After one week of shooting The Felistas Fable

I already wrote about it earlier, in the post “I suffer to entertain you.” But after one week of trying to make the film, The Felistas Fable, I just can’t help but to write about it again. The pains of film making — you go through a lot of pain to raise money for the film, and you go through worse pain to make the film. You will think you are ready, but you reach on the shooting day and you realize you are not ready at all.
Veronica Namanda Kiwanuka, playing the lead role, Felistas.

I am lucky to have an experienced crew, and a talented cast. The sagely advice and make up talent of Mike Wawuyo is driving this film forward. Without his ability to transform an actress from an ordinary thirty something girl to a woman who has lived in the streets for seven years, we would not have been able to pull this off.  He amazed me, and Veronica too, for we had known his ability all along, but were still surprised with the way he transformed her. He deserves a full post, and one I’m less tired, I’ll write about his wonders.

I first worked with Namanda in 2007, in my first professional project, What Happened In Room 13, and I loved the beauty with which she played the pregnant victim of a philanderer. She made it seem so easy, she had such a gracefulness that brought a whole new dimension to the role. Even before I finished editing Room 13, I thought of her being a lead in another screenplay I was thinking of writing at that time. And I promised her, “I’ll write a script just for you.”
I wrote that script, about a woman who cannot get married because she has AIDS. It’s very similar to The Felistas Fable in that a mother is determined to keep a child from getting married, and that I came up with these ideas about the same time should say a lot about my state of mind at that time. I can’t even remember what it was but well, even men at one point in their lives get scared that they will never get married. With women, when they reach thirty and are still single, they panic. With men, it especially happens after a break up. Or after they catch their girlfriend cheating. One or the other must have happened to me at that time and I was terrified I would not find a girl — but now I have, and so in the next few years, the stories I write will reflect my current state of mind.
That aside — soon after Felistas, I will try to raise funds for this AIDS script and offer Namanda the role. The last few days I’ve worked with her revived that screenplay in my head. It’s something that I had forgotten about — one of those you write, and put in the drawers, and other things come up and you forget it — but I will pull it off the drawer and dust it off and rewrite it and push for it to be made. Hopefully, next year, I will be shooting it.
But first, we must concentrate on making The Felistas Fable. It’s not a smooth ride. It’s full of bumps and rapids and cliffs you could fall off and break your leg. We are already behind schedule, and we have to work extra hard next week to get back on schedule and finish within the days we have set.
I wish I could write more, all the anecdotes from the shoot, the funny moments — which are more than the quarrelsome moments! So far, we haven’t had yet a major fight on set, and I hope it stays this way — but now I must think about the shoot for tomorrow, and leave you with some of these pictures from the first week of production.
The photography of Cyril Ducottet makes the film beautiful.
Mike putting final touches on Namanda before a shoot.
Kuddzu Izaaq, walks away to kill himself.
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