Archives for category: progress

So we've been a way for a while… The summer and then some. It's now truly autumn, or that's what the trees in Dumfries are telling me. Anyhow, what's happening with the film? Well, I've just finished editing it, so here a few thoughts…

Having done all the prep work for A Responsible Girl (henceforth ARG, because I'm lazy) we managed to shoot pretty much exactly the script… Every shot I'd wanted and a few extra for good measure. Fabulous, one would think, all you need to do is put your shots in order as planned and hey presto, there's your film… Arghhh, help, god, no!!! Doing this would entirely miss the creative point of editing.

Of course this is true, I've lost count of the times I've heard “we made it in the edit” or somesuch equivalent, but what does this mean? Over the last couple of films I've worked on I've come round to the idea (not sure if it's original) that: Scriptwriting is writing what you want to shoot and editing is writing what you want to see. The fact that you are making one out of the other is the only “causal” part of this relationship, everything else is contingent and based on the ideas of the creative team involved.

Let me abuse an anolgy by way of explanation. There's an apocryphal story that when Michaelagelo was asked how he created his statue of David, he replied: “simple, I found a block of marble and cut away everything that didn't look like a David.” This is an interesting way to think about works of art for many reasons, but I'm bringing it up here is that I think of the writing and production as creating the block of marble and editing as the cutting away.

 

Just finished another draft of the script after a few day’s improv work. If you’ve read this and the previous one, please let me know what you think.

WOS Improv draft 4

Angelique, Jen and I went down to the Designer Jumble Sale to look for costume for Jen’s character Rosemary. We need two dresses, the first that she wants to wear, the second that her mother lets her wear…

Jen got to try on a lot of dresses.

Honestly, it was serious work.

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Ladies and Gentlemen, I proud to announce that we have our two leading actresses.

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Jen Nelson will be playing the part of Rosemary.

 

Tilly

Tilly Edwards will be playing the part of Mrs. Speers.

 

And here’s a shot of the two of them in rehearsal:

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Phew! It’s been three full days of casting and I’m on to the last day of seeing new people. And it is hard work. We’ve had some wonderful actresses, in fact not one bad one and they’ve all responded well to the exercise we’ve been doing.

Each actress has come with their own monologue which they’ve prepared, and with each of them I’ve gone through the same process.

First time, they do it their own way. This isn’t particularly relevant to their abilities with improvisation, but it does help me have an idea about where their natural talents lie.

Second time, I ask them to do one that is as flat as possible, with the least amount of emotion or “acting”. This is so that I have something of a blank slate for us to start with, so I can just hear the words by themselves. This is actually quite hard as the emotions carry the words and without the emotions, the words can get lost.

Once we’ve done this, we start to play with the scene. This can often start with examining who the actress is speaking to, but also can be what has happened just before the monologue started or where it is taking place. If this seems to work, we try and refine it further, if it doesn’t we try something else.

It’s fun for me, as I get to flex my directing muscles again, but being in an open and aware frame of mind for so many of these different scenes is quite exhausting. Especially as I am trying to treat each text as a section on it’s own, divorced from the work that it is from and the intentions of the writer and just see what the actress and I can do with the words we have in front of us.

Tomorrow we are going to get pairs of actresses in, Mother and Daughter, and do some actual improvisation work… which’ll be exciting.

We’ve worked out a rough schedule for how we are going to make this film work.

Looks like I’ve got a busy few months ahead, with time off to promote The Fold at Cannes.

Schedule