Birdland Diaries: Day Six
by Katrina G
On days six, seven and eight, we’re shooting all the scenes that take place in our lead character’s apartment. There are many challenges. The apartment is gorgeous, but not huge, so we don’t have the space for our entire crew to comfortably hang out for 12 hours at a time. The apartment is also in a building that has strict rules about filming, so even though we’ve got the owner’s permission, we’re still trying to keep a low profile so as not to disturb any neighbours or create problems for our generous host.
The biggest challenge, however, is also the location’s biggest strength: it is friggin’ gorgeous. It’s a beautifully decorated apartment full of precious and expensive things. It looks stunning. That also means it’s also very delicate. The crew is used to working efficiently, lugging heavy equipment in and out of rooms as it’s needed, and being able to operate at their own pace. Here, we all have to slow down and be extra careful. No carrying dolly track over a coffee table, lest it be dinged. No putting heavy boxes or even light stands on the floor without laying down a carpet, lest it be scratched. No touching anything, if we can help it.
The delicate nature of the location meant we got off to a really slow start. By the time we were set up and ready for our first shot, it was clear that we wouldn’t get through our ambitious page count for the day. We got through most of it, managed to squeeze in some scenes with an actress who otherwise would have been called to set for nothing, and got several really brilliant scenes totally nailed. Definitely not a bad day.
However, the plan is clear for the next two days: pick up the pace, because once we’re out of this location we can’t come back. We have it while the owners are away on vacation, that’s it. And let it not go unsaid that they deserve a huge prize for being so generous and letting two dozen strangers tromp through their place while they’re out of town.
I’m hoping that the fact that we don’t have to load in or out for the next two days while we’re camped here will help us catch up. I’m especially nervous because we have to dye our lead’s hair at the end of tomorrow’s shoot, which means any “original hair” scenes we don’t snag on our next night may be lost forever.
I remain very hopeful. I’m simultaneously nervous and confident. Day seven is going to be a real make-or-break day! Let’s get at it.