Overtime, heartbreaks and experience will teach you that resilence and determination is the only thing you can count on. For everything and any development that happens, get prepared to be as flexible as possible without compromising the end goal.
As always, as the day of production comes close, the director has literally watched the whole clip in his head from start to finish; What is to be done — or said, how the cast are to interact, the things to avoid, facial expression etc. He is the ultimate time traveller who has seen it all and is saddled with the responsibility to put everyone in place to execute (or rather, fulfill destiny).
Over half of the time, it’s always almost never the case. This will always happen.
During the shooting of THE DEVILS WORKSHOP, it happened as well. It only took the thick skin grown over the years to embrace such shock and devise means to get a way around it. And it wasn’t half bad.
From the stage of story conception, the female lady cast was to wear a wedding gown. Why? Cos of the contrast that could be. Why exactly would a lady in a wedding gown look so scuffled at an abandoned factory/garage. We felt it will add some element of interest to anyone watching.
The challenge were finding a the gown to wear (the cheapest we got was about 10K; we didn’t want to rent cos of the potential to actually tear and stain obtrusively) , getting the space (considering the whole challenge we faced to locate the perfect spot, we begin to wonder how comfortable our cast was going to be) & timeline (it was eating deep into pre-production planning).
At the end of the day, we improvised and tweak the story to something else that still stayed true to the story — but thinking about it now, the wedding gown would still have been cool
This could easily have been number one.
Call time was 1pm. As at 3pm, literally everyone was around (surprised? naa … welcome to this part of the world) — apart from Mr G. He wasn’t even responding on the group chat we had created to give everyone updates.
At 4pm-issh… He eventually calls and informs that he was at the hospital on admission. Two hours later, he confirms he couldn’t make it.
He was playing a very crucial role.
At that time, I couldn’t bring myself to make any panic call. The role was meant to be one that was intimidating and if anything, Mr G’s demeanor and body frame inspired the role. Any makeshifts needed to be good.
Everyone was already ready and based on the dual-location plot of the story, the logistics of movement alone was enough headache. What will be done now?
EASY! … Get me his costume (another unusual but fantastic thing I had done — making provision for everyones wardrobe) and I wore it. That call was like a glove.
I had control over the wardrobe
I had control over the cast
I had control over when to shoot as well — as the intro scene was done 2 days after we had shot everything.
After some 20 mins drive from our camping location to the factory and spent another one hour prepping the location for the shoot as well, the cast were summoned to get prepped and assume position. Everything was looking in place but from my vision of what it should be, something was missing. Alas! … there was no blood.
I scampling around, looking for which of the satchels held the props, I gave up searching. I must have left it behind while we were leaving camp.
No need crying over spilt milk. The scene might look imperfect but there was no point fretting about our plan B.
After about 5 hours of shooting and we were done, we packed everything and got set to go back to camp. The car was loaded and I simply lifted a section of the car … our faux-blood was chilling right there.
It was barely 9am of shoot day, the MUA — plan A called to explain that she wont be available. Oh well … good thing we thought of plan B.
Plan B beeped as well and mentions she can only be around for a few hours. WHAT!!!
Based on how we planned to shoot, we needed (any of) them to help touch up the lead females face for the night shoot and the morning shoot for the next day. The script demanded that the shoot for the next day have her looking like she was heading out to a function.
Oh well … whats to be done? The lead character was the only female on set. It was equally awkward to ask if she could do her own makeup — sorta.
What we did? Easy!
Tweak the story and have her look like she was from the bathroom.
NOTE TO SELF
Nothing beats having a wonderful set of brilliant minds open to changes at any instance. It’s more important to be open to changes and adapt quickly.