Research discussion, trauma of a film

Posted by Coral H

We’ve now got one week to the shooting of the film, and I realised that certain issues now affect the film so that they could be seen as “traumatic” events or issues.  They are things beyond the control of the filmmakers which cannot/are not integrated, and which can result in the “death” of the film.  However, the task of the filmmakers is to “Work through” the trauma and come up with solutions.  The two particular ones in this case are a) weather, b) the pond.

 a) Weather.The weather has suddenly and unexpectedly decided to be bad.  After years of global warming and expecting beautiful summers, we might be faced with bad shooting weather.  Interestingly enough, it has taken me about 5 days to acknowledge this as a problem and another day to work it through with the team.  The amount of time it takes to acknowledge a problem is something that I don’t think has been ever posed in research on film-making, and it might be useful to build in a few days “thinking time” into any schedule in order to deal with events out of the ordinary.  The solutions at the moment may be a) to insure the film against rainy weather – we have to find out how expensive this is, b) to put some more of my money into a possible reshoot or pick up sequence in week 3 and enquire about crew and cast, and c) to close our eyes and hope.

b) The Pond.  The pond seems to be the ongoing issue in this production. It’s an intractable piece of what Lacan called “the real”, materiality which evades our consciousness.

What’s emerging (perhaps re-emerging) is that we need the pond to have wide shots and POV shots (with Narcissus in background at pond), and also to have a surround/area, which is wooded or sheltered so that Echo can spy but not be seen.  Whether we have a mixture of compositing, dressable reeds, and something like this, or have to resituate the pond is something that will happen in the next couple of days, but solve it we will…

 However, it raises the research issue of what happens to make locations concrete, and also how decisions get made or even discussions get lost in transit.

It’s also interesting that if we see these issues as being “trauma” related, then the research consequences are that the addressing of them is a matter of group psychology rather than individual, and also that the group will continue to circle around issues, managing to get nearer and nearer the hub of what is the “impossible real” of film-making, but will never overcome filming impossibility, and this may be seen in the end results, and their difference from our intentions.

Anyway enough waffle.

Please feel free to comment.

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