This chaos is killing me.
Shooting simultaneously in two studios is a clusterfuck if I’ve ever seen one. Add complicated wire stunts and constantly breaking down special props vehicles to the game, and sugarcoat it with a hefty puff of “moon dust”, an extremely fine-grained gray dust which finds its’ way everywhere. And of course, the crew being slightly not feeling well, we really have quite a horrific week going on.
Yesterday we moved to a new studio, which is always a pain in the ass; new conditions require constant readjustments, and in addition to this, the production had misunderstood two different locations as one, and suddenly we had to reschedule basically everything to make the schedule work. It’s the last week of Duan Yihong, which means we’re focusing hard on his character to get the rest of his bits done, and while it’s not that much, it’s the most hardest parts of the role for him we are working on.
So, while we’re shooting stuff with this broken-ass moon rover on Studio 24, the action team is working in the studio 12 doing wire stunts, and I scoot between the two studios to direct actors in both, with no idea where I should be, and when. It’s already quite a challenge to keep the whole puzzle together in one’s head, but when you shoot two scenes simultaneously, that’s when it all becomes real fun indeed.
The sleep hasn’t gotten any better, to be honest. I manage to doze off restlessly for three-four hours a night, and then take two 30 minute naps at the green room while on lunch and dinner breaks. I have no idea what we are supposed to shoot in the morning as I shinny in the car, and gather my thoughts in the fifteen minutes ride, reading hastily the script and trying to remember the storyboards and the plans we’ve made for everything. It’s not really ideal filmmaking, and while the art of filmmaking actually happens on the set with the actors involved, it’s still not ideal to shoot six days a week; in five-days -shoot you rest one day and prepare for the coming week one day, now the preparation has to give.
But we’re already so far with the production, so in that way, it doesn’t really matter. We know the drill already, we know the characters, we know what kind of issues to expect and what probably will go easy. Although I wouldn’t call us a well-greased engine of an Alfa Romeo speeding down the highway, I’d say we are like a Massey-Ferguson 135 riding a Perkins AD3.152 diesel; a slow but sturdy thing that plows on, no matter what crashes in our way.