The night before Christmas Eve I finished laying all the foley, having spent six days almost solidly on it. Inevitably the process spat out a list of sound effects I still need to record, but it’s a list of only ten items, not ten pages like the one I was banging on about this time last year.
I got the best Christmas present ever today: the poster. It’s looooooooooooooovely. I’ll upload it as soon as I can get it scanned.
Aside from that, things have been highly tedious here. Unable to put it off any longer, I’ve been doing the foley. Putting on every footstep and clothing rustle, one by one. I wanted to finish it by Christmas but it’s so mind-numbing I can’t stick at it for long stretches. I’ve got an hour into the movie so far. Anyway, all the spot (sound) effects are in and the Banshee shots are all done. It’s very weird how nearly-finished Soul Searcher is.
The first batch of umbilical cord shots arrived today from David Markwick. Adding them in really brought those scenes to life. I was reminded of Geraint Pounder, whose idea the cords were. A killer idea if there ever was one, and now one that’s on the screen.
I’ve also been working on the Banshee shots. There’s lots of fiddly techie stuff to do but essentially the shots are cut in and they look great. They could not be more Ghostbusters if they tried.
I’m moving to London in four days’ time. I have spent this afternoon repainting the half of my living room that’s been blue ever since we filmed the scenes in Joe’s flat here a year ago. As I was squeezing the last drops out of the paint roller (not a metaphor), the phone rang. It was Scott calling me with the fantastic news that the Worcestershire Symphony Orchestra has confirmed that they will perform the score for us. The 60-strong orchestra first expressed an interest back in the summer, but were only able to commit after seeing the score for the first cue which Scott completed last week.
So the WSO is booked in for February 6th, and on the day before we will record the choir, Colla Voce, also based in Worcester. Colla Voce counts amongst its number Paul Bellamy (General Garrett from The Beacon), Mike Staiger (who also appeared in The Beacon, as well as helping out with the train shoot last month) and AJ (though possibly not any more – I’m a bit confused).
Curiously, I’ve justed looked back at last year’s journals and it’s exactly a year ago today that I posted on Shooting People for a composer.
Jonathan Hayes has a nice little workshop in a Bristol building mainly home to small engineering firms, complete with greasy spoon cafe. On the door is a sketch of a pneumatic sci-fi lady with a laser gun. Inside is a workbench strewn with tools, above which are three pictures of the rabbit from Donnie Darko and one familiar illustration of a screaming Banshee.
The real Banshee had been fitted with Barbie-style hair, so Jonathan’s first task was to whiten the platinum locks. The 30cm-high puppet had two rods protruding from its back via which it could be attached to Jonathan’s chest harness. He would then operate the arms with two smaller rods, whilst his close acquaintance Mr. John Moore walked along behind him operating the head and tail movements. Both puppeteers were dressed in black, complete with executioner-style hoods, and shot against a black backdrop. Colin’s job was to follow them around with a fan, blowing the Banshee’s hair about.
The day passed slowly, with many of the shots requiring alterations or repairs to the puppet. But the results were of the finest quality once the problems had been ironed out.
So what was the last shot? 409 days after Ray uttered the words “And another thirty quid out of my wages,” to a bollard in High Town, what was the final moving image committed to tape in this epic production?
It was an insert shot of the Banshee’s hand grabbing the chain link which hangs on a cord around Ezekiel’s neck. John Moore donned the Soul Searcher’s armour and cloak and since Jonathan’s moulds for the full-scale insert hand had failed the previous day, a quick make-up job was needed to allow the modelmaker’s real hand to be used. Unfortunately, even with conical Finger Mouse extensions and a bit of plasticine, there was no disguising the fact that this was a human hand. Finally we hit upon the idea of employing forced perspective, with the small-scale puppet hand in the extreme foreground and a piece of thread tied to the chain link. With the right timing between myself on the thread and Jonathan on the hand, we were able to make it appear as if the tiny Banshee hand, in the correct scale, had grabbed the link.
Wind Roll And Print. Ladies and gentlemen, that’s a wrap.