Sunday, January 29, 2012

Art Department Swing.

Swing gang members, under the direction of a lead man, are responsible for moving furniture, accessories, pictures, props, and various objects used for set decoration, on and off the set.
They must be physically able to lift and carry furniture and other heavy objects.

Someone said to me once:
You're only as good as your crew.
I am extremely fortunate.
These men, these gentlemen, come from Côte d'Ivoire and Cameroon... they speak French amongst themselves and pronounce my name with that soft inflection.
There is no job too big for them, nothing too heavy. I row with them about not bending their knees when they lift things. I have conniptions when they climb up onto rickety structures with no safety nets. I wring my hands as they balance on beams a storey high.
The other day Roger came up to me and said: Madame... it is better if you do not see this thing. I will call you when we are done.
I love them from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The undocumented, documented.

I take so many pictures that sometimes my life starts feeling like a big old scrapbook. Yesterday as I half-rose from the lunch table to get my camera, I thought about the best meal I ate in
Istanbul and I sat down again.

So here's to the man who set his alarm at hourly intervals throughout the night to beat the homemade ice-cream. To the gentle flower by his side, smart as a whip. To peacocks in the distance and guinea fowl in the yard, to fresh Thai Basil and Cook Shops and sparkly seas and big cities and freshly ground coffee and... to the internet. That nebulous thing which brought us all together.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Three day heat wave.

We sweltered, we melted. The pied crows yawned. At ten AM in the Swartland, it's 38*C in the shade. An hour later, 43*C. The aircon in the minibus goes on the blink. The world is parched.
Cryptic notes from our recce:
spiderwebs on bike. (hidden)
60% black shade.
kill rose garden.
daylight bright as poss.
wreck between big tree and lollipop.
My assistant sends me a photo of a heap of red sand. The Director claps his hands.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Mysterious Cities.

This is Antakya or Antioch - it's on the Turkish border of Syria, in the South. It is an old testament fortress, and has the largest collection of ancient mosaics in the world. I would like to go there.

I went to Istanbul with a very empty suitcase and came back 4kgs over. Reason?
TOWELS. From Antakya. Organic cotton, hand-loomed on wooden looms, washed in olive oil soap. Thick ones (three days to make), thin ones (one day to make). Quick drying, super-absorbent and so beautiful, they had me a-flutter.

Monday, January 9, 2012

They live in different time zones...

She goes to bed while he eats lunch.
She wakes up and he's just dined.

The Knife Thrower's Assistant
There are so many stories I still want to write.

What became of the hours as he flew
back to yesterday?
And what do you say to the director when he says: Oh we'll have to shoot that in Berlin. Your sky is just way too blue.
My sky.

One windy night she forgets to close the skylights and while he eats lunch, the bed is covered in Syringa petals. She wakes up smiling.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

So smashing.

There's something about this place, these people.
That makes me forget all about Mondays.