Tuesday 20th February 2007
I went along to the filming today in my capacity as writer. I wasn't in any of the scenes for today, so could just sit back and watch the proper actors do their stuff.
It's a laborious process getting a scene shot, as, of course the same thing has to be done over and over again until everyone gets it right. Then the camera will be pointed in a different direction or at a different character and the same thing has to be done over and over again until everyone gets it right. When you have a lot of characters in a scene this can take a long time.
But it's fascinating to watch these brilliant actors responses when the close up is on them. In the first half of this particular scene Robert Dawes and Rebecca Front were sitting on a sofa, observing the action. They are a married couple who hate each other, but are pretending to get on well so as not to spoil the party. But as they sat, largely unobserved by the other characters, I watched them subtly letting the charade slip and then return with nothing more than the power of their expressive faces. It was sort of more impressive because I knew that very little of this acting work would make it to the screen, as too much else was going on to focus on it. It made me think that it would be a great idea to have a feature on a DVD where after watching the complete film, you could then watch it again, bit concentrating entirely on how one character reacts. Then all this wonderful work would not go to waste. It's true of everyone in the cast. Anton and Julia are just delightful. Sometimes she reacts so like my mother would (and looks quite like her too), that I am sure mum will think I have coached her. But I haven't. And the character isn't my mum.
My character DVD idea is fine as long as they don't do it with my character, because then you'll see all the times that I wasn't really concentrating or started looking into the camera. Luckily we have a good editor who can only use the bits of me where I am off my guard and have forgotten to try acting, so I look natural.
It was all going so well that I decided to leave them to it and try and fight off the doughnut filled ring that is surrounding my stomach area, like a kind of doughnut doughnut and went for a run.
I had meant to only do half an hour or so, but got lost and ended up running for over an hour before I retraced my steps and found the location again. Early on I had realised I had gone wrong, but rather than turning round immediately, I convinced myself that if I carried on forwards I would find an alternative route to the house. I was wrong. I am an idiot sometimes. Only afterwards did I realise my sense of direction with this had been entirely wrong anyway and I was on the other side of town. So I retraced my steps then, but there were loads more of them to retrace by this point. Still at least it zapped a few doughnuts.
I got back to the big caravan where the actors hang out between shots, where there is a shower and toilet. But as it turned out there was no hot water in the shower and I was very sweaty, so I was forced to have a freezing cold wash. The cold water wash seems to be becoming a regular thing on the show.
Tony Bignell had found out about my blog and was taking the piss out of me as I wrote some stuff up on my computer. He was then called to set, got up and banged his head on one of the lights. He must learn that this is the kind of thing that will happen to him if he mocks me. I also told him that if we get a series of this show that his character will die of AIDS (not even shoe AIDS) at the beginning of the first episode and that none of the other characters will care. Got to keep him on his toes. Only through threats like this will you get the best performance from a 17 year old at the start of his career.
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