Thursday, 30 April 2009

Splendid: Pilot - Production Diary Part 4.

Abstract & Contemporary Dancer

Our second day at the farm, and another glorious day of sunshine and smiles.
We kicked off straight away with Piers Beckley's wonderful 'Abstract', a very different sketch for Splendid, but still very much Splendid in tone and feel. i had given this one a lot of thought as to how to shoot it, and was excited to unleash my ideas.
The script called for the sketch to take place in a number of locations, and we moved from sector to sector with the ease of a well-oiled machine. It all felt very right at this moment, with members of cast and crew relaxed and happy. I can't recall seeing a film unit looking more chilled.
By the time we reached the final sectors of filming, I was ready to unleash my visual ideas. The only thing stopping us now were the field of horses who took a great interest in what we were doing.

And then the madness began.
(as demonstrated by Read Donovan)
It felt good to be throwing ideas around, and they were coming from all directions too. one of the best visual ideas came from Dill, and it's a cracker!

The second part of the day mostly involved sheep. Errant sheep, at that.

I have never worked with such a difficult group of individuals before on my life!
I will always cherish the sight of the crew running around a large field trying to herd a flock of sheep for our sketch 'Contemporary Dancer'.
It was also time to unleash the infamous 'plane on a stick'. Our normally uber-professional and stoical focus-puller gave a visible giggle, I swear!

'Contemporary Dancer' is without doubt our sure-fire giggle-inducer.

Whilst all this was happening, unbeknown to the rest of the cast and crew, I had a phone call about the set for Day 5. We had some big problems. Jamie, our gallant art designer, had been working hard on our cockpit set and it wasn't ready, through no fault of his own. He had worked very hard all day and it was clearly going to take more than one person to put it all together. Somehow, we still managed to make a joke about it, even though my heart was sinking at the prospect of one of the best sketches being compromised.

Producer Johnny (Caution) and I sat, as the crew ran around the field chasing sheep, and figured out what to do...

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