The WBS shoot is over now, and all I can keep saying is “I can’t believe how smoothly that all went”… You’d always expect something to go horribly wrong on a shoot wouldn’t you? I do. I did.
But none of that! We ended a tad behind schedule on Day 1, but easily caught up on Day 2 with those last shots we had missed on Day 1. Thanks to Poom (cinematographer), who pushed to try it out, we even got a shot I was going to give up on !
Then came the time to move on to sequence 2. This would be a much more relaxing day than the previous. Not only because it was shorter (we only had a half day) but also because the sequence was meant to convey a complete opposite feeling, one of total peace and relaxation…
So from the moment we wrapped sequence 1, this was playing in the studio:
We had to shoot quickly before everyone fell asleep! So this is where I let Marcella work her magic: I watched in awe as she moved gracefully along to the music, in this tiny claustrophobic space where she’s been screaming hysterically just the previous day… It wasn’t always easy to call Cut, I just wanted to let her dance! But we have to move on…
This sequence being more straightforward, with less of a build up and less of a “story”, it was very very quick to shoot: less than 2 hours! And in this time we got some beautiful wide shots, some interesting, more abstract and blurry close-ups, and impressive slow-motions… So Day 2 ended on a relaxed and satisfied note, exactly on schedule (and even a bit ahead!)
Day 3 required a bit more preparation than putting on some spa music… The day was to be MESSY. So the morning was spent prepping the studio for a colour apocalypse, finishing gathering our saturated liquids and other fun props, and figuring out ways to Not sound like I wanted to improvise the whole thing (in the end I did completely ignore my fancy storyboards, so yes, maybe there was some improv in there).
For this last sequence we were to film “happiness” and freedom, to use this creepy space as a blank canvas. While I at one point attempted to step away from the cliché “let’s go all Pollock on this thing”, I then figured, why not go a bit cliché, if it is just what seems right for the situation? Yes, it’s been done, many times probably; but if everyone who had done it had avoided it, well our screens and canvases may have been a bit less messy and colourful.
So yes, we were going to throw paint EVERYWHERE. This was already promising to be fun for everyone (except the camera crew who could enjoy a whole afternoon of suspiciously looking at what we were throwing towards their equipment)… We started by bombarding Marcella with water bombs filled with paint&water, while asking her Not to flinch. Poor thing. It then gradually escalated from there, and while we got to snap some pretty damn cool close-ups of paint splashes, Marcella got to get in touch with her inner modern artist… And she did a splendid job! With powerful gestures and a gleeful expression, she covered the walls in a thousand (ok maybe not a thousand) colours and patterns, alternatively getting splashed herself with icy cold coloured water. Poor thing (bis). Evil me…
To end the sequence, I figured this canvass needed a bit more work, and dear Marcella must have been tired, so everyone needed to chip in (again, everyone but the camera crew who carefully avoided the few blissful individuals messing about with paint)… The place nice and trashed, we recorded the closing shot and … IT’S A WRAP! One group photo on our masterpiece, a whole lot of cleaning up, throwing away a ruined pair of socks, and off we went to a celebratory [late] lunch.
Photo credit Bora Demirbilek