Lost in Translation – Introducing the Crew II

We’ve shot for the past two days and there’s been some additions to our small crew which was strange enough but has only grown stranger if anything. We added two make up artists to the one we already have in a film that doesn’t use any make up, but who are we to say no to people when they want to help out? So, now we have Shadow, Ting Ting and Ming Ming … Ting Ting and Ming Ming are a boy and a girl (well as far as we can tell), they’re both heavily into make up and could happily spend 5 hours doing make up on a person, sadly we can’t really provide that happiness for them, but they do look pro and wear those designer glasses without any actual glass in them. We’re just a bit worried about what Shadow will think once she discovers that we’ve hired two people to sit around and do nothing with her.

We’ve also hired a born again Christian as a B-Unit cameraman, he’s Belarusian. First off, we don’t need a B-Unit, we don’t even know what that is. Secondly, we hired him because his translator is super hot. Thirdly, his translator moved back to Russia and left him with us and he doesn’t speak a word of either English or Chinese. I’ll give it to him though that he’s very enthusiastic, a bit too much sometimes when he manages to draw the local authorities attention on us by directing traffic around Tiananmen square, something I wasn’t really asking for.  

Most of the times we can’t get all the crew together at the same time, so it’s pot luck who turns up at any given shooting day. Monday we had three make-up artists and two actors, so I took controls of the camera and sound. Tuesday we had two cameramen and a runner turn up, so I could concentrate on make up and costume issues. Directing? Maybe when everybody turns up at the same time, it would be nice.

Highlight of the day was undoubtedly the moment our Belarusian cameraman and our Chinese cameraman decided to have a meaningful conversation about camera equipment. Our Chinese guy speaks limited English, not much at all actually and I’ve often felt like a character in a Woody Allen movie when I’ve been discussing shots with him. The Belarusian guy speaks NO English at all. So the two of them discussing lenses, sensors and light issues … let’s just say the rest of the crew went silent in disbelief before not being able to control the laughter anymore.

But I am thankful for these bunch of misfits being so helpful and making our movie a reality, they’re all doing this without any pay and we all believe that this film is something special. So far, we’ve got:

Jason on camera from China, Grisha on camera from Belarus, Shadow doing costumes and make-up from China, Ting Ting and Ming Ming doing make-up from China, Billy the line-producer/runner/best boy from USA (or an alien planet), Lin our translator, Jonathan our casting agent and of course the actors.
All we need now is a helpful investor … well or a sound guy would also be fine.

One thought on “Lost in Translation – Introducing the Crew II

  1. Hi Robert and thank you for your fantastic blog, which is an inspiration to all of us, not only from a professional film point of view but also spiritually. I for one, wait in anticipation for each new entry, following the intense narrative of this true life story unfold, the obsticles you need to overcome and your ever growing clan of make-up artitst in particular. Please continue blogging, it makes the world a better place. Yours sincerely Arni von Asgeirsson.

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