China Diary

Day 106: Nurrumieli


Mika has coined a great term: nurrumieli – in English something like poutymind. It’s a good description of what happens when things don’t go right and then you feel bad about it. Say, for example, we are shooting a scene and one camera doesn’t capture the best moment available, but we have to move on: that would result in nurrumieli for Mika. Or if my actors do something completely different from what I’m asking them to do, it might result in nurrumieli for me.

Apparently, I’ve pissed in someone’s cereal on the set, and now this person barely agrees to speak with me, which is a bit hard since he’s one of the HODs (head-of-department) – he’s all nurru for me now. It started probably when I pointed out that he was building a solution which would be ridiculously complicated for the VFX to hide, after which he got suddenly ill and left the set. There was some tension before, but I never expected it to really blow out like that… And since the Chinese are not the most confrontational people by nature, it’s sometimes hard to see the signs of somebody being nurru until it’s too late.

Oh, well; we are here to make movies, not friends. The atmosphere on the set can get quite tense every now and then, especially after shooting night shoots for 8 days in a row without a day off in between or coming up in near future. The language issues don’t make it any easier, that’s for sure, when dissolving the approaching crisis, but nevertheless, we have to work together whether we like each other or not; to say it the other way around, we don’t have to like each other to work together.

The shooting day was the last day for me at the highway set; there’s still some motorcycle action ahead of us, but location will change to the most convenient one for me: it’s just downstairs of my hotel, in a shopping mall. I don’t have to hike to my trailer to go to the toilet, I can just take the elevator into my room! I’m looking forward for that!

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Smoke is essential when filming motorcycles! As a side note, this shot will never make it to the movie, because the camera we used to shoot this decided it’s not worth saving it to the memory card, so we were super happy to find out after the shooting day that one of the five cameras didn’t record a thing…

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