Nghi and Joy came to my house today for a last production meeting before the rehearsals actually start. Nghi always has a list running of all the things we need to do. And there's always more there than you think.
Sound., for instance: it’s not a straightforward matter. I'm not even talking music. When Asian guy is walking, in the first scene, is there sound of him walking? When Cow Boy smokes a cigarette, is there any sound of breathing out? Decisions to be made on every single detail – Who's in charge? I suppose it's my role, as director. Right – and how does it happen? When are we recording what sound? On what shots? Only close-ups, or wide shots as well? Who's holding the mike? Where will they be? Shadows?
Shooting order - another issue? We've got two nights on location, we're filming four sequences, one outside, and three inside. We must wait untill darkness for the first. We won’t be following narrative order. I’m thinking about my actors, already. But also, me. Will they like that? the tango sequence, it will mess up with clothes, we can’t start from there.
We discuss it a bit, and come up with working solution: focus on the dance sequence only the second night; on the Friday, shoot all the rest – it’s more technical, it's less important, it will take longer. We start with the urinal scene, which we can probably shoot with a bit of light outside. An hour for that, a pause, we follow on with the outside sequence (weather depending, of course, it's Melbourne, who knows if and when it's going to dribble or blow), we finish up with our final sequence. On Saturday morning - I'm think, wow, early to rise... - we can review the Friday footage, and re-do the shots that didn’t work. Nghi adds, if we've got a major problem, we want a few security shots of the dance sequence on the first night. Hey, storm, broken arm, or power shortage - everything happens in this world. He's trying to cheer us up, I guess: ‘I think it’s all looking good. It’s in your hands now. Remember, always have a Plan B. Things are not going to work.’