Filming Ramona and the Dinner

What can I say, really? The day went off without too much trouble, technically. I even managed to sneakily get some footage at Waitrose of Ramona shopping, though it was all pretty shaky and close-up since we didn’t have permission and I had to film as candidly as possible. Most of the time, it was just her hands and basket, and you could hardly even see what store it was, so it’s fine.

The second we came into Merchiston to meet Ralph, our assistant/ boom operator for the day, a surly security guard rushed up to us and told us sternly that we couldn’t film in there. I could’ve explained to him that – as a result of Napier’s policies for filming on their premises – we could actually film there as long as we got release forms from any individuals we included, but I didn’t feel argumentative and simply pointed out that we didn’t intend to film there today, which was true.

We filmed at Rocket Cafe, who were very nice about it. Radim is quite taken with the Icelandic girl who works there, which is really kind of sweet. She’s a cute girl and she can brew a decent cappuccino, so they have my blessing. ^_^

During the dinner interview, I got a sinking feeling. The notion of prejudice against young Germans in Britain seemed to have completely disappeared. The whole premise of our film had been lost somewhere! We basically had three hours of pointless pap! There was some discussion around WW2-based humour and national pride, but right now – possibly due in part to my own insecurities, paranoia and exhaustion – I feel like the whole film is useless.

It’s possible we got the wrong end of the stick initially; that we misunderstood where the interesting topic was. It’s also possible that talking to our subjects about it made them think about the issue to such a degree that they’ve finished with the subject in their minds prior to filming. It may also be just post-filming paranoia. Perhaps a combination of all of these.

If the film does turn out to be a steaming pile of rancid diarrhea, at least it will have been a learning experience, which is exactly what we’re here for. One of the primary reasons I wanted to study films rather than just go out and learn on the job was that I would have the freedom to experiment and fail. It’s all very frightening, but at least I’m not getting sacked.

Oh, and I watched Episode 6 of the sixth season of How I Met Your Mother. Perhaps it’s the exhaustion talking again, but I haven’t laughed so hard in quite some time. And this time, it wasn’t all just because of Neil Patrick Harris, whom I adore.

For tomorrow:

  1. Hand back equipment (BLARGH!)
  2. Practice using 16 mm equipment
  3. Edit sound project
  4. Try to do some reading if at all possible