Sorry this is late but as you will read we had a late night last night…again! Over to Harry for today (yesterday’s) installment…
The last time I wrote about the film, we were about to take a solitary day off from the shoot. Any fears about momentum being lost and it taking some time to get back up to the pace at which finished last week were allayed. The transfer window has now closed, and a 1st AC and a runner have been replaced (it was scheduled and not acrimonious!) – missed, but the adjustment seems to have to been managed valiantly, and the two new members have acclimatised at the required pace. There has been no limbering up since returning to the house – we’ve gone from standing still to full speed, and so far without any major disasters. If the pressure of the impending finishing line which I alluded to in my last blog is exerting itself on the cast and crew, the results are not manifesting themselves in an obvious way. Some of the most intense and emotionally demanding scenes – including the film’s climax – have been completed in the past few days, but all members of the ensemble have continued to pull together with admirable diligence and calmness. Our protagonist has yet appeared impervious to stress, which is beginning to alarm me. However, he is not out of the woods yet! Tonight we must wait for the sun to go down before executing some pivotal external scenes, which cuts down on downtime for everyone.
So, two more days. What will the frenzied final furlong hold in store? Tomorrow promises to serve up the greatest challenge for the make-up and art departments, and indeed for the whole crew – I cannot give anything specific away, but suffice to say there will be fake blood by the bucketful, tears and tears. Then Saturday has been set aside for the biggest external scene. We are all keeping our fingers crossed for a clement weather forecast, as there is no room on this shoot for second chances. Then there are pick-ups. Endless pick-ups. And all this is of course prior to the small matter of post-production. From the killing floor to the cutting floor.
Away from my current daytime identity of rebel without a clue, fulfilling the role of filling rolls, and returning to my perspective as the composer, I can feel what was a barely perceptible nugget of anxiety – when I first arrived on set – snowball in my stomach, shifting inversely to the creeping sense of relief and elation experienced by the majority my colleagues. Parts of the script that I and the writer/director thought were obvious markers for particular musical pieces have to be viewed again afresh, because nothing is obvious anymore. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about the gap between script and movie, and the magic that occurs in between. I began writing a soundtrack to a script, and must resume after that script has mutated and become a film. The slate has been cleaned completely, in order to be sullied once again with the most chilling and repugnant of soundscapes. The greater the quantity and quality of footage, the higher the pressure to provide a soundtrack to match it. Already, I can tell it is going to have to have to go above and beyond what I have written before. But that’s a good thing, right? I think both film viewers and makers will agree that a horror film can be made or broken by it’s soundtrack , and I would rather fail trying to do something terrific than submit something mediocre.
It is 7:50 p.m., and we are 11 hours into today’s shoot. In spite of this, as I leave the set our lead actor has just summoned his most arresting scene, and the crew are constructing ever more innovative means of building and adapting materials to make sure each shot is as good as it can be in the time given. Impressive…as always.
There has been blood, sweat and tears, and there will be more. Thanks for reading this and supporting us.