Less than a week to go. The sound is mixed (apart from the music) and the pickups are scanned. There is still a lot of FX work to do, but the guys don’t seem too worried about getting it done in time. Tomorrow they have to shoot rope elements to track into some shots of the Swordsman which, to speed up principal photography, we shot without Dante’s Disc.
For me, tomorrow is the start of the on-line with Pogo Films, who are kindly lending me a Quantel suite and an editor or two to grade the pilot. Somehow I have to finish the behind-the-scenes doc this week as well.
I’ve finished cutting the extra material into the pilot. It gives it a whole new lease of life.
With just two weeks to go until Sci-Fi London, it’s become clear that a finished, polished pilot on 35mm with surround sound isn’t going to happen in time. Instead viewers will see a nearly finished pilot with a few FX unfinished and a temporary mix, on HD video. And, of course, a fascinating behind-the-scenes documentary… which I still have to edit. Eek!
The Borderlines screening went well. It was a good turnout for a Wednesday afternoon and several people wished me luck with the project afterwards.
This week just gone saw the frantic activity of the pickups shoot. My tiny flat was crammed full of people on Tuesday and Wednesday – including stalwarts Ian, Col and Jenny and modelmakers Beth and Jonathan – as the ceiling mechanism miniature was completed, a full size girder was refurbished and a small section of airship hull was rebuilt.
On Thursday and Friday we descended on the function room of the Drayton Court pub in West Ealing for the filming. Joined by my fiancee Katie, DP Ollie and behind-the-scenes cameraman Gerard, we embarked on an ambitious schedule of shots which would finally render the pilot scenes complete. On Thursday we filmed the model shots, with Lau and Lou’s superb Swordsman taking centre stage. Shooting upside-down proved to be a major headache. I had turned the monitor upside-down, leading to communications problems as directions like “left a bit” or “higher” actually meant “right a bit” and “lower” for the puppeteers. Nonetheless we got everything I wanted and wrapped at the very reasonable time of 5:30pm.
Friday was more laid back. The day involved setting up first the full size Swordsman, then the full size ceiling mechanism piece, then a few other bits and bobs (including Katie, in Isabelle’s dress) in front of the airship hull piece and the girder. The resemblance to the original set was quite remarkable, though of course we had to keep moving the hull to make sure we weren’t seeing off the edge of it, and everything had to be shot fairly tight. The last few shots were quite hurried, but we didn’t drop anything significant and I was very pleased with what we’d done.