Friday, April 14, 2006

Notes from the Cinematographer

The title is a pun on Bresson's book, Notes on the Cinematographer. He noted down various thoughts over the years, aphoristically, and it was first published in French in 1975. I had a copy of the English first edition from 1977, but lent it to someone I was involved with and never got it back when we stopped seeing each other. (Moral: Never lend books. Especially to someone you're going out with.)

Anyway, here's food for thought: 'Rid myself of accumulated errors and untruths. Get to know my resources, make sure of them.' And that's just the opening entry. It's something I will need to keep in mind, as the last few weeks have been a bit stressful to say the least.

We're trying at the moment to whittle down the hundreds of potential Cleos (the female lead) who answered the PCR ad to a short list of around 15 to audition in London at the end of the month. I also have to go and pick up the camera, probably next week, in order to start shooting tests. I've decided to go for the Sony A1 in the end, not the Z1. Some of the most important scenes in the film are set in cars, so the smaller A1 is more suitable for that.

Another major factor in choosing the A1 over the Z1 is that it's only half the price of the Z1, something that has been weighing on my mind a lot, as I have decided to use money I had inherited to pay for it, rather than get a loan. Big trauma, as I hate to see all that money leave my account, but on the other hand, I think if I take the plunge and put my own money into the film, it's a sign of total commitment that the Universe can't ignore, and hopefully will help us make a good film. It will also hopefully attract investors. If they can see that I'm serious about the film and willing to put my money where my mouth is, that hopefully will be enough of a guarantee that we are serious about making the film, and serious about making it work.

Well, it's either a sign of that, or insanity, or desperation, and they're not things I think Bresson made notes about. I'd better check Notes again...

Monday, April 03, 2006

Start Date Set, Casting Begins

Since my last post (not the piece of music I hasten to add!), my male lead Adam Napier has returned to Old Blighty after touring abroad. We have had several phone conversations about Folie, and have decided that the earliest we can start shooting would be the week of 12 June, so that is now our official start date. Until it gets put back, which is always possible, but hopefully we'll stick to it, as without a start date, we'd face the almost inevitable danger of the film regressing into the future and never being made at all.

Today an ad went into PCR for the female lead, Cleo, so I am now just waiting for the postman to start taking my name in vain as he will no doubt have to deliver sacks of mail every day for the next week or so, and I'm at the top of four flights of stairs.

Once the part is cast, we'll start rehearsing, probably around the beginning of May. Adam's doing a play at the White Bear in the second half of May, so we plan to take a break and then come back to Folie once he's finished.

I must admit, when Adam first called me to tell me he was back, the realisation that it's 'now or never' with Folie suddenly hit me, and I have to confess to repairing to an alehouse to steady my nerves. I guess this is natural, as making a feature - even one with no budget - is still an exhausting, but exciting journey. 'Once more unto the breech' I think is the expression...