Thursday, February 26, 2009

Off to England (To Freeze My Butt Off)

So it's back to the UK for me for the 5th-21st of March.I will be in London until the morning of the 12th, when the cast and crew of the new film Cut pack up and head for the middle of nowhere, AKA Leek, England (pictured here). Leek is a small village about an hour from Manchester and is ideal for the production, as it is mere minutes from the location. You can take a look at Leek here.

I am quite excited about the film. Although on the surface it seems to be a fairly typical killer-picking-off-five-people-in-a-secluded-cabin genre film,the way in which it is being filmed really intrigues me: after a five minute flashback opening that explains (mostly) a key event from the past, the film takes place in real time and is filmed IN A SINGLE SHOT. That's right, about 77 minutes of the film will be in one take.

How do we do it? First, we rehearse it like a play for a couple of weeks, then two days of rehearsal with the Steadicam operators, then three nights of 77 minute takes. Of course, there are several safety cuts (cuts that are invisible to the viewer) like a scene in which the killer shuts off the power, causing the screen to go black, that allow us to stop and restart from that point if the first half went well. For the most part, however, we're going to try to get it in one. Pretty cool,huh?

Two things I am dreading: shooting entirely at night and the damp, bone-chilling cold. Although the night shooting itself is only a few days, the level of concentration needed for the long takes will be intense. As for the cold, there is something about English forests (particularly at night) that just make me shudder even when they are warm. Anyway, here goes!