It is mid-week and I am completely and utterly shattered. Stepping into the role of Production Manager for Director Gsus Lopez' new short film OUT this week, I've been up at 5am every day, writing up call sheets, organising schedules, making sure everything runs smoothly on set and liaising with all members of the team to make Lopez' film the best that it can be. I even made a roast dinner on Sunday for one of the scenes, in which a table is laden with delicious, steaming food (much to the delight of the 16 strong cast and crew that were able to tuck in after we nailed the shot).
This is Lopez' first venture in creating a short film with dialogue. His other films have been classified as 'fashion films' - they follow a narrative but Sofia Coppola-like in style, they fetishise clothing and last under 6 minutes in length. We're aiming for 15 minutes for OUT, a short film that follows Oscar (Oliver Yellop) as he goes back to his home town to come out to his mother, Mary (played by Jeff Kristian).
In spite of Lopez' divergence away from the fashion films he has garnered much attention for (the Berlin Fashion Film Festival, ASVOFF Barcelona Grand Prix, Madrid Fashion Film Festival, Charleston Fashion Week, the In House Film Festival and the Trans Film Festival in Germany have all featured his films), OUT is certainly promising to be stylish.
The scenes shot this week look beautiful. Watching the rushes back, it's clear to see the difference that excellent filming equipment makes to the look of a film. Not only that, but Lopez and Director of Photography Rafael Bujosa have a brilliant visual eye, the locations chosen for the film are stunning and Artistic Director Opashona Ghosh has been fantastic in set dressing. Think glitter and other-wordly glamour mixed with a picturesque, quaint little locale. It's going to be a real convergence of juxtaposing images. Already, I can see how it will work.
Highlights of the week include serving up my hefty chicken dinner (complete with a tray-load of roasted potatoes and carrots, peas, Yorkshire puds and dessert), ensuring half-naked actors are A-OK on set, shooting on location in Wye, Kent and meeting some inspiring new people throughout the process (shout-out to my new Greek bud Ria Poly on costume).
The team has been a pleasure to work with. We've had to deal with losing all of the footage after working a 12 hour day on Monday, negotiating licenses and manoeuvring actors + crew around a teeny tiny 2x1 metre kitchen space and getting everyone to and from Kent on the two days of a damned tube strike. Everyone has been patient, co-operative and above all, passionate about helping out. The budget has been eaten at by equipment hire, meaning we're in this for the love of it. I have no doubt that OUT, like Lopez' other films, is set for acclaim. For that, we can thank a wonderful group of creatives. It's been a pleasure to once again work with Gsus and the team.