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'Home' - As it Happened

by Krish Shrikumar   //   09.17.2010   //   Comments (1)   //   Category : Production Diary  

The pre production for the shoot went well and we prepped to shoot the film on the 16th. Seona Robinson did an amazing job with the Art Direction.  Rehan Yousuf came in at the last minute to help me with the production and it was all looking rather good: we had the kit, the props, the crew, the food but on the 16th, it ended up being an absolute disaster.

The shoot included two locations, one in the lake and a night time scene set outside somewhere with a bench. So, this is how that equisit day out ended up, if you prefer the short version skip to the third heading:

The long story: Part One

We turn up at the lake, notice its smaller than the pictures and full of anglers, I think we should have done a recce, walk round the other end where it could work but it has logs blocking the banks.  Come all the way back round and find another spot that could work but it clearly looks like an artifical dam, I get stung by nettles, scratch a bit and wonder why I wore shorts, discuss with Babis about the situation, he is calm but I can see its not going to happen when a duck comes by and starts salivating at my sandwich, Babis gives it a piece, I tell it to 'run forrest run' it looks at me harder and comes closer, its not going to work, we walk back for a crew meeting, tell AD/Production Manager Rehan Yousuf it might not happen and I need options, he tell me our sound guy Shu has eaten two sandwiches instead of one, I tell Shu to spit it out, he says no.  I call it, we are not going to film here. We drive out, I notice a location that might work, we get out of car, set up, get actor in wet suite, Rehan gives him a small stick and I ask him to get in the water and test it, he throws away the stick and picks up a rod, walks in and I get Babis (our only swimmer) to stand by.  Jay walks in, its cold, he takes flip flops off, he starts taking steps, more steps, until I see him in the middle of the 'Loch' with water coming up to his shins, I ask him to come back, realise its definitely not gonna happen, call it.

The long story: Part Two

The only good news left at this point was that we can get back early enough to get more time to prep for the night time shoot.   We get back to the office, Jay goes home for some dinner, the crew stays with me so I regretfully offer them dinner.  We go to the chippy and my famous last words "Dinner is on me boys".   I say to the lovely girl serving us "fish and chips" then realise its the most expensive item on the menu, hopes they dont go for the same, all of them stare at the lit menu on top, "fish and chips", "fish and chips", "doner kebab".  I go out for a cigarrete.  Rehan complains about how expensive the fish and chips are nowadays, I stare at him, he waits for a response.  I smoke my cigarrete.  We walk back like some weird looking boy band and the Greek guy asks if we can eat outside, the best idea of the whole day.  Afterwards, Rehan, Shu and Babis borrows a bench from a park, all for a good cause they tell themselfs when a business man approaches and asks if they are stealing the bench.  What is they said 'Yes'?  Repeat this three times.

 

We set up the master and go for a take.  Its looking okay, decide to ram through and go for a CU, and it looks beautiful.  I notice a drop of water on the viewfinder.  Tell the boys this could really work, and it starts raining.  Not a torrentual down pour, but one of those, 'quickly passing spitting rain', we decide to wait, dont want to get the lights damaged.  Three hours pass and its still raining, not worse, not better, just the same.. wet.  I pick up the camera, wet suite packed, I decide to do a few more shots, and it starts raining proper.  I call it. Rehan decided to uncover the light and pours all the water over his head, I laugh, pays him for getting that fish and chips.

The Short Story

The lake was too shallow and it rained.

Epilogue

It did occur to me that night at three in the morning when I got home that maybe its time to sit down, have a cup of tea and think about another profession.  Something more certain and less heartbreaking.

So far as to say, three hours of sleep later I ended up with a cup of coffee at 8 in the morning and reorganised the night time shoot for that day.  Not sure how well it worked but we managed to get all the shots.  Babis unfortunately had to go to Greece (hopefully he will come back) but my collegue Rob @ Kraya stepped in the game, and volunteered his soul to me that night.  He was such a great help!  Although I did think it might have been a bad call when he nearly pounded Rehan over a comment about 24p vs 25p.  The shoot went smoothly, bar the Red battery malfunctioning, going over schedule by 4 hours and a ginger nut who asked me if I could CGI his hair out and his girlfriend who kept on asking me 'why I was doing this', 'Why', 'Why', sweetie, I dont know, why are you out at 4:00 in the Morning asking strange folk stranger questions?    Finally wrapped at 4:30am the next morning.

The lake scene took a bit more organising. The prospect of shooting in a lake in the city looked quite possible (which wouldn't have been ideal since its small and not exactly scenic) but having gotten Stephen Ramsay on board and paying for a hire car we ended up shooting about a two hour drive away from Edinburgh.  After a lot of driving, some round in circles, falling in a bit of quick sand, crew member slipping and falling down a hill screaming, we finally managed to find the spot I was looking for.  I'd been to the exact spot a few years back and I can't explain enough at the relief of having found it again.

Let this be an insight to all you people who dont know Scotland.  Scotland is a breathtakingly beautiful but its midges are lethal (23 bites to the face and four days later it still looks like I'm going through puberty) and you do get quick sand here, if you dont see a footpath to a lake bank, then dont try to be rambo and jump over the embankmend.  I learnt this lesson the hard way.

The lake shoot went generally okay, we had to skip a couple of shots since there was a battery 'situation' (meant to charge it in a hotel nearby but realised once we got there that the entrance to the park closes at 5pm), and the most surreal thing happened for the finale shot. You can see this in the film!

The next day I found out the sainbury's car wash pushed our hire car into its roof, denting the metal on top and snapping the antenna.  Enterprise Car hire has took out the £100 deposit which I'm still waiting on Sainbury's to refund.  Boo!

So, what have I learnt? Have a crew that believes in you, kit you can rely on, a location that you can count on and leave the rest to the weather.  Also, reshoots can be expensive.

The Best Cast and Crew in the World

Jay Kumar
Rehan Yousuf
Shu Moon
Seona Robinson
Babis Fotaras
Stephen Ramsay
Robert Gordon

 


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Krish Shrikumar