Hi, This is Tamar and it is 11:42am on a Tuesday and it is our third week in San Francisco.
In the last week we've been editing and workshopping and rewriting and refining and trashing and changing our scripts so much that at the end of it I couldn't even bare to look at it any more. I think it's finally achieved its final form which gives me great relief, because I think I'd apply for early retirement if I had to strengthen another character's motif or defend another choice of action. Lately I've been so caught up in always thinking about the next step that I keep catching myself forgetting simple things, like picking up coffee I made. We're literally thinking, breathing and sleeping work.
I'm excited to get to the post part. I can't wait to have something tangible I can be working on. But back to the fish title. Last night, on a bus ride home I let my mind go off on a tangent. And this is what the little buddy has been up to apparently. I guess it Aligned a little bit to the video I had been working on about Ocean Beach, which is my location for the fortuneteller. Apologies for the audio quality of the narration, I realized some parts are hard to make out. I'm basically talking about my crippling fear of being a fish.
In the past week, we've been watching Mira Nair's classes on prep and choosing the right cinematographer to work with. I've been worried about not operating my own camera, because I feel as if I've devised a rather specific vision that I'm scared won't translate even if one camera move doesn't align with the plan. But, after thinking about this and hearing Mira talk about how important it is that the people you work with take your idea and push it further than you could've imagined, I realized it will probably be for the best to have another perspective on this project. Especially considering that I will also be editing and doing sound. I'm a little worried of losing patience on set, I will need to do some yoga and soul searching the day before to really detox from chaotic energy.
So far we've learnt so much on all aspects of filmmaking, from honing the idea to crowdfunding to making connections and reaching out, casting the right people etc. We've also been doing rigorous amounts of prep, storyboards, lookbooks, overhead diagrams, shot lists and so much more. Unfortunately, I made a mistake of getting ahead of the timeline and started adding all of my work from week 2 to an account on StudioBinder that can't be shared and now I need to transfer the info to the functional account. But it's alright, maybe I'll discover errors, which I'm sure. there are many, or have crazy epiphanies in the process.
We also had to do an assignment of reading a script we'd never read before and taking directorial notes on it that we would later compare to how it was actually done. I decided to do The Two Popes.
Reading it, I was really excited about the opening scenes, right away, knowing the subject of the screenplay, I imagined a mural slowly emerging from the black screen as the pope Francis is trying to book a flight. I planned how the mural would emerge to be be fully visible, accompanied with some holy music at the lines "very funny" and would aid to a smooth match cut to the next scene in the streets of Argentina. I pictured a French New Wave-esque bird's eye view of the street, the camera following the boy. Choreographed and sound designed in the realm of the opening scene of The Conversation, except in this one the murals speak to you. I imagined how the animated storytelling of the murals would comically correspond to the occurrences in the street and how the sound would demonstrate the juxtaposition of the two different worlds co-existing in a timeline. I even thought of some potential theatric spotlights on Bergoglio when he's trying to get a louder cheer out of people with a dramatically intensifying church chapel score. And as the woman announces that the pope is dead and we see the archival footage, the score would reach its climactic point.
Overall I imagined a lot of long takes and tracking shots with a juxtaposition of vibrant mural colors and blend light brown of chapels and cathedrals and etc. It would be fast paced with a lot of dramatic church music and overall feel of a holy stick up ones a**. Absolutely no offense intended to the two popes or to Jesus. This was simply the best way I could describe my vision. When I saw the film I was shocked by how it is filmed in an almost documentary way. Largely for the brilliant acting of Anthony Hopkins and Jonathan Pryce, in my vision it was definitely a lot more theatrical and a lot less, I guess naturalistic. I really loved the pope election scene. I had imagined it similarly, perhaps with a slower build up. A lot like the speech from The King's speech.