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Day 129: Slow burn…


I was greeted by the restaurant manager as I dragged myself down to the breakfast room. “Hi, you are mr. Timo? From 52016? I never see you here at breakfast. You are that film director. Very good film? You work hard.”

Yeah, indeed. Usually it’s my assistant David who picks my breakfast for me because I try to sleep every possible minute and especially this week it’s been really hard to get enough rest. Every day I gain more and more sleep debt as six hours of sleep is just not enough when my brain goes full speed all the time.

At the car, David hands me the callsheet, and I see what we are shooting today. I must admit, I have no idea what we are planning to shoot during the week. I know the script inside out, and I know my sets, actors and the storyboards, but the schedule just doesn’t stay in my head. I focus so hard on one shooting day that the rest of the days are just a mash of unfinished work, and only on my 15 minute drive to the studio I have a chance to see what we are supposed to shoot today.

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Barron the 3rd AD instructing the extras.

Well, this week is all about Command Center and William Russell scenes, so that’s what’s on the menu for the Wednesday, too. We will continue with what we were left with the other day – and it was supposed to be an easy start. The cameras were there, the scenes we knew already very well as we had been rehearsing them, and everything was built to work, but for whatever reason, we just couldn’t get started until around lunch. I didn’t really understand what took so long time, but somehow, it was a sluggish start.

The whole day dragged on slowly, shot by shot, scene by scene, and Andy was grumpy since we had to jump back and forth with scenes, and the rest of the actors were rather confused with what we were doing. Creating a big thing on a green screen studio can indeed be unclear, and although I know exactly what we are planning to create there, nobody else does.

By the time it was a time to wrap, we managed to crunch in the last few scenes and got a great result out of them, and then we called it a night. Andy invited me and Mika for a dinner at his hotel, and indeed, we had a very nice few hours over a glass of red wine and some nice food, talking about Cuban politics and sharing our Udo-stories.

In the night, we walked with Mika down the broadwalk. It was freezing cold. Even the packs of wild dogs had fled the cold. The resort is really strange at night indeed, there’s no lights anywhere, the beach is enormous and the small “German village” is empty. We chatted about actors in general, saying how much we appreciated Andy and the work with him, while Mika had some not necessarily so favorable experiences with some other actors from films he had worked with.

In the night, I called Annika and we talked for nearly two hours until I passed out out of sheer exhaustion to a restless, dreamless sleep.

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