They may not have been ready, but away we went shooting the first of our five short films. Nothing came easy today as we struggled to keep an overly optimistic schedule, trying to set both the pace and standard for the days ahead. A bustling market, a popular restaurant and patient mechanic shop all added to the exhaustion and eventual relief of wrapping day one of production.
The disadvantage of being first into the flame was obvious in everyone’s lack of preparation. Key decisions hadn’t been made, permissions were being finalized at the last minute and lines were being learned on the fly. That said, we shot the final scene first and it was clear from the start that our main actors were going to be serious and convincing. I’m happy to say they are also students in the class.
To make a demanding day even more complicated, the director ambitiously borrowed a jib and dolly track from one of her producer friends. While the initiative was great in theory, the reality of using the delicate equipment with our short timetable proved almost impossible. We did, however, manage to retrofit the jib to accomplish one shot that, while not perfect, I think will turn out to be usable and worthwhile.
By the end of the day, the “joke” was that apparently we were all observing Ramadan, like two of our students on the team. As the sun fell, the night was the first objective sign that yes, we had gone too long without lunch. Now it’s a short rest and recovery – hopefully a full six hours sleep – before the whole thing plays out again tomorrow.