I took Sunday off, which frankly I deserved, then got straight back to the phone calls on Monday morning. My last journal entry on The Beacon prior to the shoot mentions that I’d hoped to have everything sorted before production began, but that just hadn’t happened. The difference this time is that I won’t have to sort the outstanding stuff myself in between directing the scenes (yes, that’s what happened last time), but it still would have been nice to get to the end of this week knowing that everything is in place. (Next week I’m out of the equation, being booked on a corporate job.)
Our main task over the last couple of days has been to try and get final confirmation for the three big locations. The results have been mixed. A certain location (which shall remain nameless) wanted to charge us UKP1,000 a night for filming. Thanks, but no thanks.
The rest of the locations are pretty much sorted. After spending ages trying to work out where to do the scene in Joe’s bedroom, I finally realised that my living room has exactly the right layout for the shots I want. So our art director can look forward to shifting my furniture around and painting my walls blue. Sorry!
Yesterday James and I had to go see the police. We explained what we were going to be doing and they were fine with it, once they realised we weren’t going to be closing any roads. After that we went to the B&B where James was planning to put up the actors. It was only later that evening that we both realised that B&B owners are notoriously strict about what time of night their customers come in at night (I’ve had problems coming back from a shoot to a B&B at 11pm, let alone 3am), and of course they’re hardly likely to serve breakfast at the times our actors are going to want it. I suggested renting a house for six weeks. James adopts Geordie accent.. “Day 21 in the Soul Searcher house. The Grim Reaper has spilt a pint of milk…”
This morning we both got up at 7am and went to check out the sunrise on Ledbury Road. There wasn’t much of one, due to the cloud cover, but we were able to make sure that the sun would be in the right place for the scene anyway. Later I went to the chained library to work out how to condense a day’s shooting into two hours (they want UKP70 an hour to film there).
This afternoon I had to make yet more phone calls to the council. Helpful as they are, dealing with them is much like investigating a Russian Doll. Every person you speak to gives you three more people you need to talk to, and so on. As yet I have no evidence that this progression isn’t infinite.