Shoot part 4: The forest

4th May was our prep day for scene 10 (the main action in the forest). We intended to set up the bed, practice the practical effects and get a good idea of the blocking. This day was stressful for a number of factors, including constant rain meaning we had to do our tests indoors and Emma struggling with her mental health. From our rough blocking tests, we realised that the scene needed quite a lot of reworking. We always knew this scene would be challenging as the black goo would have to be reset several times for coverage. There was a conflict between these logistic considerations, keeping continuity, and making sure we got all the shots we wanted creatively. In the end, I had to stay up late making a new shotlist, schedule and script tramlines. We will have to be very focused and stick to the plan as much as possible for the shoot tomorrow. In some ways though, the prep day was a success as we had a chance to test the generator and HMI light and Kaitlyn had good results in her test of the practical effects (black goo oozing from the bed). This day was stressful and I don’t think anyone took photos.

Reworked shotlist for Day 4.

5th of May was our final shoot day and – given the stress of the previous day – I think it went surprisingly well! We were able to stick to the shotlist much more than previous days and I think the extra last-minute planning definitely paid off. There was some snow and hail but enough dry spells to get everything. Because of the disjointed shooting schedule, I am a little worried about having enough coverage in the edit but the schedule didn’t really have any slack to add in extra shots. We also got some shots of Valerie walking through the forest to link the scenes together. I’m also unhappy about the bed being squint in the wide shot – we should have tested the setup in the location or scouted other locations but it’s not disastrous.

If the party hats need an explanation, Kat and some other members of the crew arranged a surprise birthday celebration for me over our lunch break which was so lovely!

Overall, it’s been a stressful shoot but our preparation has made it go much more smoothly than I was worried it might have! It’s been great having such a supportive and professional crew around us to help realise some quite ambitious setups.

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