Today I met with Dominika in the edit suite and the two of us watched over the rough cut that she made for the film. After Jini’s feedback last week, we decided that the film should begin with the kitchen scene where Alison is trying to provoke Andie by tearing out pages from a book. This was intended to establish Alison’s character and motivation more quickly and organically than it was shown previously. Also, we cut out the Day 2 office scene which was originally intended to show the monotony of Andie’s routine, but Jini felt that the office atmosphere had already been established and so this was unnecessary, and thus buy us more time.
So today Dominika and I watched over the edit, and smoothed over some parts- such as where the obvious cables and wires still appear despite the letter-boxing, and we also resolved some continuity issues such as in the kitchen where Alison appears to be sitting down, but she is standing up in the next shot without that being made clear. We also shortened some scenes where it felt necessary so that we could bring our overall timing to be shorter.
Also Dominika made the toilet scene much snappier, by inserting quick cut to’s between Alison knocking loudly on the door, and Andie’s reaction. The intended effect was to make the scene more dramatic and intense.
Editing should have commenced last week, but Dominika is still waiting for a space on the server. If we knew it would take this long then we would have requested it much earlier, and complaining isn’t going to make the issue be resolved any faster. Our course intern; Tobi was trying to chase the issue up with the IT technicians as the process is taking much longer than expected… I feel a bit apprehensive about how long this is taking, because ideally we would have already uploaded all the rushes, archived them, and made back-ups. And I’m very aware that our Location Sound Recordist Ahmed requires the cut as soon as possible so he can have plenty of time to fine-tune the audio for the visuals before his deadline (which is earlier than mine I believe).
Moreover earlier this week Ahmed told me that he spoke with his course leader and they both agreed that he can use ready made tracks that Liv has made, rather than having Liv come in for a studio recording. This made me feel a bit calmer, because even though I was looking forward to sitting in on a live recording, I’m quite behind on my dissertation which I’m trying to do as much of now before I start my internship next week, and the cancellation meant I could get some work done.
I’m a bit concerned with a couple of group members because I feel as though now that the filming is over, they are slacking. During the production it was essential that everyone was here and so they did comply, but now I’m under the impression that those group members feel that there’s not a lot of work to be done. I’m especially concerned, as Dominika will be starting the editing soon and because I’ll be overseeing it, we really won’t have time to produce the interactive narrative. I want the other group members to take the initiative, but also I’m starting to think that if you want something done well, you have to do it yourself.
Yesterday and today the crew and I filmed in the university. Yesterday we filmed the office scenes, and today we filmed the toilet scene.
Yesterday was a very hectic day and we had to cut down many shots on the shot list because we ran out of time. It took a very long time to set up in the morning, because the security at Harrow campus took a while to open J1.17 which is where we had most of our equipment and props stored. This delayed us by one hour, and then once we had the equipment transported to the office space we were filming in, lighting considerations took a dutiful amount of the set-up time. In fact, the shot list could not be followed in order because discussions weren’t made with the gaffer in regards to which shot could flow after another to minimize moving around and using the setups that were already in place.
Me directing Molly who plays Alison on the office set. Photo Credit: Rowan Enis Race
Also, I wasn’t exactly sure how many extras there would be until the first day of filming. There were actually 5 extras in total yesterday, plus the main actors. In the days leading up to filming, I had added directions into the script for the extras. However, a couple of the extras despite being very polite, didn’t take the directions very well- I suspect that it may have been their first time performing on set, so that is fair enough. We are all in the same boat, and I’m learning just as much as them. I respect them because we only gave them food, and not other expenses. And the fact that they were open to critical feedback and were polite and enthusiastic, made the day much more pleasant, despite the stresses regarding setup.
Today’s filming went much smoother because we were prepared for the fact that security were likely to open up the rooms later than expected. So the main crew met up at the same time in the morning, but the others met up later, and finally the actors arrived last.
This time there were only two other extras, and also the filming location was much simpler- we filmed in one of A Block’s toilets. Therefore the framing of the shots were quite simple, and straightforward to follow.
Me modeling for the camera, reenacting one of Andie’s scenes. Photo credit: Rowan Enis Race
As a group, we had decided that Southend is where we would like to film after all. Initially, that deemed unfeasible because of accommodation costs. However, after a rethink we thought that it would actually be possible, just by reducing the size of the crew, and traveling daily as opposed to staying overnight.
Although we were granted permission by the council to film on Southend Pier, on Monday earlier this week, the claim was rejected because of the concerns of the film promoting suicide.
Therefore, we were adamant with our response, insisting that the film is about recovery and self-acceptance. But I do understand where they are coming from.
Meanwhile, Dominika, Diana and I are returned to the Welsh Harp Reservoir in Brent this morning to do another location recce, as a replacement for Southend.
It is an atmospheric setting, there is also a dangerous pool of water too. And I can picture the exact points where Alison and Andie would be standing. But the only problem is, it’s quite a dull and murky setting. As it’s supposed to be the dream sequence, we would need to film during a sunset and on a clear day to create that strong contrast between a gritty reality and a warm, golden dream.
For now, we will wait until tomorrow to see if Southend have reconsidered our case. Nevertheless, I’m going to look into making the Welsh Harp Reservoir more appealing, rather than a contingency.