China Diary

Day 137: Roof Came Down


We’ve been lucky to not to have had any serious accidents on the set, but on Thursday it was very close to get someone really hurt. The set – a spaceship interior – was built in a way that it had the roof that was almost like a cap on top of a kettle. This cap was easily removable to get our cameras in, and something we could then either take out or put back on whenever needed.

Me and Lei were talking with mr. Duan in his trailer, discussing the scene of the day, while rest of the guys were were working on the set. As we arrived to the set, I saw there was something wrong: the whole roof structure had snapped off from the ropes that hung it in the air, and it had crashed down on the set, while there were eight people in. Somehow luckily everyone had managed to duck down and nobody got hurt, but that was something of a major accident if someone had been there sitting in the chairs… It was pretty scary.

All in all, the day was plagued with problems after problems. After finishing the scenes upstairs with one of our actors, Jang Yi, whom we also wrapped, it was time for the spacesuits again. Now we learned that yeah, one can’t wear the helmet and breath at the same time. We tried running the scene whatever way we could, but always when it was time to go for the closeups, the faces were all foggy and nobody could see anything.

I was frustrated. I told the costume team that next time they come up with a special costume, they need to test it in practice; and I had warned about the issues beforehand, since I’ve had my share of working with spacesuits of different kind on film before, but guess you have to learn it again and again… Anyway, we really didn’t finis the day; not even close. At one point, I decided it’s time to stop this stupid game and decided to call the shoot off for the day. No reason to put the actors through these troubles, better find another time to come back and do the scene with costumes that are actually working…

Sometimes, it can be like that. Nothing goes as planned, and no matter how hard you bang your head against the brick wall, you’ll never get through, so better luck next time.

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