The Flat, The Cat, The Penguin

Yes the post-title is referencing the original tag-line from Batman Returns (which whilst not the best film in the series, is definitely the most stylish and under-rated). Although this isn’t really going to be a post covering the caped crusader (this time).

Batman Returns

This blog has been very quiet recently, but not down to any inactivity on my part. We will be filming our mini-opus in 3 days time (I’m not sure why I think I have time to write this entry really, I just need a break and this is as close as it will get). The film is by far the most ambitious thing I’ve attempted to date. On paper it all sounds so deceptively simple, in reality it isn’t.

The Flat
Most of the film takes place in a block of flats. So the first decision is do we go for grim/gritty (in which case is it safe?) or do we go for somewhere a little nicer (safer)? As most of our characters don’t really want to be living in this place, this  influenced our decision. Cue fun times scouring around the city in all the lovely glamour spots trying to find something suitable and hobnobbing with the locals (one of whom introduced himself with “You don’t know me, but I’m the bad boy of this area.”). Nice!

Towerblock location

We did consider filming in the above location (which may still be used for exteriors), but the place was both unsafe, unclean (the room we looked at is to be fumigated this week) and we didn’t have any real control over the environment. So we have been frantically looking everywhere for suitable locations which can double as flats without upsetting the locals. Hopefully it’s mostly together now, although we still haven’t finalised all locations (yes, I know – we are filming in a couple of days – but a lot can happen in that time – right?!)

The Cat
There is a popular show-biz saying “never work with small children or animals”. Nothing like a challenge, we are doing both (young baby and a cat), not only this –  in the same scene together. Goodness only knows how this aspect will work out! But at least we *do* have both a cat and a baby, we just need them to perform on cue and on camera together (laughing maniacally to self).

The Penguin
The Penguin is just one of the many props we need, (and perhaps the easiest to source). We are now frantically flapping trying to get all the set dressing, props and  costumes ready for the shoot. A lot is dictated by the actual locations. One of the biggest problems with filming in more than one location (aside from the time it takes to move a small army from A to B) is making sure everything appears to be part of the same environment. This is a massive headache (it’s not as if I don’t already have enough to sort without worrying whether the carpets/doors/windows match across the locations – newsflash – they probably won’t!). We also have limited kit available, but to be honest this is probably a good thing considering some of the confined areas we are going to be working in.

Did I mention that most of it is also set at night? I’m pretty sure I said after Spare Change, that I definitely don’t want to do another night-shoot again!

So at the moment, disorganised chaos (even the crew aren’t entirely finalised), although the reality we are shooting in a few days has definitely kicked in (I need waaaay more sleep!!). The one thing which has clicked however is our amazing cast, who I couldn’t be more thrilled with!  Small victories such as this are just the beacon we need to counter the fact we are lacking money, time, space, sleep and whole bunch of other things which will need to happen before the weekend. Once I’ve recovered from the first weekend of shooting, I’ll aim to post an update on how everything went. That is – if I make it that far!

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