Monday, June 12, 2006

The day of the shoot

which title implies we shot the movie[^] in one day. We wished!

The original producers of the movie were Heino, Robin and myself. But as the first shoot approached Robin got cold feet. To this day neither Heino or I really know why and, though we've speculated, I don't think this is the appropriate place to retail those speculations. Robin is, after all, still a friend.

So we asked Garry if he was interested in expanding his role from mere actor to producer. He jumped at the offer. This was a good thing because he brought fresh enthusiasm to a project already six months into the planning.

Six months might not sound like a long time but if you consider that this was a labour of love done in spare time whilst maintaining family committments we might not be blamed for feeling a trifle tired at times.

Indeed, when Robin pulled out we might have abandoned it entirely but for the fact that we'd lined up the entire cast and crew and there was a lot of enthusiasm out there amongst our friends. It seemed hardly the right thing to just walk away and leave all that enthusiasm without an outlet.

So on Saturday, September 8 1990 we arrived at the Williamstown Railway Museum[^] for day one.

The casting call was for 8AM which meant we had to be there at 7AM after loading the equipment from the bank[^] into the car at 6AM.

Even though Robin had pulled out as producer he was still around as an actor and general factotum. He found his niche on that first morning, arriving with us at the museum at 7AM and offering to go fetch doughnuts. We were quite agreeable to that suggestion; we had no budget to feed cast and crew and they were expected to pay for their own grub; if he was offering we'd quite happily eat his doughnuts!

I really don't remember the first scene we shot. It may have been a running shot using a steadicam[^]; I know we did a couple of scenes that day using it. If I remember rightly we borrowed that particular equipment, via a friend who worked there, from Channel Nine.

A little later we had a scene with me and Dave, as Scarless and Festering Wound. We ran into shot, paused, looked into the distance and Dave said 'what's that Scarless?'. I was supposed to reply that it was our quarry. We rehearsed it a couple of times to be sure we hit our marks and to be sure the cameraman (Heino) and the soundman were coordinated. The soundman had a large mic in a windsleeve which he laid almost on the ground, pointed up at us to catch our immortal words.

Heino was happy after the second or third rehearsal and it came time for a take. He called action, Dave and I ran into shot and Dave said, 'what's that Scarless?'. 'Looks like a dick to me' I replied, pointing at the mike. The amateur half of the cast and crew, those who didn't work in the industry laughed. The professional half of the cast and crew rolled their eyes with a look of exasperated disgust and suddenly, for me, this stopped being a game and became a serious attempt at making a real movie.

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