It took far longer than it really should have done to shoot all of the storyboard photos and lay them out with notes and arrows, and the name of Bill Gates was cursed more than once in the process. (I foolishly used Word to lay them out.)
There are a total of 57 set-ups, which over the three day shoot I’m planning seems quite leisurely compared with my previous films, but I’ve no doubt it will prove tough with the puppet to wrangle. Most of the Swordsman’s angles require the puppeteers to be below the level of his waist so as to be framed out – a configuration that we’ve barely tested as yet.
There is the issue of the ceiling mechanism still to solve too – the cogs and gears and pulleys which supposedly operate the Swordsman. I’m investigating both a full-size in-camera solution, and a stop motion miniature solution.
AJ and I finished off the choreography today. I had built a tenth scale model of the set – those of you who haven’t seen any of the videomatics can only guess at the staggering quality of this model – so we used that to block out the action, rather than exerting ourselves with sticks as before. We came up with some pretty good gags (not the “ha ha” kind).
The main reason for building the model is to shoot photo-boards, i.e. photographed storyboards. With the fight choreography now fixed, I can be far more specific in my shot decisions than when the original videomatic was filmed at Christmas 2006.
Meanwhile, I’m talking to casting directors. Gradually, the snowball starts to, er, snowball.
I’ve been pretty busy the last month or so, moving house and travelling all over the place. It’s amazing how slow filmmaking can be. I once met a man who took eleven years to make a feature, and I’m beginning to see how I might break his record.
Earlier this week AJ and I got together to lock down the sword choreography for the first sequence of the pilot. It was just the two of us, so I had to “fight” him with a metal stick. I needed to get it on camera because neither of us knows the terminology or notation to write the moves down.
Soul Searcher‘s doing well in the States. Loose Cannon seem to have given it a pretty good push. And it’s been picked up for distribution in Indonesia too. I can’t wait to watch a dubbed version of it some day. I shall be very amused.