The shoot went much smoother than I expected. All of the cast arrived on time and I had plenty of time to set up the hall. I’m very happy with how Rebecca and I managed to pull the costumes together in the end and I think they are quite convincing.
Here is a breakdown of the day:
– I arrived at Ormond Hall at 11.30AM and began unloading all of the furniture, costumes and other props from the trailer. By 11.45 the hall was set up and I was ready to go.
– All of the cast arrived by 12pm and Rebecca and I got everyone in to costume
– From 12.15 to 12.30 we blocked out the scene and had everyone walk through exactly what I wanted to do. I did have to change around the blocking a little bit as the hall was much larger than I thought, so the goal was to make the space look more crowded given I was working with a cast of 7. For this reason, I decided to have the camera pan across the length of the hall rather than behind the character of Vida Goldstein to create a more intimate feeling. This also allowed me to individually frame each “room” in the commune metaphorically rather than physically having different rooms around the hall, as you can see in the screenshot below:
Each of the different “rooms” (The Dining Room, The Shoe Repair Room, and The Smoking Room) are framed within different squares against the curtains. This was a very lucky accident that I took advantage of.
The other minor change was the ending of the shot. Initially, I had planned to leave the interior of the building completely and end on a shot of Vida standing outside the entrance, however there was no direct access to the street. Instead, I panned backwards and pulled out to reveal the entire hall and the whole cast in the one shot, which I actually prefer.
– By 3PM (and around 20-25 takes later) I had the perfect take, and the shoot was wrapped up.
Overall, I’m so happy with how the day went and I am extremely thankful to have worked with such a professional cast of actors and for the opportunity to use Ormond Hall. I’m also extremely thankful to Rebecca for pushing me around on my wheelchair-dolly.
Here is a photo of some of the cast in costume that I took at the end of the day: