Season 1 Episode 1: Film Shoot

The shoot for Episode One took place in June 2009. It was a very pleasant day but an absolute hellish nightmare for me to even get to. I live in West London and the shoot was about 10 miles away in North-East London – normally a simple journey, but on that very day there was a tube strike. So with all my bags I got on a packed bus, which made me very unpopular. After an hour riding this bus, the driver actually gave up. He parked and got off! By this point I was getting phone calls from the location as everyone else had arrived. I’m sorry to say it took me another hour after being ditched by the bus to find a cab willing to actually do some work and get me to the location. A shoot that was meant to start at 10am, I arrived for at 12 noon – my own shoot! Desperately unprofessional.

I then had to act, so donned my ‘Rain mask’ and got to work. We were able to get general run-throughs of the action quite quickly, which is a testament to Natasha who played Powerstar. She simply worked hard until we’d covered a few angles. It is not an orthodox way to shoot and I simply can’t do it now with the intricacy of our current films, but it is so liberating to to know that you at least have the whole script shot in some form or other. For the second half of the day we moved from wide angles to hand-held shots.

One major problem with actually being part of the action is that you don’t know how much of what you just shot is usable. I really didn’t want to make a film that showed punches missing by a mile, or any gaps of that kind, and unfortunately we shot too much of that which made the edit rather tricky. We have since moved into using a lot more hand-held angles and only using pick-up shots when we really have to, mainly because they lack the energy of a proper run-through. I can’t remember shooting a single pick-up for Episode One… we must have, surely. I am grateful to Simon who edited the work for making sense of all this – it actually did turn out okay, despite being shot in this crazy manner.

I think we were done by 6pm as well, which I simply could not do nowadays because I care too much about what we are putting out. I scraped the make-up off my face as best I could (I had to wear a woolly hat and dark glasses to hide the eye-liner effect it gave me) and went home. I was quite bruised on knees and elbows – you will note in this film that both characters go to ground very, very often. These bruises taught me to at least only do so when really necessary, as falling over onto a stone floor, onto the same knee, for the thirtieth time kinda sucks.┬áIn the next production diary I will talk about the story surrounding Episode One.

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