had made chicken and rice. No one really ate this and the decision was made to have nibble type food for the next shoot instead of a full meal, as no one really needs to eat at that time of the morning. During the break we downloaded the footage and wiped the card.
The rest of the shoot went really well. Delaney looked amazing in the chains. During the last hour (5am) peoples energy levels were starting to drop so the decision was made to drop the final scene (scene 70) and to continue until scene 64 was completed. Once this was complete everyone was so tired that everyone flew out the door.
Jacqui was there helping out with make-up and looking after the actors. Delaney really appreciated this and the decision was made to have Jacqui on set as often as possible.
The water container we had (5L from the supermarket) was frustrating people with how to get water out in the dark. Although we will be continuing with it for the next weekend the importance of an easily accessible water facility on set is very apparent.
On reviewing the footage there are a couple of shots where there was soft focus. This needs to watched more closely. All in all the footage looks really good. There were a couple of bad frames, but nothing that really retracted from the material. The beeping noise is in some of the footage, but cannot be heard over the dialogue so the audio may still be usable.
We figured out that the beeping was the P2 card. The solution is to eject the card and place it in the other slot.
Everyone really liked the fact that we were able to review the footage on set quickly and easily. Having the monitor set-up in black and white also allowed us to see more accurately what will be seen in the effect.
Feedback from the day was positive and included comments about the high level of professionalism.
Actual Scenes: 46, 53, 55, 60, 63, 65, 67
Actual Wrap: 6am
Production Report for Saturday 2nd February 2008
Scenes: 70, 74,77,80,82
Estimated Wrap: 5am
Everone seemed to be more tired for this shoot. In preparing for the day Lance and I both seemed to be a bit more relaxed and a little less focused.
When we got there and started setting up things seemed to be going fairly smoothly. Mike had let Lance know the day before that he may need to leave early that night as he had work at midday the next day.
Greg arrived first and we showed him some of the footage from the previous week. He was really happy with it all and keen to keep going.
Mike and Jeremy were both late to set. Jeremy also realised fairly quickly that he had forgotten his mics and had to go back to collect them.
Without Jacqui there it also seemed a lot harder to get the actors motivated and ready to go. It took longer to get started then anticipated. We decided to start rolling on the wide before Jeremy got back as we wanted to get everyone focused on the task at hand for the night.
In one of the first few takes of the wide Greg accidently hit Delaney in the finger. We got some ice for her, but she said she was fine and we continued on with the rest of the shoot.
After filming the wide from upstairs we moved the camera back downstairs and took a very long time to find a position that looked good on camera. This also made the actors feel a bit apprehensive about everything.
After shooting the scene from a number of angles we also broke the riding crop. This was Jeremy’s riding crop which had sentimental value and may need to be replaced.
We pushed on, found an angle after a while and shot the scene. We struggled with an ECU of Delaney for which we must have had over 20 attempts, but the boys never felt that she hit the exact spot in frame that they required. This made Delaney feel a bit bad about what was happening.
After this shot we had a break as it was already starting to get late and we hadn’t filmed the death scene yet. We really missed having an extra set of hands on set to keep things moving.
We started by shooting the shadow shot of the death scene and then proceeded to shoot every shot with Greg in it so we could wrap him as early as possible. Some of the shots were looking really nice, and once blood started spilling things started getting really sticky.
The blood itself looked really amazing. The consistency was spot on. The one shot we had the most trouble with was the blood spilling on the ground. We took a long time to set the shot up and then the shot didn’t work. This hurt a few peoples spirits for a while.
We then got Greg on the ground covered in blood and shot the three shot a few times of Jewel unlocking Priscilla. All of this was done really quickly. Greg was then wrapped and hurried to get out of his costume, as it was obviously really sticky having been covered with blood.
Mike also left with Greg to get some sleep. Once they left I think everyone on set slumped for a bit.
We hurried through the rest of the shots with Delaney in chains as the chains were really sticky. Delaney was a real trooper again.
We then went on to shoot all the close ups of Jewel for that scene. We dropped all the pick up shots that we can meaning we need to pick up the close ups of the sword and Priscilla with the gun. The shot of the blood spraying on Jewel’s face took a long time to get as we had problems with the sprayer.
We then gave the actresses a break to clean the blood off themselves and moved on to the final scenes for the night of them leaving. By this point both Shu-Wan and Delaney were exhausted and it took a long time to get into the scene. By the time we moved on to the close ups, after about 20 takes in the two shot, the performances were spectacular. We managed to get a take of Delaney crying, which suited her performance perfectly. Shu-Wan also delivered a stellar performance and we were able to wrap the scene after getting a few pick-ups slightly earlier then the week before.
Jeremy was amazing this week, didn’t complain once and stuck it out all the way till the end.
After the shoot we only packed down what was absolutely necessary and went home around 7am. This shoot week did not go as well as the week before and we felt it was because people were really tired, hard to motivate and not communicating as well as they should be.
We also found out on Monday that Delaney’s finger was actually broken.
Actual Scenes: 70,74 (minus some pick up shots), 77, 80, 82
Actual Wrap: 5:30am
After the first two days of shooting we went back into pre-production to prepare for the rest of the shoot and to ensure we had the post process all sorted…