Today, me and Jonas met for the first time after he finished the first draft of the script and since the overall result of it was not something I felt right to the storyline, we wanted to discuss it before we had a meeting with Helen, later in the day.
The issues I had with this draft of the script were that not only did the script not make sense with what we’ve been discussing prior but also we it lacked the climax (being the secret that Aiste shares with Jonas) as well as it sounding more like a drama than a documentary.
During the meeting I laid out again and more firmly what I felt the script had it wrong and what was lacking and managed to explain my point of view on it and what I felt needed to be changed and/or improved on.
Jonas obviously defended his script but also understood where I was coming from.
The issue that we are now facing goes again back to the ethics that revolves around having someone, this being Aiste, discussing their on-going and still very present issue of possessing and suffering from an eating disorder.
Jonas tells me she might not feel comfortable having that being discussed with him let alone on film, which raises the issue of that being an integral part of the documentary in and of itself.
So, my idea is to have a back plan on what we can use as a replacement in the storyline that will help us when we are on location shooting the film.
After we meet Helen, later today, I’ll blog about her thoughts and the feedback we get to effectively do these changes in the best way possible.
I’ve been discussing with Jonas, for a while, the notion of how we wanted our story to be presented on screen. This is something that’s been discussed thoroughly throughout the various meeting we’ve had thus far.
And because there are so many ways the story could be told, as soon as we decided on whose point of view it would be told through, slowly the rest started to fall into place.
We knew we wanted it to be told through Jonas’ POV, to have various archival material (photographs/videos of Aiste, home movies of hers, video recordings of both of them together, etc), to shoot in Lithuania where they met, and for their relationship to be showcased in all its truthfulness.
So from there, I gave Jonas the deadline of sending me until tonight the 1st script draft, so we could decide together if this was the way we wanted the story to go or if we needed to have some changes on how it should be told.
I have also been on the hunt of a really good sound operator to come on this journey with us and initially Peter Williams showed a big interest in the project but later, me and him discovered that his schedule was incompatible with the time we planned on filming so he advised me Martin (from the loan store) as a replacement.
We exchanged a few emails and he is quite keen to be part of this project as well and the only potential issue that he’s facing is the need to find someone who can do his shift during our week of shooting, so he can commit to us fully.
I gave him until the end of next week, to tell me if he is able to be part of this project. If not, I am moving to plan B.
Today I had a meeting with Andrija, my director, as I wanted to discuss the possibility of enhancing our idea of doing crowdfunding for our film with the addition of a ‘fan-made’ trailer (if you will), of how we envision the story to be.
This idea came after yesterday’s crowdfunding workshop where it was introduced to our entire class, the MDX Crowdfunding platform and how we can use it to reach not only students from our course, but the entire university body along with potential alumni.
This peaked my interest, as we need all the help we can get!
So, I discussed with her the idea of creating a trailer where we could used clips of different films and TV shows where we could introduce the characters of Tuck and Ashley (through the use of other characters of other film/TV series) and showcase their relationship, how it evolves and eventually disintegrates. This could peak not only the audience’s interest but also make them eager to participate, in whatever way possible, in helping this film come to life.
I then enlisted this assignment to Andrija and Mariana, the editor, to have it done in a week’s time – 4th December.
Plus, we already have a 4th draft of the script.
Yesterday I had my second meeting with Andrija in regards to the 1st draft script we worked, that I mentioned in the last post, and it was an insightful two and a half hours just running by the script and seeing what could/needed to be changed and what was good and we wanted to keep.
At first, me and Andrija had different views on what should be changed from the script as she was very attached to the original story that her writer came up with but bit by bit we came to an understanding and realized that there were some parts that could be optimized and enhanced.
This was already the 2nd draft we were looking at and the parts that still were a bit of an issue to me were the scenes, right at the beginning and then is a recurrence throughout it, where Tuck is still seen talking to herself. I’ve always felt that if we were to showcase her doing that, then the tone of the film would already be set from the get go and Tuck would either be seen as someone who suffers from a mental disorder or that the audience would quite easily later on realize that she should actually be talking to Ashley. And that is something I felt needed to be “under wraps”, so to speak, for a little while longer to leave the audience wondering for just a little while longer!
The next thing that we eventually had to come to a consensus was that Andrija wanted, very much so, to keep in the story the location of the coffee shop as she felt it was fundamental to the story and good break in between the other locations used. Whereas I felt, at the start, that we could easily change that location and make the actions that happen there, happen at Tuck’s house.
But the settlement we found is that we nearly eliminate all of the “walking path” scenes, leaving it to just one in the whole story, which overall minimizes the amount of locations we’d need in the script and would give us some extra time that we could spend on any of the other locations.
Another issue we tackled was that in this new draft, more characters were introduced which again I felt like it would just take away from Tuck and Ashley’s storyline so we managed to cut them down a bit.
As of right now, our new updated of the script are very exciting and we both are liking where the story is headed!
Today was the first day of our indoors filming period.
Prior to the shoot day, I sent out all of the call sheets and sent additional messages to everyone to make sure they knew when their call time was in.
David has also continuously showed how much he is devoted to this project with his recurrent emails with questions and ideas which are so lovely because commitment is something very much appreciated by myself and Alex.
So up to the day before shooting, me and David exchanged a lot of emails because we were very focused on getting the clothing completely right because there would be a lot of jumps in the time frame of the four days we were going to film in and David needed to know exactly what clothes to bring with him for what days of the week.
My initial idea was always that Donald would wear dark clothes in present time where he is a recent widow who mourns the loss of his wife, and in flashbacks with Eleanor, Donald would have a lighter colour palette when it came to his clothes. The meaning of the contrast in the colour palette, as exhibited by Donald, is that it is a complete showcase of Donald’s inner emotional turmoil and how it affects and influences everything around him.
So today, we started shooting already during the afternoon and we mostly only had to shoot a sequence of shots that encompassed the leaving the house frazzled after being faced with his inner demons and arriving to the house after being reconciled with his past. Basically, the first scenes we had to film were some of the most important as it showed Donald’s character at his lowest and also at his turning point.
It was a lovely day as we were able to film everything we needed with two hours to spare! And everyone enjoyed their cups of tea, sandwiches and biscuits that I brought along.
A happy crew is always what we aim for! But let me tell you, making 10 cups of tea at once isn’t for the faint of heart.
So this is a continuation of the filming period during the first day.
After we finished filming in Hampstead High Street, we packed up all of our equipment plus bags and headed off on a 15 minute walk to the park where the second part of the filming would take place.
As we were walking past the tube station, I spotted my house mate Jessica and her boyfriend Dean who arrived just on time since they would be the two extras in our film that would be the couple.
When we arrived on location, me and Erin started to organize the picnic scene with all of the props that included the picnic mat and consequent prop food, that was food that I made the night before.
As prep finished and the extras were briefed, shooting went smoothly and rather quickly as the chemistry between the two was very apparent which worked with what me and Alex wanted. I even got excited because I had the idea of bringing grapes so that Jessica could throw them at Dean’s mouth so that he could catch it in a cute, romantic way and it actually worked visually which made me and Alex very happy.
Later on the day, Jane (the actress) arrived whilst me and the rest of cast and crew were having lunch break at a local pub near the park called “The Freemasons Arms”.
Erin was charged with meeting Jane at the tube station and walk with her to the pub as she didn’t know the area plus to help with any luggage she would bring with the change of clothing for the picnic scene. Immediately after she arrived, Jane was the life of the party! Such a lovely lady and her and David got along right off the bat, especially since it was their first time meeting in person!
The shoot went smoothly from then on as the actors took instruction quite well and weren’t afraid to be intimate when we needed them to.
Overall, it was a success and apparently everyone enjoyed my assortment of sandwiches and snacks that I made which was a bonus for the whole event.