The first thing that happens on Day One is that Gareth Tandy, our dapper and energetic 1st Assistant Director, makes us all introduce ourselves – standing in a circle, surrounding our cast, about to shoot the first set-up of the day. It feels slightly like the start of a group therapy session but it has the desired effect: smiles, some nervous laughter and a tangible sense of excitement.
And then Amit rehearses the set-up, the crew have a run-through, the scene is lit and within 90 minutes we’re shooting our first scene. Not too shabby for Day One. We’re off and running…
More one-to-one introductions are made, we all stare at the camera a bit (so we really are shooting on 35mm film stock) and there’s a debate about what’s going to appear on our clapper-board – we go for the “American Slating System”. Not everyone’s happy but our Editor, Eddie Hamilton, wins the day – well, he does have to live with it for the next five months or so…
Wireless networks are borrowed. Our on-camera food – delicious, fresh and hot – is made in a next-door neighbour’s kitchen. Our sit-down lunch is in the wonderful 1950’s clubroom of the local lawn-bowls association.
Making films on location is always like this: fascinated passers-by, neighbours roped-in and unique places to eat.
On set our cast Amara Karan, Kulvinder Ghir and Harvey Virdi – are sparkling, giggly and inventive. On form and off-book.
The scenes are picked-off and then Roger Pratt, our Cinematographer and Tommy and Chuck Finch, who lead our Electrical Department scuttle up ladders and transform the kitchen from day-to-night in exactly 23 minutes.
At 19:32 Gareth calls wrap. We sing Happy Birthday to our youthful Camera Operator Rob Hart – man-mountain yet immensely dexterous – and eat his cake for him.
Back to the hotel; a few fire-fighting meetings, a quick hello to Editor Eddie , buried beneath his mountain of gear (who said digital editing was smaller and tidier than film?) and then bed.
Day One done.