A couple of mistakes I made on the second days of shooting: I chose to shoot Fay for the silhouette sunrise then I was rushing Gerard on his shots and we missed the light. The shots with him were complete unusable. The folding paper shots looked grotty and the last shot of the film had a dreadful background. I decided to go back to Coogee beach for another shoot. The crew were only Ben, Joy, Elham and Stilgherrian and it was only for Gerard so that I could concentrate on him. The call was half an hour earlier since we hit spring time.
The plan was to keep Gerard slow and keep him looking at the camera. I finally got the shot I wanted with sunrise on him.
I had a telephone conversation with Ann, Gerard mother, yesterday and found out that he were not doing so good at folding a paper boat. I gave them copies of origami boat diagram on the rehearsal day. The issue was anticipated then. I decided to help them out with an instructional video and some guidelines on a piece of paper. Otherwise the jump cut in opening sequence is going to be very interesting to edit.
It was another big day before the shooting with the actors: Gerard, Fay and Helen. They got the role of Daniel, Betty and Chrissie respectively. I spread the time of arrival to get a chance to time sometime with Gerard and Fay alone with myself to talk about the character.
Gerard is a very smart man and deserves his award from Tropfest. He got to my house on time at 10 am. We had a chat. I was worried about his speech but it went fine with his breathe technique. And we used a tape recorder to help him with the speech as he had it in his last film. I had poke him all the time that he is in a different film. However, There were some issues emerged. The first one was it took time for him to learn how to fold an origami boat and the outcome would be as neat as I imagined. I might have to slice edit as jump cut. Another one we found that it was hard for him to portray a complex character. Especially the laundry room scene which had two beats. He could be too angry without a dramatic arch. I will have to work on him on location.
Fay arrived when we were having lunch. I cooked Thai marinated roast beef as a treat. It’s Sunday after all. She was amazing with her method techniques. She took my direction very well and gave me a goosebum when we rehearsed the laundry scene. We talked about each scene she had to perform by herself until Helen joined us at 4 pm.
Helen also auditioned for Betty role but I found her look was too young. I offer Chrissie part becsause she had a caring touch in her. They got along fine with the kitchen scene.
Over all, it was a great day. Thank you Joy for coming along for the rehearsal I was very happy with result and the lunch I made. I still have to work on Gerard but I believe he will be good at it.
The major task during the semester break is to find the right actors to play the main character. Joy and I decided to have a joint casting because one of our characters, the mother, shared pretty much the same profile. Let alone our scripts were similar too.
Mainly we posted the cast call through StarNow and Quiet on Set and I had some help from Allison Richardson for my special requirement. The response the call was very interesting when Joy’s rebellious teenage girl applications bombarded Joy and only handful applied for the mother role (especially I disclosed that my character had a nude scene) whereas I could get only 3 persons to come in for the audition for the son.
There was a bit of a stress when I had to revise the script for escalating more tension in the story and it had be done and sent for the casting. But as I always say deadline creates works.
We spent two days for the casting and the turn up rate was about 80 per cent. It seemed to me I really did not have too many choices but it was like you found someone that just clicked to the role. And they did. However, we chose the shortlists and presented them to our lecture when the break is over. So it was unfortunately for them to play a waiting game for the next several weeks.