(This is Al Pacacino relaxing between takes on the set of 'Two Weeks')
I just spent the last six days on a film set. It was amazing. A cast of four, a crew of twelve. A short-film. An experience I'll never forget.
I've been on a film set before. But I was learning to crew and so focused on just getting my bit right, that I never really took in the whole experience.
But this time I was the "talent". So my job didn't start until the camera started rolling. That means there was a bit of waiting around for sets to be dressed, shots to be organised, cameras to set up, lighting to organise.
I felt wide-eyed and in the way sometimes watching this crew work their magic to turn night into day, make lighting look natural, lay cables, tape up marks and a myriad of other things.
I won't lie, it was intimidating in a way knowing that all their hard work was for one reason - to capture the actors performance.
The short story was an intense one. A family break up, a husband's despair, a wife's frustration, and the children coming to grips with their world falling apart.
I was amazed by the young girl, Ashley, who played my movie daughter. She played the rebellious, sulking, angry teenager to a tee. I know her performance helped me find a level of anxiety I needed to find in some scenes. My movie husband's performance of a hapless, weak, desperate man helped me dig deep to find frustration and repulsion.
Thankfully no one was overtly method in their approach and we could relax between takes, pulling the emotional intensity together when we heard the words "QUIET ON SET". Taking that moment to find your character between that moment and when the director yelled "ACTION".
Some of the perks were pretty fun too. Someone there to take care of all our needs. Thirsty? Hungry? Hot? Cold? Our First AD would organise everything we needed to make sure we were comfortable on set. (I'm not sure I can convince my children to keep doing that for me now I'm at home!)
But what I enjoyed most of all, was finding the character of Marnie. A determined, steely, hard-ass. A woman frustrated by her life. A woman seeking change. A woman dealing with the consequences of her decisions. Most people aren't going to find her character sympathetic at all. But it was fun finding her. It was fun playing her. It was fun not being me for a while.
The last day of shooting was a long one. It started at midday and ended at midnight. The final scenes I shot were very emotional. I was staying with a friend and I went back to their place and just crawled under the sheets and crashed. I was that wrecked. Emotionally, mentally, and physically.
Driving home from the shoot the next day, I cried the whole way home. I cried because it was sad it was over, I cried because I think even though the movie won't show this part - I think she would have cried as she drove away from her family. I cried because even though finding Marnie was difficult, letting her go was harder.
Today I am back to real life, and even though it was less than 24 hours ago. It already feels a lifetime away.
Now begins the long impatient wait while the crew edit the film before it's release. The fun is only just beginning for them. I can't wait to see it!