Friday, 18 March 2011

Bad habits

With the investment rods fully baited-up and cast into the stream, Jake and I can now move back to more creative arguments.

I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but when we wrote Resurrection last summer, we were hoping to off-load it onto somebody else to make. And although it was always conceived as a low-budget affair from the offing, we may have let certain bad habits creep in.

Bad habits, under the guise of them someday being “someone else’s problem”.

And to the strains of a thousand pigeons suddenly coming home to roost, we now have to fix them ourselves. Such is our Friday.

I’ll give you an example. One of our characters (Beaumont) is a guy in his early forties, with a stalwart set of middle-class values that have been largely un-affected by the apocalypse. And we gave him two pre-teen kids, who he is chaperoning across the badlands.

Jake and I have always really liked the kids. They are written as two completely un-traumatised youngsters happily getting on with life after the end of the world. It allows us to poke fun at some of the more peculiar middle-class values in today’s society, like how a parent can be relaxed about exposing their kids to extraordinary levels of violence but get grumpy if someone swears within ear-shot. And having young kids in peril throws some completely unearned but welcome tension into the mix; we’ll take it wherever we can.

Then we put on our producer’s hat. The world looks very different from under here.

It’s clear to us now that wherever we set the film we’re most likely going to be forced to shoot at night to keep the surrounding noise levels manageable. And to get enough hours of darkness without it getting too chilly, we need to shoot during autumn term time.

Oh. Bugger.

Reading through the reams of regulations about using child actors is enough to fill an inexperienced producer with the creeping terrors. Maximum performance times? Rest breaks? Provision of tutors? And it all tightens up like a puckered sphincter when you move into night shoots. The Guerilla Film-Maker's Handbook is less equivocal just don't write speaking roles for kids.

There is only one answer. They’ve got to go.

Like ripples in a pond, making a decision like that has implications throughout the screenplay, but now Resurrection has two fewer pre-teen kids and one replacement sixteen year-old (probably being played by a young-looking eighteen year-old actress). And taking recent advice on board, it’d probably help if she was cute with it. There was no larger debate between Jake and me – it had to happen, and that’s that.

But like the bitch I am, I know that if we’d have off-loaded the film onto another producer I’d have fought this change with a passion.

Happily for some, one of the knock-on effects is that we will be losing the “crass blow-job scene”, with only the GhoulFool’s comic-book artwork surviving the cull. Sadly the line “Boy - I’m gonna suck you like you’ve got the cure for death in there” will also be lost to future cinema-goers. Such is our Friday. Compromised.

No comments:

Post a Comment