Sunday the 17th, 2 days before the shoot. After being notified that the sound recordist could not make it I was worried, again. This time I did not have a week to sort it, but instead 1 day. I knew I couldn’t make an ad on ShootingPeople because it was a Sunday and it would not get approved till the next day. The sound recordist that dropped out forwarded us to a website where we could contact other recordists in the Coventry/Birmingham area. I found 10 numbers and called all of them; 5 that had answered stated that they would only accept jobs for £250 a day, the standard rate of a professional recordist. I was about to give up at this point until I remembered that there was one last sound recordist application on SP that I had overlooked. Gave him a call. Strange beeps & no answer. Called again and he answered. He was in Italy at the time and would be flying down to England tomorrow evening (Monday) so he could make the shoot date on Tuesday. I even managed to negotiate the price down a little to make it fairer on my pocket. However he was to bring an additional boom operator with him to help him on the day, with a very small additional cost & expenses shared. I agreed. These guys were Italian and top-notch at everything they did. The main recordist would also be doing the film’s sound design in the future.
Finding Levis in 24 hours
When I thought I had experienced everything that had to be experienced in terms of people dropping out (I was in for a real treat), I received an email Sunday night (only 12 hours after the sound recordist had dropped out) from the actor to play Levis that his “Mother had passed away”. I was devastated and ultimately laughing at how unreal this situation was. I had to quickly accept reality and with my nature of never giving up and fighting till the end, I quickly got on Skype with my fellow producer and we had a look for actors in the Coventry/Birmingham area, found 3 potential candidates, and then messaged them details with an offer of payment. We gave a deadline of 12pm the next day if we got more than 1 reply. 1 actor fortunately replied, he was quickly confirmed and we forwarded all the relevant details to him. Phew. Since the hotel was already booked for the Levis coming from London we could re-use this booking for the new actor that was going to come from Birmingham, for one night less, however, because he was due to arrive on the Tuesday. Definitely one of the more crazier weeks of my life. But this was nothing compared to what I would experience on the first day of the shoot at ClubM.
The first DoP dropping out was a blessing in disguise. It allowed us to come up with that final final script version that we were 101% happy with. A script that was logistically sound as well as ambitious. The days leading up to filming were stressful and heavy but we kept on going. The majority of the actor extras were confirmed, the cast and crew were locked so nothing can go wrong now, right?