Last week I was in Poland and I was as busy as hell. With bag of equipment saddled to me, I realised one thing. I need to drive to this country for future shoots. After flying to Berlin, getting the train to the German/Polish border then a walking through the ‘towns’ to the Polish bus station to get a bus to Zielona Gora…you know what, you can see the hassle when carrying camera, accessories, laptop, scripts, the lot. And I barely had any clothes to wear. Not that I needed it, as the weather in Poland was simply stunning!
First things first, the film is to be called Great Brytania. It seemed to coalesce into that direction over the previous week. The title fits, not too long on the mouth, easy for marketing, and easy to write on the slate – oh, this is important!!! The clapper board, where you focus your camera to before clapping it shut…I would love to get a slate, but vanity aside, it is easier for me to write on a piece of paper with a big fat marker pen. Okay, before I get into geek speech, let me garland you with a picture from the set, to explain the clapper board situation…
So it was one hell of a shoot. Six scenes, all outside, all shot in glorious weather. And with a hell of a lot of luck. Half an hour after we wrapped up shooting on Saturday, the heavens opened up! But we got everything, including an appearance by Krzysztof Machalica, a councilor from Zielona Gora whom I met last year at the Quest Europe festival and asked me to come back to shoot a movie in his town. Little did he realise I already had a plan to do so and his prompting gave me a little nudge in the right direction.
But the main actress I was shooting was Marzena Więcek. You have already seen her on the posters and since last year, I have been in discussions with her, so that she could play one of the leading roles in Great Brytania. It was a hell of a lot of fun to shoot with her, but really tricky too. Having to communicate with my terrible English and non-existent Polish, but I got a great performance from her, and I am looking forward to shooting the remaining scenes this year and next. Also, with my small crew, we got through the shoot. Luckily, it was not to difficult. In fact, I will be blunt, shooting was a breeze. Compared to Irfan or Caution Wet Paint, my two previous projects, this was an easy day’s shooting. I think a combination of experience, knowing exactly what I wanted, plus an incredibly busy April where I was planning the hell out of this film, meant that when the moment of shooting came, everything fell into place!
So what have I done on my return to the UK. ‘Simple’.
Upload all the footage onto my computer, and most importantly, back it up.
Secondly, get my continuity notes done. All these external scenes will slot in with the internal shots to be filmed in the Autumn. And that means, getting them noted now, while still fresh in the memory.
Thirdly, realise that I have run out of hard drive space. Oh yes, another expense is upcoming. But for now, I have rationalised my hard drives, so I can run the whole of Great Brytania off one system. It will make life easier for me, for now. Sounds geeky, but trust me, this ground work is essential to getting the-
Fourthly, editing. Oh yes, it is time to cut a little teaser trailer together…