Lost in Oblivion (or Beijing) – Introducing the Crew


Gary (Gee) – A feature film by Robert Douglas.

We had a longish day of shooting yesterday. I’d finally decided to hire a pro cameraman (or that’s what I told the actors), Jason is a pro wedding photographer but has never really shot any movie, he’s helped me out with music videos before and his equipment of lenses etc is impressive, he’s also come a long way since the first music video and I think he’s actually getting more impressive as a cameraman although he’s still not sure if he’s shooting a corporate video or a feature film, he keeps asking for what business this is meant to advertise.

The day didn’t start off well as I had semi-fired the main actress, or she kind of fired herself, this being my blog my version of the story is going to be one sided, let’s just say we had conflicts when it came to the schedule and … well I wasn’t paying her anything. So I do realize that keeping hold of my two male leads is something I should be thankful for, but they’re not as demanding, a couple of beers here and there or a game of Fifa on my Xbox and they’ll do the next scene.

Although my main actor is a bit of a primadonna, complaining that if he does do more than 2 days of work per week then he needs at least a week long rest after, seeing as he teaches English twice a week then me adding a shooting day on top of that completely destroys his time-schedule, so at best he can shoot 1 day a week for me, although I admit that sometimes I push him, push him to his limits, it can be scary to see an actor push his boundaries, Christian Bale losing 50kg in The Machinist, Rene “whatshername” adding 10kg in Bridget Jones and Carlos Ottery working on a Wednesday … scary indeed, so I’m constantly in awe of what actors are capable of.

My other lead actor is practically a saint compared to the demands of Mr.Ottery, Chris Loton shows up on time and is even OK about taking long lunch breaks from his regular job of selling Semi Conductors to Nuclear Plants, to act in our movie. Although if you promise him Chicken Parmesan and they deliver a bastardized version of Chicken Kiev in Bolognese then he quickly loses any motivation for his character and becomes increasingly “difficult” to deal with. I’ve learned not to offer Chicken Parmesan on the lunch menu anymore, KFC will do from now on.

Shadow, our make-up and costumes woman didn’t show up yesterday, but she rarely does. She’s showed up twice for the film so far, first for a general meeting and then for an actual shooting day where she turned up about 3 hours late, then she usually sits herself down and starts blogging on her mobile phone. We like having her around it adds a certain dimension to the crew. She says she understands our English but rarely do we understand hers.

Billy the Kid, our runner, best boy or as he likes to say; Line Producer. He’s a man with ambitions and keeps talking about a script that he’s writing, a romantic comedy about a Texas girl working for an orphanage in Chengdu who falls in love with a local tour guide, it’s an OK idea, it’s actually Chris’s idea but now Billy can’t stop talking about it and has actually written a script and believes it to be his idea, I think Chris was just sort of muttering ideas to the beer glass when Billy picked up on this … Billy also wears a radiation suit and a anti-cosmic ray bandana, this is no joke, he’s also a guy who has two compasses on him at all times and believes that reading is bad for you, so audio books is a necessary evil to get wisdom from and Catcher in the Rye was the last book he listened to. He does do the runner job very well though.

At the end of the day though, if you’re crew doesn’t offer you the potential of interesting stories or situations then maybe you don’t really have a real film crew. We’re looking to add to our crew, the more the merrier.

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