Wednesday, September 10, 2014

There's an eye in the sky...

I've spent the past week working on a film featuring Helen Mirren. I was employed to add a final layer onto her character's bedroom. It's something I really like doing - that final layer. It's what makes a film habitat believable.

An early start in town means rush hour traffic - something I will do anything to avoid, so I decided to take the coastal road. One pays a toll, but you rarely see other cars and the views are spectacular. There's a rocky overhang with a rush of water droplets that never fails to delight me when they spatter onto my windscreen. One evening there was an old man flying ahead of me on a bicycle, wavy grey hair streaming as he pedalled furiously down the hill.

The rising sun over the city was torridly red. The sunsets apricotine. And the harvest moon, the moon, the moon...

I'm bound contractually not to publish photographs of the film sets I work on, so behold: our gooseberry bushes are full of fruit! And Fancy has a new haircut:

We had a young runner on the job and one day, watching me, she asked me how I knew where to put stuff. I told her that I'd learnt by watching others, and by moving things again and again
until they feel right.
 But how do you know when it feels right?
But that is not a question I can answer, because I just know.
I feel it in my bones.


Norma West said...

Beautiful photos and thoughts as per usual but as usual an unusual approach, this is a strength not many possess.
Say hello to Helen from me, years ago we did a film of Cause Celebre, she was just starting to discover the joys of succulents and I gave her a first edition of an early book on succulents. I wonder if she has it still.....

Marie said...

I love hearing about how you work, so it's tough that you're not allowed to say more. The idea of a final layer in set dressing is intriguing enough. I had not thought of layers, before, but now it seems obvious.

dinahmow said...

Oh! That Cape gooseberry...

Leslie said...

Can you tell us the types of things you added to give us a better idea of what you mean? Small personal objects, I would guess.

That gooseberry looks cool. I've never seen one in real life, I guess.

And your dog is adorable. Great ears.

the sourcerer said...

Thanks Norma !
I won't be seeing her unfortunately - they start shooting today and I am home again. It was fun though, and the younger girls would swoon to know that Aaron Paul will be doing a scene in his apartment bedroom, with my own sheets - as we couldn't find what they wanted and I happened to have exactly: chocolate brown Egyptian linen!

Marie, yes - we start with the big stuff - the furniture and the carpets and the colours of things and then the layers become more involved.

Dinah - the gooseberry I think has the neatest packaging of any fruit in the world!

Leslie, yes - I had to think what a female colonel in the army would have on her nightstand - next to her bed, near her at night. Also her husband's side. What they might be reading, etc. I was involved in the bedding as well and the curtaining and some small ornaments and flowers. We went to great lengths to match colours - a pale teal blue with warm yellow accents - it looked beautiful... but then we heard that at the technical recce the director and director of photography decided it would be a "moonlight" shot, so all shades of grey in the end!
This kind of thing happens all the time and I've learnt not to take it personally.