That’s A Wrap

ClownfaceIt’s a wrap! Complaining about the cold, sleeping on the director’s floor and managing not to yell at anyone for not washing up. We were back on Clownface! Like the Facebook page. Follow the adventure on Twitter Watch the trailer and the Kickstarter preview scene.

Filming on Clownface finished on Friday, after a final two days of shooting. There’s just pick ups and a final scene left. And we’re sad it’s over.

We drove up to West Bromwich Wednesday night to stay with the director, Alex. Producer, Mark, actors Hannah and Phil and runner, Razz, were also staying in Alex’s one bedroom flat. On the first block of filming, there were eight of us staying so we got used to the cramped conditions. We got there about 9:30 p.m. because we wanted chips before we left. Priorities. It was an early start the next morning as unit call was 8 a.m. and the location, an airbnb house, was 35 minutes away. Desite leaving slightly late, we were still the first to arrive and sat in our car, worried we’d got the wrong house. We went to the front door and creepily watched the owner making sandwiches. Fortunately, the others turned up 15 minutes later before we were arrested for prowling. Not sure Clownface’s budget covers bail fees.

It was a lovely house, if a little small. We thought filming in the cottage was squished, but this was even smaller. One of our jobs on Clownface is set dressing. It’s been our favourite job, apart from working the clapper board. Two days before we were due to be in Birmingham, Mark asked us to gather props to dress Hannah’s character, Jenna’s bedroom. Us “we’ve got nothing.” Mark said it just had to be normal stuff you find in a bedroom. Us “dragons and swords. That’s what is in ours.” Not quite suitable for an ex party girl in her twenties. So we failed in that aspect. We’d used all our non-gothic ornaments to dress the B&B in block one so couldn’t reuse them. Luckily Hannah had brought some old photos of herself so we used them to dress the sets. It was made difficult by the lack of nails in the walls, so some of the photos were stuck up with tape. Sorry Josh!

Cat was on clapper board duty so Lynx took continuity and behind the scenes photos. We also reprised our role of sticking foil to the windows to make it look like night. Hey, you can’t choose the talents you’re given. It was a long day with filming continuing til gone midnight. We haven’t worked on Clownface since November so we forgot how tiring 15 hour shoots can be, especially as we were recovering from a horrible virus that’s been wiping people out. We got quite a bit of reading done during set up times and food times. This time, however, we had no washing up related meltdowns, as a guy called Gene was on hand to do all the washing up. He quickly became our favourite person on set. We didn’t realise we’d be filming outside, so we dressed for indoor filming. It was so cold, we quickly stopped feeling our feet and fingers and threatened to quit. Then when we were back inside, the front door kept being left open, allowing the cold to invade the house and torment us all over again.

We left at 12:15 a.m. as us, Mark and Gene were returning to Alex’s flat, while everyone else was staying on location. There was nothing for us to do, as they were filming a fight scene in the living room and we’d been locked out due to lack of space. Unfortunately, Mark’s SatNav is a complete dick and the 35 minute journey took an hour. It didn’t help that Mark ignored two road closure signs then we ended up heading towards London for ten miles. We resigned ourselves to the long drive and slept through the rest of it. We got back to Alex’s flat at 1:15 a.m. There was no heating on, as the flat had been empty all day, so we slept in our coats. Cat’s air bed had deflated and our pump mysteriously stopped working, so she slept on the floor.

It was another 8 a.m. unit call on Friday, but first the four of us fetched Leah, who’d played Charlotte, from Walsall, as she was helping out for the day. We arrived at half 8 but everyone else was still in their pyjamas so we tin foiled windows and prepared the sets. While Cat operated the clapper board, Lynx spent her time resetting the house to its original condition so it would look like we’d never been there. We only had the house until lunchtime, after which we moved to a street location from the first block. Again, we managed to get to location first, swiftly followed by the DoP, Ben. Because our teams used Google maps on our phones and not SatNav. We had time to eat a yoghurt, some chocolate and settled down for a nap by the time everyone else arrived.

Again, we weren’t dressed for filming outside. This time, while Cat operated the clapper board, Lynx loitered behind a tree with a walkie talkie so Barry the sound guy could capture the clapper on it. We were so glad that Alex only wanted one shot on that scene. Freezing to death before Birmingham Horror Con would’ve been mildly inconvenient. After that, it was back to Alex’s flat for the final scene. Abi, who plays Amy, had brought a whole load of set dressing stuff so we could transform Alex’s bedroom into her room. We also taped one of our skirts to the wall, as it’s a lovely purple satin skirt, so added some colour to break up the plain wall. Again, we put foil on the window.

The final scene was a montage scene and Abi kept everyone amused with a rubber chicken. It was a great way to end the shoot. We left at 6:15 p.m., drove all the way back to Cardiff, saw our animal army then packed our stuff for Birmingham Horror Con. We picked our mate, Dave, from the valleys, played with his dog, Phreak, for a bit and drove back to West Bromwich. We got to Alex’s at 12:15 a.m., quietly dragged our sleeping bags into his bedroom and slept on the floor. Our mum had bought us new batteries for our pump, but we still couldn’t get it working, so Cat slept on cushions. The glamorous life of film making.

The hours have been long, and there were times it was frustrating and cold, but it’s been such an amazing experience. We went from being completely inexperienced, to learning lots of different roles. It was hard at times, being around so many people for so long, but we coped by eating by ourselves and reading, and fortunately, nobody seemed to mind that we needed to be alone in order to keep functioning. When we started, we only knew Mark, Jack and Laura, so found it extremely anxiety-inducing being trapped with a massive group of strangers. But they were all so lovely, that we started feeling comfortable around them. Working on Clownface has been one of our best experiences. We have so many good memories, we’ve learned a ton of new skills and made new friends. And we look forward to many more film projects. As long as we don’t have to do the washing up…