Notes on pick ups.

Very good summer session on pick ups.  Shot drama sequence.  Lost my metaphorical cherry on shooting sex scene between Zeus and nymph.  Original scene was missing conceptually.   Because I thought of it as just comic sex, in the distance, and only thought about it as Hera’s point of view, something she saw in the distance, it was not directed sufficiently well (also rushed in production) and we had unusable shots of Vitti’s leg shooting up without motivation.  What we needed to do was to think things through narratively.  After all, what is sex but the urtext of drama, especially of the aristotelian sort, with its foreplay and climax and pov’s.  So we broke it down in pre-production, with the help of all the team, including Brendan, and sorted it into actions and shots.  Keith storyboarded it.  We rehearsed it in situ (as Vitti could only make the shoot day) in front of the ferns, and then the shooting was very easy, apart from biting ants, and rain.  We were luxuriously provided time wise, and everyone, including make up, was extremely skilled and helpful and it was good fun apart from the intermittent rain.

The other days shooting were just myself, Keith, Humphry and Emma farting around in Merthyr Mawr with the camera getting the shots to fill the vacant screens for the landscape shots.  This was great fun and we even managed to get to the pub sometimes.   Landscape shooting was both fun and exacting as nature is disobedient – it’s never the weather you want, and never really the landscape, yet everything is wonderfully productive and available if you can only capture it.  A completely different theme of landscape arose, and I was only worried that it wouldn’t make it to the final film and would then be a wasted effort!

We also shot a small section of King Lear in the studio with Roger and Paul acting.  I shot this with my camcorder and was amazed at how easy it was to get a really professional result – a tribute to the quality of the actors!  Set against black, and just paying attention to the words and the situation, they did Lear really proud.

Simon has been cutting the landscapes in, and I’ve been surprised at the pacing he’s been using, and the film-like quality of the results.  The use of the landscape to mirror the emotions of the characters is really successful, but I’m not sure how it affects the pacing.  It has raised the questions again of multi-platform and whether the same cut should be used for a film as for the installation.  Simon thinks it should be the same, and I’m not sure, as I think it might not be contemplative enough for the installation.  Also whether the beginning sets the scene enough.  Nevertheless, technical problems are making the cutting difficult as we can usually only have one go as rendering makes life slow and difficult (see other posting).  Nevertheless, this makes having more test screenings with handouts imperative, and we will continue to need to do this.

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