The last chance – re-producing the nightclub scenes

The days that followed our so-called ‘fail’ were challenging. It’s difficult to describe one’s all-time low in life but I can assure you that this was really horrible to experience. At this point we believed that we had failed and messed up our film (and potentially our lives), far more than anyone else. It’s hard to believe there was so much stress involved in the production of a 15minute film.

The bigger the project the more people you have to rely on. I agreed with the producer that we were to assemble our remaining pieces of coin and give these nightclub scenes one last chance. It’s lucky that we could afford such a massive production, but as a pair we knew full well that we could pull it off if we gave ourselves one last chance.

We were determined to see where we went wrong and to never repeat the same mistakes, so we began producing, again. It took us a few days to get ourselves back together and we started sending out messages. We started messaging people via emails to see what times they were free on the week starting 25th March, we honestly dreaded getting all the same cast and crew for a ‘re-union’ on one day. Could we do it? Read on and find out…

I put my eyes on the last two days of the next week, March the 28th and 29th. I contacted all the crew and told them my intentions and thankfully they were all happy with it. The main cast was next, Levis was fine with it (but asked about being paid, we said no because we simply had no funds left. He complained about having no food on set but I assured him it would be sorted this time round). Grace said she could only make the next week because it was Good Friday and that she would  not be doing any other films at this time – yet she agreed to work on ours because she saw potential in it (as everyone else did). Getting Ted again was tricky. He said that he had many on-going rehearsals as well as work and that it was slim he would get a day off – however we met up with him on the Friday 22nd and begged for him to try and get a day off, he was convinced and said he would get back to us asap.

Next was the Club. On Monday 25th I got in contact with the assistant manager of ClubM but he was incredibly reluctant to let us use the club. After multiple texts and convincing we managed to persuade him but with a cost of hiring out the venue – for Thursday. This put our minds at rest and I started to message people on the new filming date. Then I received a text off Ted that he managed to get Friday off. I panicked but knowing that I was going to pay ClubM for the venue anyway, I messaged them saying changed I needed to change to Friday. They were fine with it…

I knew extras were difficult to get so I sent an email to the local newspaper (Coventry Telegraph) and they published my article. Unfortunately..

PaperI recieved around 5 emails for this, replied, and to no avail whatosoever…

Next day Tuesday 26th I received a message from the club saying that we could not, at any cost, use the club on the Friday because the manager (and company director) was coming down. I panicked again and started to ask Ted if he could change to Thursday.. This is when I found out that the Gay Guy Extra could not do Thursday either. So me and my fellow producer flipped in rage at the world and decided that it was time to find another club. It was either Friday or nothing else.

Whilst all this was happening I was keeping in touch with Roger who I had met at ClubM and was playing Bouncer #1 (executive produer) who was very keen on helping out and arranging extras for the club scenes. But he needed a club for the extras to go to! I had already told him that we would be going ClubM on Thursday but now I had to tell him we were doing it on Friday at a club that we had not yet found.

I had already created a Facebook page for extras – please understand that I had learned from my mistake but this page was for people to keep track of the event and not it any way confirming any attendees – this was used to notify some folk about the new venue. I was going to get extras the proper way.

NIGHTCLUB EXTRAS EVENT PAGE FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/events/500581223311257/

With my fellow producer, we started researching all clubs that we could use in Coventry for Friday:

  • Hush – gave them a knock and they said they couldn’t accommodate us due to some on-going maintenance work
  • Platinum – contacted the owner but he forwarded us to another placed he owned – ‘The Loft’, asked if we could have a look at it tomorrow  and he agreed
  • S7ven – contacted owner and asked if we could have a look at it tomorrow and he agreed
  • The Dog – owner said call 30mins in advance so we can see the place

Things were starting to look better, but we still did not have a guaranteed club. I created a flier (advertising for extras) for ClubM on Monday and still had the Photoshop file ready for modification; for some reason I was keen on S7ven so I modified it to fit that club. I messaged all the cast and crew and confirmed that we were to shoot on Friday at a venue that I would have to confirm the next day.

Wednesday 27th – We started the day by looking at S7ven, unfortunately it was instantly unusable because it had massive white windows and during the day it was bright inside. Obviously as a nightclub it would be only open in the night when it would be naturally dark. Next was The Dog. We finally hit solid gold with this one. It was perfect, small and manageable with a very friendly manager. The scenes would play out here far better than they did at ClubM.

DOGFlier used to advertise our need for extras

We agreed to use it and finally set the final stage of producing in motion. I wanted to see the Loft but apparently the owner was really dodgy so I was discouraged from using it by Roger, who I constantly notified about my options and situation. I completed the flier for The Dog and printed out 30 or so copies for distribution for tomorrow, Thursday, a day before the shoot. I also secured a runner from the first year of the same course as me as he wanted experience. He knew a professional photographer who would also be an extra at the club as well as do some production stills. I met a good actor to play Jasmine at ClubM so that made me feel more secure; all the cast were notified about the latest plans and they were happy with it. Downsides included:

  • The makeup artist could not make it because of personal issues
  • Could not get any kind of replies from the Alpha male
  • The Victim was unavailable on that day

However not all was gloom, everyone else was available and that was enough to tell the story we had imagined in the script (minus everything involving the above extras). The positives included:

  • Roger had arranged and confirmed 10+ extras for the club scenes
  • Jasmine was now secured thanks to meeting her at ClubM
  • We had now secured a runner, and two people to take production stills
  • We had secured 5+ extras for the club ourselves thanks to StarNow and other willing people
  • The main cast could make it as well as Gay Man, Bouncer #1 & 2
  • The rest of the crew were happy with the date and times

Thursday 28th was the very last day of preparation, that calm day before the storm. Me and the producer personally gave out the fliers which I had printed the day before to select townsfolk (plus stuck a few of them around town) in the hope of securing that last few remaining amount of extras. We also showed the DoP the new club and he was far happier with it – levels of light were higher, less extras needed to actually make it look full and the staff was far more friendlier and actually helpful for a change. The location and accessibility was great too because it was right in the centre of town – food was available easily as well as other amenities. It just made us realise that this place was far better than ClubM in so many ways – I just wish that we did not choose ClubM because it played so easy to get, but rather look around town and find the best possible choice. The Dog was also going to be an open set, meaning that people would walk into the club and double as extras (because it was an open bar during the day) which I thought would be of benefit. It was decided that Laura would get the earliest possible train from Manchester so that she could arrive on time at 9:30am. Regrettably, we had to work around the lack of makeup – although fellow producer had the brilliant idea of taking the female lead (Grace) to be made-up in the nearby Debenhams in the morning whilst preparations were taking place, certainly a grand idea. All was good.

We had just managed to give us one more chance to save the film, and for that we were grateful to ourselves and everyone that had helped. It was a very stressful and hard week but we had somehow pulled it off!

Producing for scene 9 was easy after what had taken place to secure the nightclub re-shoot. Only 3 actors were required and I could easily secure the availability of DoP and cheaper sound recording. A crappy-looking room was straightforward to secure as SQ bar had been known to let students use their facilities free of charge.

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