My latest short, Mobil, is four days away from shooting. Parts of the team had a week of preparations last week, on location in Lofoten, and will soon return after having had a few days off for Easter.
Our lead will be played by the talented Jawad Kad, in his first film role.
I spent much of the prep rehearsing with him, and it was really wonderful to see him discover things about his own acting throughout the week. We'd rehearse and film and discuss, and it was clear that, though he'd never acted before, he had a real talent for it, and found it easy to get comfortable in front of the camera, and to tap into his own emotions and bring them to the character.
I ended up testing out the blocking of some important scenes, that called for a bit of choreography, and for seing exactly which shots we needed in a very editing-based sequence. I Seeing the results got me so excited that I ended up shooting and blocking all the rehearsals that followed in the way I'd pictured them. Soon I had an edit that was beginning to look more and more like the film I'd imagined, and as we kept plowing away at the scenes, I ended up with a cut of almost the whole film from start to finish. Which feels both great and bizzare.
It's helpful for all of the crew to now see in a much clearer way how some of the more abstract parts will look, and it's relieving for me to see that the construction of it works. There are quite a few stylistic changes towards the end of the film, and I'd worried a little that I was overdoing it, but now I see that it'll work out very nicely. On the other hand, it's really strange to have this alternate universe version of the entire thing, and I have a scary feeling that we've already done the film. I'll have to work against being too strict on set now, and not just trying to do exactly what we did in the draft, which'll just make things mechanical. To keep exploring. So, while I've never felt this well-prepared, I'll now have to throw some obstacles in my way, so that it doesn't become stale.
Then again, as far as obstacles go, I've written a film for northern Norway that is scripted to take place over 1.5 very sunny hours, that will be shot over four days, which is a pretty fucking stupid thing to do for a location that often has four seasons in a day. Don't be surprised if somebody remarks in the beginning of the film that "the weather is so crazy up here".