Priyanka Maharaj

Update || Weeks 8, 9, 10 & 11

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Pri Pri, where have you been? Fear not, for I am here… until I get bombarded again with work and leave you in the dark. I am sorry, but brace yourself; this one is going to be a bit of a long one.

So we’re in week 11, in week 7 (final week of pre-production) everything had been going so smoothly, what could possible go wrong? We breathed too soon and we hit the biggest road block that saw my teams hopes go from 100-0; real quickly, well at least mine did.

A week out from when I had organised for production to being; the big guys of our original location (a empty hospital ward) thought that it would be totally acceptable to pull the location away from us.

A WEEK BEFORE PRODUCTION.

Alarm bells began ringing for myself and the director and we spent an entire weekend emailing and phone calling, universities, tafe’s and schools, other hospitals, medical clinics, even a few VET surgeries. An emergency meeting was held and from that, 2 new locations were found, a nursing home and community hall. Along with these two locations we had another 3 locations to film at. We went from 2 locations too 5; in a matter of a few days. A big well done and thank you too the director who really carried the team, securing all locations for this film.

All locations were free of charge except for the community hall which, i personally think, they just wanted to make an extra $275 from poor film students; who might I add, are NOT FOR PROFIT! But hey, that’s just my opinion.

We also had invested in a special effects make up artist who pulled out last minute as well, SURPRISE. With a day before the first shoot day, I managed to pull together my beginner skills in makeup and produced some effects that looked alright visually. A huge well done to the production designer who created fake blood for the car crash scene from scratch, which I was able to effectively put onto the to actors.

Our final production day in week 10, saw all of us tested. The director and I arrived at the final location (community hall) at 1:30pm the rest of the crew and actors arrived shortly after. Unfortunately only 2/8 extras, I had organised with the help of a fellow actor, came too the shoot. In that moment I felt terrible and almost useless however, the director understood that it was out of my hands and was really reassuring and I think we managed to work well with what we had.

Being the assistant director on this film I blocked the extra’s movements, which unfortunately didn’t make it into the final cut and ensured production occurred to the detailed schedule created by the director. I’ve also financially invested in this film a lot more than I expected too, which I don’t mind; the success of the film is far greater, however I’ve had too work double shifts too bring my bank balance out of debt. Catering was handled by myself, but I am thankful, that the team managed to chip in where they could.

Time flew by and we had made it too 7:30pm and the director hit an emotional block, believing that we didn’t have enough time to film the rest and that we’d have to schedule an extra day of filming. I honestly was not prepared to have all actors come in again and pay a further $275 for an extra day of filming. Eventually the director was able to pick herself up as she always does and continued to work hard. I must say that with the high work ethic of the team and schedule keeping on my behalf we managed to finish the filming a 12:30pm. A BIG RELIEF. By the time we had packed up it was 2:30am, I managed to get home at 3:30am, you can say I was never happier too see my beloved bed. Unfortunately, it did mean I missed the film class in the morning.

Too sum up the entire short film experience; it has been great and eye opening but incredibly stressful.

Now that we are onto editing, my focus has been turned to the other assignments that are screaming my name and the neglected CIU assessment.

I’ve re-filmed my sound project and being a slight perfectionist; I am still unhappy with it. I do NOT want the sound project to be the bane of my existence and the reason  I fail this subject. Luckily I have left enough time for me too re film and film new scenes.

However, one of the toughest things I have had to overcome these past few weeks, is my diagnosis with PCOS (poly cystic ovarian syndrome), which literally means what it is; multiple cysts on the ovaries. For years, I have suffered from undiagnosed symptoms and finally I have an answer. After a few scans, there were numerous cysts found to growing on my ovaries of which had to be removed. I do not like hospitals. So for this last two weeks, I’ve felt disconnected and  very depressed. Now that they have been removed and medication is kicking in, I feel as though I can fall back into the “old positive and passionate Pri,” mindset.

I know this is really unrelated  and shouldn’t be an excuse, which I don’t intent it to be, I just cannot stress enough that your physical and mental health is more important than anything. If you have concerns talk too someone. Please.

 I’m glad I had such a wonderful director who is so understanding and has provided me with so much support, I feel like the friendship and professional relationship I’ve built with the director is very strong.

At the moment, editing of the short film is well underway, we plan too film one more transition scene and complete an ADR session with our lovely sound team before the editor goes crazy with colour grading. Hope too share the product with you soon.

Phew, that’s a lot off my chest. I hope you have had a wonderful day, I’ll talk too you very soon.

-Pri.

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