VHS: bloody hell
The precariously stacked cassettes pictured above are part of All My Dreams on VHS, a short film I’m writing / directing at the moment. I’m hoping it will clock in at something like 10 minutes long. And I say ‘hoping’ because at the moment we’re editing, and about to record and compose the score (yup, in that order. I’m aiming to get some cut-and-splice results that sound a little bit like The Books.)
So we shot the film in early July, in and around a flat in north Bristol, with two truly excellent, inventive actors and a marvellous crew who gave up a whole weekend to be there. Everyone worked astoundingly hard: normally you’d be lucky to get through three pages of screenplay a day… in our case we battled through six.
It was my first shoot with a professional crew; previously my films have been self-shot and edited, working on DV with a couple of actors plus a sound recordist at the very most. Then I’ll sit at iMovie and curse the fact that every time I shift a chunk of soundtrack two pixels to the left, I’ve got enough time to make a cup of tea or maybe even go to Weston for a constitutional. So you’d imagine that I learned a shedload from working with so many brilliant people at such remarkable speed, and you’d be damn right. Those two days also served to establish – very quickly indeed, and with a force best described as “stomach churning” – precisely what gubbins here DIDN’T know about film making.
“Stomach churning” is not a metaphor. My alimentary canal (a sensitive and troublesome collection of gloopy pipes at the best of times) spent most of the weekend making noises like the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, often in the middle of takes which required total silence. VLOOP, it went. BrrrrUUUUURRBLllllle. Ben, the grip, would look at me with a mixture of barely contained hilarity and outright horror. It sounded like someone was building a house inside me. Every now and then I made a noise like the entirety of Coventry dropping, suddenly and efficiently, into a sinkhole.
But enough of my guts. The edit is looking peachy and the splicing of a million tiny acoustic guitar samples awaits. Once it’s all bagged, tied and labelled I’ll write a proper account of the shoot, with all my mood swings present and correct: in the meantime, here’s another big picture of some cassettes.