After a late start, the Summer of 2013 has turned out to be a hotbed of creativity, both in terms of the unbroken sunshine and the continuing development of our film project.
We don’t know yet exactly what we have created – having just finished the two week shoot it seems to be a jumble of images, captured moments of tension, snatches of truth, heightened encounters – and I’m writing about not only what we have on film, but the experience of working on set.
The relationships forged by the actors and crew create a kind of temporary family. We had the minor irritations of being cooped up in such close proximity, the amalgamation of different generations and levels of experience (not to mention different languages), alongside the need to trust each other, to all want the same thing at the same time. We had moments of frustration, as well as inspiration, unexpected generosity and understanding, the realisation that we needed to make it work in spite of ourselves.
We had to deal with what sometimes seemed like a conspiracy of the elements, whether it was the sudden arrival of a tractor in a nearby field or a gathering of buzzing flies in a kitchen, who flew in front of the camera and crawled on the microphone. We had hoped for good weather and our wish was granted. We had sweltering temperatures, that actually made filming difficult and uncomfortable at times.
But I think I now understand why people have said that making is film is a series of compromises. You have to work with what you have and do the best you can with it. I now realise just how green I am. I may be of a certain age, with a good deal of life experience behind me (whatever that is worth…), but there is so much I don’t know or really understand about the film making process, so I couldn’t be prepared for it.
But I’ve been given the blast of a challenge, and whilst I don’t have the stamina I did 30 years ago, I think perhaps I appreciate this opportunity all the more.