Friday, July 31, 2009
I had been talking with one of the actors the night before about a monologue he was preparing for later in the shoot. It occurs when one of the characters loses his mind in the woods. We touched on ideas of enlightenment and the notion coming face to face with the void. The thrill of that instance but also the dread and terror of coming face to face with a Goddess who is ultimately the angel of death. Heavy and cool stuff but hard to get a handle on. The next morning as we drove to the location I was listening to some Brian Jonestown Massacre and a song started that seemed to touch on everything We'd talked about. I gave Anthony my ipod and asked him to spend a little time listening to this very cool psychedelic song 'It's inside you'( think that's the title). It was another one of those interesting coincidences that keep occuring.
Today was the last day on the boat so it was a mad scramble to get everything before Tom, Adi and David sail the Santa Paula back to Sardinia. Yes there was blood, smoke and definitely a lot of sweat as we bashed out some of the frantic scary scenes inside the Persephone. David had done a bunch of experiments with various materials for the hot knife scene. After trying hennah, tobacco and various others, we ended up using a crystalized pine resin, that worked quite well. I had to add this photo of me on the Jesus chair. They shoot a lot of religious movies down here in Tunisia. Looking forward to a break from the sun as we shift into nights on the beach for a couple of days.
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
We had a first day at the beach today to shoot the scenes that required the boat moored in the background. Leaving the the confines of our interior it was a little difficult at first, having to cope with a blowing wind and the wide open space but soon got into the groove. Lots of splashing around in the waves followed by a grim burial. After lunch we headed back to the port to shoot the amputation scene with Abdel Kadir, one of our outstanding Tunisian actors. Shooting night required the windows to be covered which quickly turned the set into a sauna. By the end of the day everyone was soaked but glowing with their own inner radiance, clean pores clear skin, our own little spa. It was another lovely day on set. Thanks to all for making it rock!
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Another day shooting inside the Santa Paul moored at the Port of Cap Zbib. We're loosing the boat on Thursday so the race is on to get everything we need before Tom, Adi and David sail back to start another job in Sardinia. Our plans to build the bedroom set changed midway through the shoot so Henry has managed to squeeze in those shots into the week which has turned out to be the best thing but has meant a faster work schedule in the tight confines of the interior. With the sun and the lights beating down through the skylights it's felt a little like a sauna.
With most of the major boat dialogue scenes out of the way it was a wonderful change to work on the more visual narrative moments and scare beats. The combination of the actors performances and Will's lighting is keeping me in a state of complete euphoria. I managed to get some air as I started to hover a little closer to the monitor on the dock with sound and makeup.
We ended our day with a quick survey or our new beach across from the port. We arrived just as the sun was setting after driving through the bustling little town of Ras Jemel. Everyone heading back from the fields and sea as we ventured out to the desolate stretch of rock and sand. Barren yet very beautiful the view out to the open water is exhilerating. As I walked over the scrubby rock I was reminded of where we had originally planned to shoot the film, up in the rocky and windswept landscape of Georgian Bay. I found myself overwhelmed with the uncanny sense that somehow it was meant to be, yet another example of the everpresent sense of ma sa Allah.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
It's Sunday and I'm having a slow and lazy beginning of my first day off after finishing our first six incredible days of shooting. Looking back at the week it all seems like a dream. In fact at one point when we were filming on the boat I felt like I was in a movie not directing one. Moments after Henry, our assistant Director called lunch one the crew jumped off the boat. Surfacing, we grinned at each other marvelling at the water, the beach, the beautiful lines of the fiberglass hulled 55 foot sailboat, renamed Persophone for the film, bobbing in the azure water. It was such a relief to finally get into the water and escape the scorching Tunisian sun.
One of my dear friends reminded me before the shoot to make sure that in the maelstrom of production I would from time to time, take a moment and try and enjoy the experience. It was good advice and part of that is creating a blog to share some of the images and excitement of the shoot.