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Sunday, September 10, 2006


Sorry for the lack of updates in the past few days, been really busy doing prep work for my film (work title: Girl Disconnected... AAARGH! STILL WAITING FOR YOU PEOPLE TO SUGGEST ME SOME NEW TITLES!)

Balancing both the producer and director work can be pretty exhausting, especially when you have to deal with repeated disappointments of people promising much more than they can actually deliver, and then also the difficulties of trying to find an art director/production designer to replace the ones I've lost previously.

What else? I also had to deal with my lead actress dropping out of the project by sending me a text message just an hour before the rehearsal last week. Yet through a stroke of fate, the actress I found to replace her, Sarah Corbyn, (I made a phone call and arranged for a quick screen test, followed by some line-readings with my main actor, Chau the day after) turned out to be even more suited for the Maya role, despite having done only some modeling work and not having any acting experiences before this. I could've sworn that she was lying about not acting before when she blew Justin and I away during the screentest, we were both staring at each other with the 'OMFG' look! (an 'OMFG look' from The Great Swifty is really rare since The Great Swifty tends to be rather nasty during screentests and auditions, trying hard to suppress his laughter when the actors are really bad.)

When I called for a shooting rehearsal yesterday, I felt as if I was about to fall apart from exhaustion and stress, and suppressed anger with the situations I mentioned in Paragraph 2.

Yet noticing that Brian The Cinematographer had brought all the equipment and other things with him for the rehearsal, (and me, painstakingly pushing all those props I had with me on a shopping trolley... a Commodore 64 computer, my stuffed pink elephant for her obligatory film cameo etc.) it was impossible for me to have JUST a shooting rehearsal.

So I called for the film shoot to begin. Yes, not just a shooting rehearsal, but to actually start shooting. A week ahead of schedule.

My crew, once I imagined to be a large one due to some misinterpretation of some people's unfulfilled promises-

(me to my aspiring filmmaker friend Sebastian during the first week of preproduction: "Whoa! Apparently, I'm going to have a special effects department, a costume design department and the likes!")

- turns out to be well, smaller than I've imagined.

(me to my aspiring filmmaker friend Sebastian few days ago: "Well... seems that I have to revert to my usual guerilla filmmaking style... the departments I told you about are seemingly non-existent.")

Yet, when the camera started rolling, I forgot what is it like to be tired.

Following are some photos taken yesterday (click for larger version) prior to the shoot:

Chau and Sarah's Weird Warmup Session
As Brian the Cinematographer and I were setting up the scene, our two lead actors, Chau and Sarah had a warmup session devised by Chau which he learnt from drama classes (or so I overheard). This warmup session has them er, doing numerous stuff just so that they can generate some sort of chemistry onscreen, and also be comfortable with each other. Like some tongue-twisting, and er, what they did above.

Chau and Sarah's Weird Warmup Session 2
There's also something about feeling for the diaphragm, where they can loosen their vocal cords or something thus they can deliver my lines properly I think, I don't know, I was so weirded out by the whole session that I just took out my camera and snapped the photos.

Chau and Sarah's Weird Warmup Session 3
Sarah doing the same to Chau.

Josh During The Shoot
That's Josh. Brian took a photo of him while he's setting the lighting and stuff. I have no idea why was that either. I was too confused.

Check out previous entries of the Girl Disconnected Production Diary.
Introducing Girl Disconnected
In which I introduce Girl Disconnected by giving a brief summary of its plot.

The First Production Meeting
In which I talk briefly about my production team and the ideas that sprang out during the meeting that can hopefully finance the film.

Four Eyed Monsters. Slacking Off From Script Revisions. Conflicts. The Loneliness of Art.
In which I feel a wee bit of PRE-creativity depression, and speaks about conflicts that destroyed group dynamics in previous attempts in filmmaking. Also voices out possible influences for upcoming film like Darren Aronofsky (whilst providing trailer of his upcoming film, The Fountain) and then plugging indie film Four-Eyed Monster's vodcasts and marketing via new media.

Audition Madness! Australia's Next Top Model! The Incestuous Brother Who Destroyed Swifty's Acting Career RETURNS!
In which I pointed out the irony of having Chau (whom I occasionally referred to as 'The Incestuous Brother' as a reference to his previous film role) as my main actor, and then the excitement of being contacted by a contestant of Australia's Next Top Model for the audition (she never came though).