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Sunday, 18 November 2012

The haunted cludge

College references. Wish I could actually find the video that I'm referring to, but I can't.

Basically, 'The Haunted Cludge' was a short film Ryan (our sound lecturer) starred in. I think it might have been called 'The Curse of the Haunted Cludge'... either way, it's about a haunted toilet.

I bring this up only because guess where one of our shooting locations was this week?

Here, have a terrifying hint.

We were filming in the male toilets. Awkward due to the fact that half of our team were female. 

It was a directing exercise where you had to introduce a character in ten shots, using no dialogue. I decided to introduce a character that suffers from OCD, so we grabbed Dougal as the lead, Joanna as production assistant and Ryan as walk-in cameo and headed to the toilets.
RYAN: What happens if someone walks in? The camera's right there *points to urinal*
ME: "Hey there, can we film you peeing for our documentary?"
RYAN: "I think we'll need macro over here..."
We solved this problem... by putting a badly drawn "FILMING IN PROGRESS" sign on the door. 

It was a "There, I fixed it" sort of 

It took longer than I expected it to, but I was happier with the outcome of the shots than I expected to, so it worked out.

The urinals randomly started spurting out water whilst we were in there.
ME: WAH! *jumps and stares at urinals like a terrified meerkat*
RYAN: That happens. It's because we're too lazy to flush.
First automatic taps, now automatic flushes... 
what's next? Machines that will pee for you?

Weirdest moment of the shoot definitely came when Ryan and Dougal disappeared into a cubicle together. Twenty seconds and a shaky door later, the cubicle door swung open to show Dougal lying across Ryan's lap.

Queue gay magician.

We then headed to the TV studio and filmed Dougal's ten shot exercise, which was focused on an agoraphobic character, played by Ryan. He's got one hell of a shot of a door opening, bathing Ryan's character in light, by slowly opening the barn doors of a light. 

I was light switchee person/production assistant (i.e. bitch girl) so I had to run into the room with the switches (really should find out that room's name... and stop using so much parenthesis) and turn up the appropriate lights. Sara was watching my shots back on the screen, and had called in Kevin to see if the XD cams had a problem in low light. 

They don't think they do.

Then, Sara said something really lovely:

SARA: This is some of the best work I've seen all year.
I just smile because really, what the hell are you meant to do when someone gives you a compliment like that? Kevin nudges me a couple of times, making noises whilst doing so. Dougal then strolls in, turns up the lights he needed in the first place and walks out. Mood killer.
KEVIN: *watching Dougal on screen* Oh, look at that brooding!
ME: He's got Advanced Higher Drama.
KEVIN: Is that something he shouts out often?
ME: *pauses to think for a second* Yes.
Dougal hadn't came up with a story, let alone a storyboard, so every shot was improvised. After his fifth shot, he was a bit lost.

That's when he thought back to Joanna's story of her getting slapped by someone at her work, and he had a lightbulb.
DOUGAL: Right, I want you to go over to Ryan, and offer him your hand. Then I want to you to help him up, pause, and then slap him.
JOANNA: Actually slap him?
She wasn't loving the idea, but she went with it.

No, really, she went with it.

I'm standing off to the side whilst Joanna walks over to Ryan, helps him up and... WHACK. Slaps him so hard he flies into the wall. 
DOUGAL: You're going to hate me but... we need to do that again.
Three takes. It took three takes of slapping, full on slapping, to get it right.


Joanna commented that she's got large hands, so I Tarzaned her.

Not that I'm calling one of us a 
dreadlocked man-ape or anything.

Her finger-tips were about an inch away from mine.
RYAN: *Also Tarzaning her* I've just been slapped by shovels.
We popped on a couple of songs on the speakers after that. Paramore songs ('Ignorance', 'Hallelujah', 'Brick By Boring Brick' and 'Misguided Ghosts' to be exact) were the first call of business. 

I, of course, started air drumming. And literally jumped for joy when 'Brick By Boring Brick' came on... and warned everyone that I might cry when 'Misguided Ghosts' started playing.

Emotional fan-girl alert.

Dougal then plugged his iPod in and started playing something:
DOUGAL: This is an appropriate song right now...

RYAN: You bastard!
Most of the shots following the slap just shows Ryan clutching his face, hurt. 

Bless him.

Lauren xxx

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