Wow, what an experience! So Saturday was the day we filmed six sketches for our Sketch Show and I’m still digesting an amazing day where I debuted as a director (and a cameo as actor). First of all, lets go back to Friday evening when we had a very brief rehearsal and one of the sketches (not mine) was missing a bit of continuity and the actors (three of them) and myself weren’t quite happy with it. Given the fact that I had hours to work on this, I pretty much gave up on making any changes until I woke-up at 2am on Saturday morning with the solution and rushed downstairs to write it there and then. So in the past week I’ve gone from writing sketches over a few days, to a day, to a few hours and now to in my sleep!
Surprisingly, I had no problems sleeping on Friday night as the mix of fear and excitement completely cancelled each other out. I arrived at the location at 8am to help setup, with the producer/actress and DoP, for the scheduled start of shooting at 9am. Scheduled being the operative word as at 8:45 (or was it 8:46?) we get a text saying one of our actors had locked himself out and wouldn’t be here until 10:30am. OK, a brief panic turns into calm as I spot that the second sketch on the schedule doesn’t involve the actor in question and the location is the same. Hurrah! We swap sketches around and my joy is slightly dampened as I know I have a cameo in the sketch – wearing a silly costume.
At 9:20am we are still without the other actor so I phone him only to find out I had actually woken him up. It all resulted in having to start filming at 10:45am with actor who locked himself out, our producer/actress and myself directing my first ever sketch in a silly costume.
Things did get a lot better once the second actor turned up and we rattled through the sketches quite well. It was difficult to know how I did as a director. The feedback was very good but I feel I could have given more direction, but with time constraints and with not wanting to annoy all these people giving up their free time I didn’t want to go OTT, especially when they thought a particular take went well. I did brief the actors about how I wanted to play each role and gave reminders in between. Hopefully it was the right amount of interference!
Everyone was very positive about the day, the lighting and equipment were fantastic and so were there camera angles so its going to look good. The experience was priceless as I learnt so much about filmmaking. I would certainly do it again, I still see myself as a writer but I’ve got confidence now that I know what I want from a sketch as a director, even if I didn’t nail people to the wall until I got it this time.