Production Week 3 Continued

by Andrew

Father Michael works here

Father Michael works here

As a unit we tried our best to take things easily for our last three days on the island – March 1-3. After our brutal Monday, and with Veronica’s car still in a ditch on North Haven Road, we were treated to the three least demanding days of the shoot.

On Tuesday, we shot scene 46, which takes place at Richard’s office, the only location we began production without having locked. Though my father had seen the property in the summer of 2009, I hadn’t followed up on it after seeing his photos, and we had never planned to shoot there. But when the first-choice location fell through, I sifted through my old location photos and was surprised to find that the photos were a lot more promising than I’d remembered. Given the nature of the island in winter, we had a lot of difficulty locating the property’s owner. By the time we did, we were already in the middle of the second week of the shoot and things were getting tight. We were eventually able to find the (very kind) artist who owns the construction and design space that appears in the film, and were able to shoot there with relatively little hassle.

My fondest memory of this location was when we went to scout it a few days before shooting, and Kit found a banjo, and then revealed that he could play banjo. As Veronica said, “I needed that.”

After walking into the location, Gareth, our trusty gaffer, started running his lighting ideas past Ian, our DP, and I remember Ian just telling him to forget putting any lights outside. Let’s take it easy today, he said. A good call given how brutal Monday had been. Soon, and for the first time, the camera was crashing because of the warmth of the location rather than the cold. That was a welcome change.

The next day saw not one, not two, but three gifts for the film’s photography. We shot a number of scenes that take place at Peggy’s house, and though we had to shoot them all in a row, they were written to take place on different script days. The weather shifted dramatically for each of the scenes, as if on cue, and blessed us with the snow-bound shot that appears near the beginning of the film. I couldn’t have been happier with how each one turned out. During the shifts of the weather, we ran outside and back in (twice) to grab a few exterior shots of David in the snow. Each one made it into the final cut.

Our last day was a short one, with two new actors making their one-day appearances felt. Camilla Gray and Bill Vaughan came out to the island to put in a day of work each and left a memorable impression on the production to say the least. We’re also very grateful for the house pictured above, whose owner was friendly to the point of allowing us not only to come inside, but to turn her china cabinet completely inside out. Even though everything was returned to its right place and nothing was broken, the fact that she was still smiling while the art department re-assembled her house at sundown was a good reminder of how impressively kind and generous the entire island was while helping us make this film.