Wednesday, 1 August 2012

5 Days to Go... Assisting the Director

Hey Guys!

   Ingmar Bergman once said, "to shoot a film is to ogranise an entire universe" (thankyou BFI for that one!), and that's probably the truest quote I've ever read. Plus Bergman didn't have to do so whilst being forced to stay in bed and rest his back, as I have been doing!
   In the event of trying to organise a universe, you can forgive me for missing out one blog post. Day 6 may have been missed out but we shall crack on with Day 5 of the 12 Days of Ashes. What's particularly great is that today I get to write about one of my new favourite people, Christopher Newman.
Chris shooting my Costume Advert

   Chris, who specialising in Cinematography and Colour Grading, has a 1st Class Degree from Derby University (the swot!) and now works for Light Films Ltd, which is how I met him. We first worked together on Wasteland - in which Chris is the DOP - but didn't really spike up a bond until the second day of the costume advert Light Films shot for me. I was directing Chris to shoot some 'attractive ivy' when a certain incident with dog poo happened (all captured, of course, by my Diary Cam). This was followed by a great deal of inappropriate laughter, and we've had a sort of 'Bromance' ever since.

   Stop/Eject director Neil Oseman recently wrote a blog about the importance of a full crew, particularly how the film would've benefitted from the addition of a 1st Assistant Director. Now, I always seem to make the stupid mistake of Directing films without a separate Producer, and I'd been keen to delegate some of my jobs somewhere, when Chris contacted and told me that he would like to work on Ashes. He didn't say what job he wanted, he just wanted to experience of being there, but I instantly made him my 1st Assistant Director. And now I couldn't imagine having anyone else.

   I could ramble on for ages about all the support Chris has shown me this year, but I'd rather you heard from the man himself about why he's working on Ashes. Because, trust me, I'm not the calmest of directors to be a right-hand man to, particularly during pre-production!

    "There was a number of things that attracted me to being involved with Ashes. When first speaking about the project with Sophie we were working together on Wasteland where we grew a great working relationship and I said I'd love to be involved with any future projects. 

Chris getting stuck in on one of our long scheduling days!

    "Upon finding out more about the story of Ashes my interest grew. The subject matter I feel is something that is often avoided by filmmakers because it is so sensitive and controversial, so I knew that it was something I wanted to be involved in because essentially the film is to raise awareness of the sensitive subject, but also because of Sophie's vision and brilliantly written script. 
 
    "I think that the audience has a real thought provoking and touching film to look forward to, but also something very different in terms of story than a lot of films that are currently being produced independently and in the mainstream. What I'm most looking forward to seeing as an audience member (and also on set) is the style of the film, because not only is the whole style going to be quite dark and haunting, but also beautiful!"

   So now I've introduced you to my 1st AD, which means there aren't many members of my crew left to talk about now. But do tune in tomorrow, because that blog is the one I am most looking forward to releasing. For a start, I'm finally going to announce which camera we'll be using to shoot Ashes. Or should that be cameras...?

   Shooting a film is like trying to organise an entire universe. But here's one thing Bergman forgot to mention. If you're going to even attempt to do that, you'd better not try and do it alone!


Sophie x

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