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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Shoot Day 2 Donkeys and Bento Boxes on the Hill

The mystery of the Blue Bento

Today was, like Day 1, very much a settling in day...for today was
lead actress Emily Graham's first day, and the relatively young and
inexperienced crew are also, often quite literally, finding their way.

First up today though was to start work on the very important voice
overs - in "I've seen Angels" a central story motif involves the
"Angels" hearing the voices of suffering, dying people.  The first
time this occurs is when Ariel (Emily's character) hears a cacophony
of voices, out of which emerges the voice of a young girl dying
in a road traffic accident (played by Becky Turner).  Emily also had to
record a voice part, a very moving prayer at the end of the film in which
she comes to terms with the major events that have altered and affected
her life.

Looking South to the Gower Penninsula

Becky and Emily read these beautifully...I know this element is going to be
very powerful in the final film (especially in a 5:1 surround mix).

After these recordings it was out to a nearby hill, Pwll hill to be exact,
where we wanted to get the backdrop of the magnificent Burry Inlet looking over
the town of Llanelli and out to sea.  But it didn't quite work out like that...

Firstly we got lost going up the hill, before encountering a herd of extremely
friendly donkeys.  On coming back down the hill, I decided to shoot in a slightly
different location - in this instance looking straight across to the Gower
Penninsula as Ariel first hears the 'voices of the dying'.  Incredible light,
fantastic contrast and shallow depth of field (the lovely ND9 filter!).  Most
importantly was just seeing how Emily performed some quite tricky bits of
visual acting: she did it fabulously, with a lot of coverage being shot of her
just reacting to the voices.  It was in profile that I suddenly realised that
Emily bears a striking resemblance to Bibi Anderson, a brilliant Swedish actress
and star and muse to the late, great Ingmar Bergman (one of my all time favourite
directors - a cinematic genius in my opinion).

Richard Lewis directing Becky Turner and Emily Graham

Finally it was back down to a layby on the Coastal Park Road, where we shot the scene
where Ariel goes to help the injured girl as she dies.  This was beautifully played
by Becky Turner, and created one of the emerging motifs of the film - a dying young
woman's face in close-up (when I think about it not dissimilar to the way Bergman
shot women giving birth in his masterpiece "Brink Of Life" (1954).  The themes of
the pain, horror, beauty and mystery of death are, partially, I think, what this film
and a lot of my films are about.

"...There is a secret with life, with life and death, a secret as to why some of
us are called to live, while others are called to die.  We may assail heaven and
science with questions - all the answers are only partial.  But life goes on,
crowning the living with torment and with happiness..."
Ulla Isaksson.

Emily Graham and Becky Turner mid take

Cath Morris 1st Ad and Angharad Irving, Associate Producer

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