The last week has mainly consisted of doing second unit pick up shots of the Judge's Audi driving en route to the campsite.
This has involved me (the producer) being the stunt driver, I use the term stunt loosely as really there isn't much in the way of stunts in this film. My driving is pretty shit though, particularly in an unfamiliar car - even a kick-ass unfamiliar car like Staggy's Audi, it IS nice to be able to overtake people - just for the sake of it though, I must admit!
The second unit/ b-roll stuff can often be a massive part of a film. Take the Hangover for instance - all of those shots of sunrise and sunset over the Vegas Strip. The shots of the car on its way to Vegas (and home again). I would hazard a guess that there is about 5%-10% of the Hangover that is this kind of "filler" b-roll stuff! These shots can add considerable "production value" to any film - ie they can make it look like it cost more than it did. And when you've made a film for circa £3.50 like we have with this one - then you need all the help you can get with improving production values.
This week has also seen us come up with an extra comic set-piece to add to the film - involving Pob and a badger... So if you see any tweets from either @TheStaggDo or @fnafilms then you know what they are about, I really think it will add a little something extra special if we can pull it off... so keep your fingers crossed!
Also had a great idea for a little contest involving you, our dear audience, just finalising some details and then we'll announce it - so keep checking back both here and on our Facebook page.
In 2002 I was searching for a actor to play the minor role of a mindless thug in my short film, 'Making Tea For The Mob.' Through connections I was lucky enough to find Pob. The only downside was that I couldn't understand a word he said.
Initially reluctant about acting, 10 years and a few shorts later, he has developed into a fantastic comic actor...
Believe it or not - we got our first assemble edit through from the editor today! Not bad seeing as he didn't get the footage until Wednesday August 10, and he didn't get back to that there riot besieged Londington until the Thursday!
Overall James and I were pretty happy with what we've got. For the most part it seems to work and it definitely has a decent number of laughs. The performances are great and some of the footage is really good. As is to be expected - some of it isn't great but for the most part it is much better than we anticiapted and although we still have a lot of pick ups to get the number of reshoots isn't too daunting at all.
Davide has been sooper awesome so far and I have to say - it's great to work with him again - not least because it means I'm not doing the editing! No seriously, David is great - and he is a proper FNA4Lifer none of this bogus lost in his own anus bollocks that so many in the fillum business suffer from. As I've said elsewhere on this blog, we're not saving lives here - we're making mooovies - and in the case of The Stagg Do a very silly little movie! There really is no need to go for a wander up yer own back passage - if you get my drift. All James and i wanted from the shoot was for everyone to enjoy themselves and to learn a little more about filmmaking than they knew at the outset; that's why the problems of Day 5 were such a kick in the knackers to us. We've made something like 30 films and in many ways this productions has been beset by more problems than the rest put together! Don't let that put you off the film though - I have a feeling this is going to wind up exactly how we wanted it to!
Onwards and upwards!
Just had a two hour conversation with our editor, David, and apart from a couple of places over all he's pretty happy with the footage. At times his choices in the edit are a little limited - as we knew they would be - because the coverage just isn't there... There's a reason most films don't shoot in eight days you know!
We have some pick ups to get - which we kind of always knew we would have to shoot and we'll probably have a couple of little reshoots but overall everything is as we expected. Well everything is as we (who put any amount of thought into it) expected. What I mean is this shoot was always going to be experimental - we were shooting a feature in 8 days, using non-professional actors, outdoors (against the elements) and in the dark - what could possibly go wrong? LOL. This is what has me most perplexed about some people's attitudes (both in the production and some looking in) - what did they expect? It is a universally accepted truth, that in filmmaking one always needs more time and more money - this is going to be especially true when you are shooting on less than £10,000 and in 8 days!
As with anything in life, sometimes you just have to go for it - CARPE DIEM is a phrase we have all heard and thought we understood. In May we (FNA Films) had a choice - wait *another* year for funding on Pissheads and/ or Get Cuthbert or we could run with "the little idea that could". Fortunately some of the earliest crew on board brought with them masses of enthusiasm and that enthusiasm and some sheer bloody-mindedness is what has got us this far. We aren't saving lives here - we're making films and in this case a very silly little film with a very specific audience... so getting bent out of shape that things aren't in place or that the footage isn't Roger Deakins-easque is just fucking stupid. I for one am really looking forward to watching the first cut.
We finished filming on Sunday, and considering all of the obstacles we had in getting this far I have to say I'm fairly pleased with the footage I have seen so far. As I said in earlier posts, we had a ridiculously short schedule and a number of mishaps along the way. If on Day 5 you had said we would wrap on Sunday having only dropped one scene and a half dozen shots I'd have taken your hand off.
Staggy gets back in 3 and a half weeks and by then we'll have an idea of how the film looks, and if there are any other reshoots and pick ups to do. We also will have to shoot scene 33 in that window - assuming we can get all of the cast together. In the meantime, David has one of our precious hard drives with him in London and he's busy synching sound and preparing to compile the first edit.
James and I have spent the last few days returning props, costumes and other bits of kit while marvelling at the shitty August weather we've been having - the main bright spot on the horizon being that the bulk of the photography has already taken place!
Next I need to pull me finger oot me arse and start updating the cast and crew pages.
Day 5 was rough (maybe would call it a disaster) - maybe one day the wounds will have healed enough to discuss more throughly but at the moment - it's keep my mouth shout 100% or blow my top... And let's face it sometimes discretion is the better part of valour...
Day 6 however was great - at the start of the night we had 16 pages to get through unfortunately because our shoot had to change back to days from nights we had to wrap at 2 am at the latest.
In the end we chose to drop one of the three scenes we were due to shoot and concentrate on the others. We managed to crack through 10 pages in 5 hours and it went swimmingly - especially considering they are two of the toughest scenes in the whole film.
Day 7 could've caused a mutiny, going from nights to days on only 6 hours rest is very fucking brutal and it's never a good idea - but due to the events of day 5 this was the situation facing us. Fortunately the mutiny was averted due to the fact that we were shooting in a strip club. Tired is tired but titties are titties. The afternoon was supposed to feature two hookers in bed with one of the characters... unfortunately one of actresses suffered a family bereavement and had to drop out. amazingly one of our runners, nicknamed Clooney (after you know who) managed to recruit an actress from the street who was willing to step in... She was AWESOME too and we hope to work with her again.
Day 8: the final day of principle photography - the one day we couldn't have rain. Well guess what the fricken weather forecast was for rain, rain, torrential rain and more rain! We got through the day - when at times I didn't think we would. I guess that makes yesterday a microcosm of the whole shoot - against all the odds we DID it.
A few pick ups to go and then lots of post-production to go - with more updates along the way... Stay tuned and check out the Facebook Pissheads page for more pictures.
The last three days (well nights) have merged into one blur. I'm having trouble remembering all the things that have happened. Anyway due to the ridiculous nature of this shoot and tight schedule, I haven’t got any really decent photos - but have some nice ones from the post Friday drinks at the Lonsdale. I’ll start uploading them to the Pissheads Facebook page soon.
There have been tons of problems on this shoot and in fact right now I'm struggling to remember any shoot I've been on that's had this many setbacks... far too many to go into here but they all stem from the same two reasons. Lack of preparation and lack of money. I accept full responsibility for deciding such a mental schedule. Advice on hindsight from Super Lucas McNelly - included: have less of the story take place in the night, have more power sources, more extension leads and cable drums and make sure your cast are fully rehearsed before shooting. Overall though - we both agreed, that the important thing is we're actually making a film - instead of just talking about it!
Things that have magnified the situation for example having to recast a lead actor the week before the shoot and replacing the sound department haven’t helped he situation at all!
I have driven nearly 700 miles in 5 days and I’m totally subsisting on fumes right now. Even at the lowest point of this last few days I have been truly humbled by the hard work and generosity of our cast, crew and family and friends who have been incredibly supportive and completely instrumental in getting this film shot.
Very difficult shoot day. Schedule snafus due to cast availability problems. This led to a few frayed tempers. Still all blew over after a mid day clear the air meeting.
Day ended of a massive high and if we can keep this pace up tonight we'll be almost at the half way point. Which will be an amazing achievement - especially when you consider we are shooting around 80 pages in 9 days (actually 8 days - Sat a well earned day of rest).
Hopefully more pictures
Will try our best to keep this busy during the shoot and post-production.