China Diary

Day 112: Hard start

“Let’s bring in the smoke cracker.” “I think you’re not allowed to smoke in this hospital.” “What?” “I think you’re not allowed to smoke in this hospital.” “Umm… we’re not in a real hospital, this is a set. And I asked for a smoke machine, not a smoke.” – A conversation overheard on the set.

I just love having her over here, that I must say. Waking up next to someone, touching, talking to someone without the constantly breaking Internet connection just makes life ridiculously much more enjoyable. It also gives me much strength when things are a bit on the low. We had the unfortunate duty to inform our Iron Sky fans the other day that the film Iron Sky The Coming Race would be delayed from the projected release date. I was feeling really sad for having to push the release, since we’ve been working on it so hard to get it ready for release next February, but now we had to accept the facts the way they are: the film won’t be ready in time for the February release, we just need more time. Letting down the fans this way is, to be honest, really depressing, so I was fretting about it the whole day. Lucky she was actualy around to help me get over the disappointment, just to offer a few reassuring words at the right time can be the most valuable thing in the world when you’re in need. And that’s what a great relationship is all about: being there for the other one, especially when things are bit rough. It’s easy to love when things are great, but the real trick is what happens when things are not so peachy, that’s what measures the relationship for real.

The shoot was something I had been dreading over for quite a while, actually. We had two scenes, both in different locations, but most importantly, it was an opening scene for one of the most important characters in the movie, an actor whom I’ve worked a lot on table readings and rehearsals, discussed the logic of the role inside and out for months on now, and today it begins.

I wasn’t really happy with the set, and we spent a lot of time in the morning trying to get it in a decent shape, which kinda took the wind out of the expectations of the actual scene. I was already exhausted by the time Lei called action for the first shot and had to fight to keep the energy up.

Shooting the first scenes of every bigger character is always much more taxing than a normal shoot. That’s when you both establish a certain type of working method, you create the framework of the character right there and then, no matter how much you’ve been preparing for it, so starting that off with an exhausted mindset was not probably the best thing. But we nevertheless hammered through the day and walked out as a winner, even though the location wanted to kick us out before we had finished the scene… but we got what we needed, and that’s what’s the most important thing.

In the evening, we had another dinner with the actor and some of his people, as well as our production guys. After the shooting day it was very nice to hear the actor in question complimenting me on my “character-focused directing”. In the end, director’s work is of course only judged by the film itself, but I do find it nice to hear that actors like to work with me on the set (not everyone, of course) as well.


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