Yes it stinks! And yes I am talking about our movie Transatlantic Smash. But I don’t mean the film is bad. Read on, and I’ll explain.
Yesterday was quite frankly epic. For a start it was a 12 hour shoot. Now admittedly that’s not massive compared to the time spent on some productions in a day, but for our little movie, it was the longest day yet. Also, it was the most cast/crew we’ve ever had on set at one time. Again 12. And again, not exactly Christopher Nolan proportions, but with the resources we’ve got that’s still a challenging scale. Everyone has to double up on everything.
Peter and I are still learning the quirks of directing when we’re both acting too. It certainly helps when one of us is not in a particular scene so that the other can focus on directing. That’s when the benefit of being a directing team comes to the fore. It’s a little organic. But as joint leads in the film, that doesn’t happen very often. So we adapt. On top of that you’ve got Steve, our producer, also on cameraman duties, and the actors chipping in on sound recording when they’re not in shot. And our Production Assistant Casee got pulled in a million directions yesterday too. She did and ace job.
At one point yesterday I actually got told off for saying please so much. But when people are dedicating so much of their own time and energy to someone else’s labour of love, please and thank you is just about all you’ve got to give back. That and a pretty good platter of sandwiches and rocky road bites. F*ck the Michael Bay approach. Which is pretty much what Michael Bay would say I reckon.
The morning began at the wonderfully accommodating Monk Bar hotel who gave us access to the bar all morning to film a party scene, followed by a hotel room in the afternoon for an after party party if you get my drift. Have a look at this pic. Who or what is under the cover?
You’ll have to wait until the film comes out to find out. No spoilers remember!
As well as the return of the film’s leading ladies, Lucy and Helen, we had 6 new supporting cast members involved throughout the day: Shawna, Faye, Sophie, Jess and Stephen were brilliant. Totally unphased by the weirdness we threw their way! And finally, Benn Cordrey, long term TV/Podcast co-presenter with Pete joined us to play an influential character who had a star turn in another scene later that day.
But we’ll come to that later. Why is this blog called It Stinks? Because…imagine being cooped up in a hotel room with 10 people for 5 hours on the muggiest day of the year, with the windows shut and aircon off to minimise background noise. Awful. At one point our 4 supporting ladies escaped for a break and some fresh air. When they returned, the shock of the smelly hot room almost made them retch. Still, it’s all worth it for another (hopefully) classic scene. All for the love of the art.
Finishing on time for once, we were glad to escape the musty bedroom (I don’t think anyone was following us in there thankfully) and then it was a quick scoot across town (we didn’t scoot) to York’s newest Milkshake shop Stars and Shakes, for the location of when we meet Benn’s character for the first time in the film. All of that sweetness to be displayed on screen soon (ish).
Speaking of timescales for finishing the movie….well we’ve finished all but one short scene of the second act now. So we’ve got the climax to follow. And in the interests of making sure we’ve got everything that we need, and to speed up this process a little in between shoots, this week I’ve started on a rough edit of everything we’ve got in the can so far. Considering how improv heavy this film is, it’s already becoming apparent how much this will end up getting chopped. Still, that means lots of lovely deleted scenes and outtakes to look forward to!
The film rolls on…