Sunday, May 25, 2008

how to recap the sixth day of my trip (guangzhou edition)

words and meaning do not only get lost in translation, but they also take time. that's what i learned today trying to direct talent and a crew that speaks cantonese.

when they're not asked to make decisions, or to think on their own without being told, everything is great. in fact, you can fly through stuff. but once anything gets disrupted, all hell breaks loose, and you just can't get back on track. or, at least, not today.

the morning was great. unfortunately, it set up a precedent that i now know was impossible to match. we flew through scenes, the talent was attentive, everyone was happy. and the location looked great.

and we broke for lunch.

everything broke right after that. camera moves took three times as long as they should have. checking shots on the laptop took four times as long. the crew ruined takes when their cellphones rang over and over again. strange people walked into shots even when warned not to. takes were ruined when the crew dropped stuff - even when they should be standing still. and rehearsals took forever because the talent just wasn't getting it or it just wasn't being explained clearly to them.

it was frustrating and unending.

still, we fought through it, and because of our fruitful morning, we finished ahead of schedule. and tomorrow, i'll know not to expect too much, that i'm just better off playing the role of the talent during rehearsals, to employ a longer time when a camera has to be moved, and to always keep in mind that i am not in los angeles.

holy crap, i'm so not in los angeles.

i'm going to sleep. it was a long day.

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