i’m just starting week 3 on the german movie and let me tell you , i’m no longer movie fit!
make no mistake, shooting a multi-cam tv show is a beast of its own that needs time and skill to tame, but i’ve been doing it daily for so long now that i’ve pretty much got it figured out. if there are emotional scenes, hold back during blocking and rehearsals, give a little during the technical rehearsals, but save your performance for the take and hopefully there’ll be no more than 3 of those.
get to a movie and it’s a totally different story. day 1, my first scene: sobbing next to a grave side. after the first wide shot the director comes up to me and quietly advises me that i can go much louder, more hysterical. 8 wide shots later of me wailing through the entire length of amazing grace sung in afrikaans to be dubbed into german, we move in for mid shots and by the time we get to the close ups the tears have long dried in the magaliesberg heat and i am now required to EMOTE on take 15. and NOW finally, the director would like those tears running down my face!!!
for my first dialogue, i decided to give the german script a try during rehearsal, after which i swiftly retreated and did it in english and afrikaans (germans dub everything! – the german actors speak german and the south africans speak whatever and then some voice actor later makes them sound like germans). on the final take of an emotional scene the director announces that she wants me to do in german. talk about patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time! it was rather edifying that when i drove back after jumping in the car and racing off dramatically at the end of the scene, i was met with a round of applause from cast and crew. and since then, i don’t even bother with the english dialogue. never mind that i offered someone a suitcase, rather than a cup of tea, and that i offered to shoot someone rather than water them (don’t ask), for the rest everyone seems to expect me to do it in german now. after 20 years it’s quite a task getting the brain and tongue to wrap itself around a barely mastered third language.
add the getting up at 03h30, the long hours and the hour schlep to and from set and the dust and the scorching sun and my iphone battery dying by 11a.m when i have the slutwalk to help organize inbetween takes and you get that life is far from boring and sleep is in short supply. i’ve taken to using sleeping aids to ensure that i’ll get some sleep.
and yet, despite, or because, of it all, it’s rather fabulous to be on a film-set again. and i hope to do it again soon!
warte mal, ich komme, ich komme!!!