China Diary

Day 74: The Final Day

The last day before the shoot dawned smoggy and cloudy. I was feeling rather cloudy myself after last night’s dinner, but decided to kick myself in the ass as soon as possible and get ready for the day, last day before the shoot. I had requested it a day off, but there’s no rest for the wicked.

One thing I’m super happy about is that the production heeded my requests and got a brand new car for me, and only me. I’ve created few rituals to myself when shooting, and we directors tend to be quite superstitious lot when it comes to breaking those habits. For me, it’s the morning ride (or, in our case, the night ride) to the studio, when I really want to relax, listen to some David Bowie (I have created 71 Bowie playlists for the 71 shooting days), read the script carefully, check through the storyboards and possible animatics, in full solitude, by myself, without anyone else bugging me. Because the moment I step out of the car on the set, there are a thousand people circling around me with thousands of questions I need to answer. So this car ride, that’s my moment of zen, calm before the storm.

First callsheet calls for celebration. Hence Mika’s amazing disco glasses!

The last day was all about working with cast – existent and non-existent. To replace the lost cast member I told few days ago about, the production had dragged a full girl band to the production offices for me to pick the best for the role. Well, it’s never that easy: I couldn’t make up my mind on the matter even though there’s only hours anymore left before this actor needs to be cast – but I have to be sure!

On the other hand, I finally made my decision on the other missing cast member, whom I had been trying to figure out for quite some time. I received a perfect audition tape – actually, not so much an audition but rather a “video message” – which convinced me finally to proceed with her. I’m actually super excited about getting to work with her! Next is of course the hassle to get the visas in place and get her over here!

Most importantly, I sat down together with my two main actresses and rehearsed the key scenes with them both in the same room for the first time. Coincidentally, it was actually exactly two years ago today that I rehearsed with my actors, one day before the shoot in Belgium begun. So, we are pretty much on a very similar schedule here, although we have much more shooting days of course.

That’s me, two years ago today, proudly showing off the first call sheet of Iron Sky The Coming Race!

Going through the photos from that time two years ago brought me memories. I really miss these awesome people – Lara Rossi, Vladimir Burlakov and Kit Dale. They formed such an amazing triangle for Iron Sky The Coming Race, and today, I was the happiest man to find out the triangle of the main cast for Iron Sky: The Ark is just as solid. We had long, extremely creative discussions with them, improving scenes and lines and deepening the characters. As I can’t show their faces yet, let’s take a trip back in time to two years today and


Oh, if I was to give a tip from the future to this guy in this picture, what would it be? Well, it’s simple: make sure your actors know there’s a live horse on the set. To know what this refers to, you’ll have to read my wife’s book about the production of Iron Sky The Coming Race when it comes out. </end shameless plug>

Now, I’m in my bed, staying deliberately up as late as possible, since I have to turn my sleep cycle to the one of a night dweller.

Miss these guys! Kit Dale, Vladimir Burlakov, me, Lara Rossi and our first AD Madli Moose getting ready to shoot Iron Sky The Coming Race, two years ago today.

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