Today we filmed some footage for the Fictions brief at the bandstand and surrounding area on Brighton seafront. I decided we would film the most dramatic scenes first because I thought they’d be the hardest, emotionally and technically. Once they were over it would be plain sailing with the other scenes. What I had in my mind with regard to the scenes in the bandstand didn’t look right in reality so we moved out and down into the petanque court.
We experienced numerous difficulties with sound: wind, background noise from the traffic on the main road, people passing by, petanque balls clanking and had to ask the actors to speak louder. It was great having Ezra as the sound-person; I’m not used to having others help me and it was a relief to let go of some of the responsibility.
While trying to explain to Fran how I wanted Ali to sound during a certain scene, I decided to show her instead and took her place. After delivering the lines (which I had to keep looking at the script for because I hadn’t learnt them) I began trembling all over. I jumped up and down to try to shake it off but I couldn’t. We swapped places and did another take with Fran as Ali and then I turned the camera off. I told Chris, Fran and Ezra that I wanted to play Ali and that it was a very powerful experience saying her lines. It would mean that we couldn’t finish the shoot that day – we’d taken about two and a half hours to film at that point – and I asked what we could do about that. Ezra offered to be camera-person and we agreed to reconvene at Chris’ flat on Monday and Thursday evenings.
When I wrote this script, I knew, subsconciously, that I wanted to play Ali but I wouldn’t let myself act. I have a fear of seeing myself on the screen, especially if watching with a group of other people. I’m so self critical that I imagine it will hugely immobilising to see myself on the big screen in the moving image room at uni. So, I’m going to do it. It’s good to go towards the thing I’m afraid of and confront it.