Re-constructing Paradise

The third shooting day came and went. Six hours non-stop of setting up the scenes, shooting (Not drugs. And nobody got to drink any shots either.), improvising and slowly submerging into a parallel world felt like a whole week. And it turned out to be a proper endurance test that began with me giving directions to the wrong (Of course.) parking lot and ended with everybody cold and tired enough to drive us all to uppers.

For me personally, the night before was a mix of short periods of anxiety-infested sleep and more or less constant white-knuckle worries around what foul trick misfortune would play on us this weekend. But sometimes no news is good news and the phone call from the second Boom Brother around 10 A.M. contained nothing that makes one wonder whether we’re cursed or not. Our crew was much smaller this time (Yeah, all right!), we had only one camera (Two would have helped, obviously.) and we had less time to finish the key scenes.

So the half-hour drive in a packed car ended about a kilometer from where we stopped filming last time. Instead of a quarter of a kilometer. (I’m glad nobody stabbed me for this, because it was all my fault.) So about 20 minutes behind the schedule we picked up where we left. The first concern was the surroundings and if they had changed so much in a month that it would cause a jarring continuity fuck-up. But it looked great through the camera and then we started. One hour went by fast and we were back on the clock again, despite the few interruptions (Both intentional and unintentional.) from passers-by.

Two hours later, we had moved ahead to the part of the film that has loads of static shots in one specific location. We ploughed through a majority of the script under the positive influence and the equally positive and highly infectious insanity courtesy of our great and amazingly patient actors. It’s almost like time stopped for a while. (And I kind of wish it had, considering that this was a balls-to-the-wall attempt to get somewhere after the aforementioned setbacks.) Last time out on the “battlefield”, we thought we had been lucky like the most successful card-sharpers in the Wild West for finding the actors who really fit in their parts like hands in gloves. This day cemented that feeling at least a dozen times over. Now, we know that this film couldn’t be made without them. And it wouldn’t have been a fraction as madness-inducingly fun. Sometimes, I had to pinch myself in the arm because I frankly stopped trusting my own senses at one point… And furthermore, it’s now quite easy to see how it’s possible to get violently sucked into something and not be able to get out. It’s like that old saying: “Everybody builds castles in the air, but only drunks move into them.” But either way, the fathomless gratitude that we, the film-makers, feel can’t be explained in words. (Especially not today on the set.)

After a short lunch-break around 2 P.M., we proceeded with the filming. We were constantly reminded of the fact that it’s mid-October – Especially when the sun started to set quicker and quicker. When the sands, the batteries and everybody’s energy levels finally were running out, we quickly shot the scenes that we had to shoot right there and now. And even if everybody sooner or later starts to lose focus, I think we nailed it. The temperature started to turn from “a bit too cold” to “fucking freezing” around 5.30, which pretty much was a good sign that it was time wrap things up. We quickly went through the script once more, and didn’t find any scenes that we had missed during the course of the last hours’ filming. (It would be so very unnecessary to have to go back there once more for a handful of shots. It’s not exactly walking distance to the set for any of us.) The next shooting day will most definitely be somewhere in the Göteborg-area.

The darkness approached fast and the fifteen minute hike back to the car was a very long one back to the real world again – The bags and the equipment suddenly felt heavy like hell, the craving for coffee started to be a real problem, the idea of someone’s paradise was nowhere in sight anymore and the milk-acid started stinging like, well, acid in arms and legs. But it wasn’t all that awful to be back in the warm car and on the road home.

I can only conclude this entry by saying that it was a surreal and satisfying day on all levels and that I once again hope that everyone had a good time. I’m not sure if our temporary bad luck has turned to good, but if it has, today was the ultimate proof of that.

by Markus