China Diary

Day 146: Dream On


2 am. I’m listening to In The Nursery’s amazing album Man With The Movie Camera and contemplating the night. I just watched the new Blade Runner, and while I enjoyed the visual beauty of it, to me it felt soulless and uncharming on the inside. Compared to the original one, it didn’t bring anything interesting new to the table, save the advanced visual world, and the things that worked were already working in the first Blade Runner, making the sequel quite a redundant work.

I decided to go see a movie after a slow and slumpy shooting day. I was dead tired thanks to my current insomniac phase, but so seemed to be the whole crew. Maybe it’s because the lack of rest for them (me and Mika had a day off but the production had the crew working even on our rest day to do some stunt action last week) or the fact that it has been quite a long shoot already, but the set was slow like a snail and everyone was doing dumb, simple mistakes constantly, ones they wouldn’t do normally. The light cues were off, the camera focus was constantly somewhere else than on actors’ face, the makeup and costume took forever with the actors – and the actors were all slightly slower and slightly harder to work with than usual. Just one of those days. One more day to go this week, then there’s a day off and a new year looming ahead of us.

But I did find some moments of peace and solemnity on the set today. It was one of the endless waits, when the camera was ready and we were waiting for the actors to arrive to the set. Iiris had given me a birthday present, a notebook to which I had started to doodle during the shooting day. So there I was, doodling away, listening as behind me Lotus the Continuity, Chris the VFX supervisor and my assistant David were rattling on quietly in Chinese. Mika was zipping past the monitor view as he was placing lights here and there, Lei was wandering somewhere around with the megaphone in his hand… But the set was peaceful. There was a good feeling around. People were enjoying their work, there was no unnecessary pressure or hurry at that moment, there was laughter and chatter all around. It’s hard to say but I did feel pretty good at that moment. Like, this is my job.

I get to do this for a living. Sit in this big-ass moonbase set, with all these amazing people all working together to realize a dream.

It’s a nice thought.

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