Day Twenty One

Posted: 2020-06-09 12:00:00


9th June

The very last day of filming. 3 weeks of graft and we are ready to move on. Today is the day we can officially say that we are ‘wrapped’ and pat ourselves and the cast on the backs and sit back and have a nice cup of tea before getting into the editing suite in Tristan's bedroom. 

It’s all 'in the can'. Actors can return to their less than normal normal lives. At the end of the final scene just before lunch Charlotte sent an excitable looking message replete with full capitalisation- we have WRAPPED with the caveat of (fingers crossed)

So, all was well. You can see the schedule attached and above which shows that all was set fair for our finish after some 3 weeks work at 12:45…

Then Tristan sent a take of Act 1 scene 5 which is the first big group scene set back in 1910. And it struck us immediately that the audio levels were not great, in fact really not great. Actually they were really bloody awful. Nobodies fault- just one of the vagaries of this way of working- without a full time sound team on site with the actors we cannot work out the uniformity of levels until clips are uploaded and edited together into a scene. Everyone has a different home sound environment, some have seagulls outside windows (Malcolm in Brighton), some have rowdy Liverpool supporting excitable young people (Liam in Liverpool) and lots have traffic outside their windows (Tom, Tim, Sam). Some things we simply cannot control and we have to make the best of it. Actor audio levels need however to be approximately the same.

Dom our sound designer has been worrying increasingly loudly over the last few days- but we had been hoping it was salvageable. It looked great- the scene... it sounded dreadful. Some actors sound very happy in a perfectly clean environment, crisp and clear and some actors sounded like they were less happy swimming perhaps under the Blackwell Tunnel. 

As the 5 minute scene spun around I sank deeper into my chair- the heady feeling of relief that we had done with the filming was replaced by the obvious need for a fairly major re-shoot. Dom went back to work. There are over 650 takes to comb through (and mounting).

An hour or so later we had a list that was pretty lengthy of scenes we needed to re-shoot. It was really quite long. Over half the scenes in the play in fact. Hearts stopped and then sank like the Titanic.

But look- re-shoots in this world of film and TV are commonplace. It happens. Charlotte throwing lovely shades of white and grey re-worked a schedule over the later part of the evening, contacted the actors (who were as delighted as you could expect- but all very gracious given the circumstances) and I rearranged hire returns with Sam who was hoping to be passing back all the filming kit over the next few days. The milk had been spilt and tears would not be helpful.

So the end result is at least two more days of shooting. Which given the circumstances could have been worse. A hiccough not a cough. We hope. 

This headline news did rather gloss over Charlotte’s work reinventing the ‘red room’ love scene in Act 1 which occupied the morning along with finishing the work to Act 1 scene 7 when Stephen and Isabelle cross paths in the town centre of Amiens. Today will just have to go down as one of our more challenging moments. It could have been so much worse.

2 more days.