First Day Shooting

It’s been nearly two years since I had a real shooting day. The last being that fiasco, ‘Listening to Her Voice’, which I know I was doing because this girl couldn’t return the attention I showed her. I made it sort of to vent my fury? Or what was that about?

And I’m probably making ‘untouchable love and flying marriages’ because I’m in a sort of soul searching moment? Trying to understand my own life, why it is so fucked up and so unlucky with regard to love? Well, only people in movies are supposed to be lucky in love, but here are couples who are being tortured for their love – Romeo and Juliets, complete with the bloodshed, the murders, the family feuds and the suicides. I heard about this boy and girl who hanged suicide together, with a single black shawl, and they were facing each other when they found them. Pretty grisly.

But it’s been months of wondering just what it is that I’m doing in Nepal, and how I can make the best use of this time. Certainly I wouldn’t be doing any of this if I hadn’t got the chance to volunteer here, and as of last saturday, I still didn’t know when I would be able to start shooting. Mostly, it’s the same old story, crying about a lack of money, a lack of equipment, and just finding every possible excuse not to shoot.

Then I hear about this case in the Supreme court of Nepal, and this guy, Purna, tells me, ‘we have to shoot tomorrow’. At first I think, ‘whatever, it’s just like every other Nepali promise I’ve heard since I came here’. But tomorrow came, and it was a sunday. I had to cancel a lunch appointment I had with a guy whose wife was over here.

And all of a sudden, I was shooting. The cameraman was telling me ‘what should I do?’ and people were asking me, ‘what should we do now?’ And honestly that first day I was like a feather in the wind, much like that feather you see at the beginning of Forest Gump, and I wonder what the pictures look like. At the end of the day, we still hadn’t done the most important interviews, and I had to call it off, re-schedule for the second day. A bad move, seeing that I have very little money to do this film and every penny counts.

Well, it came like a sucker punch and I’m still reeling from it. Not even looked at the rushes. And I still can’t remember the names of the charaters we worked with, and I keep wondering if I wasted all that money in those two days. At least the second day I was able to feel the instincts of a director, and tell the cameraman, ‘give me soft light, position the character in this part of the frame’, etc, and he was such a great cameraman he did things even before I finished speaking – so unlike the cameramen I worked with in Uganda, who would argue, and want to do it their way, and only get you very mad and screw up your production. But this guy was a pro, he knew his stuff. Maybe I’ll work with him another time again.

Just when I was going out, the rain started. So I’m stuck here and have to write in this stupid blog, simply because I sort of realised that the piece on my home page was a mourn about how I missed out on the penguin prize. I sort of needed something more positive out there.

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