Peter M Howard ::

Weeping for a Film

06May2007 [movies]

In which I shoot a film overnight and watch another too-emotional film while still chemically imbalanced

Friday afternoon was spent celebrating with the team behind, launched two weekends ago and still standing.

Friday evening I went home and slept from nine till two.

In the ridiculously early hours of Saturday morning I rose, stumbled through a morning routine, then went out shooting. Phi, my final uni project, is an episodic video-for-web thing. It's made up of half rambling environmental shots (mostly things I've been collecting over the last couple of years) and half locked-off direct-to-camera narration. Saturday morning I shot all the narration - the only stuff that has any acting in it, and something I was terrified of trying to pull off. The monologue is very wordy, the character's journey is a little strange. The dull roar of the city permeates the whole thing; getting up this early was our only hope for keeping the background noise that low, and as it was we were regularly interrupted. But it all came out really well - I've spent this afternoon clipping and digitising it and I'm really happy with how it's looking.

Phi :: Release 01 :: Leaving the city

The project consists of five releases; we shot Releases 3, 4 and 5 in the dark, 1 in the dawn, then 1 again and 2 after the sun was up. Eventually got home by 8am, exhausted but completely buzzed on adrenaline.

With the chemical imbalance preventing me from sleeping, or from focussing on anything else, I crashed on the bed and watched Clean. And wow. It's been a long time since any film has had an emotional affect on me, but this thing had me weeping throughout. Maggie Cheung's musician boyfriend overdoses on drugs she bought; she gets six months and loses custody of their son to his parents. The rest of it is her trying to get her life back on track; it's full of beautiful moments - Nick Nolte is amazing as the withdrawn grandfather who's just looking out for the kid.

(And at one point I found myself getting emotional just 'cause it was showing Paris, and I so wanted to be there; I think that was the sleep deprivation, but still, I didn't realise the normally-buried emotions were that strong)

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