The day before the meet and one of the actors can’t make it. No problem, two out of three ain’t bad. I left my car outside my brothers’ house and headed for the station.
Planned Engineering Works
One out of Three?
I contacted Paul Dubois who I had arranged to meet that afternoon. He could get to Crouch End by twelve. I was ten minutes down the road so found a cafe and settled in. I’d finished breakfast and was on my second cup of coffee when Paul arrived. We talked for an hour, I liked the guy and his ideas kind of fit my ideas about the character so I offered him the part. He offered to “pay for this” pointing to the empty mugs, not knowing about my already finished breakfast.
“No, no I’ll get it.”
”No seriously, it’s not a problem.” He insisted, already out of his chair and nearer than me to the till and exit. Was I stealing breakfast? I hid in the toilet hoping he would think it was just really expensive coffee… In a greasy spoon!
I sorted a Liverpool St. Station meeting with another actor, Kim, a week later, advising her to look out for a little bloke with glasses & curly hair and hope there wasn’t a Groucho Marx convention passing through.
OK. Next step – finish the set build and get Brian Croucher on board.
”Alrigh’ Mark it’s Sid.”
I’m sitting at work a few days after sending some pictures of the newly constructed set and I get a call from Brian as Sid! He’s effin’ and blindin’, ragging on the other characters.
”Cor, that Doc’s a bit of alrigh’ int she? Not sure about Bennett though, he seems like a right shit!”
All I could do was laugh and mumble the odd compliment.
When I’d got out of the building, and he was Brian again, I found out his wife had seen the pictures and told him to do the film. Now I really need to step up.
“Treat me like the others. I’m just a little further along the conveyor belt, that’s all”.
The plan was to record all the actors together so they can react to each other. Similar to a radio play, The Mercury Theatre’s “War of the Worlds” being a favourite.
I gave three separate dates as options. One Sunday, another a bank holiday and finally a Monday.
Paul can’t do any of them due to being out of the country. I’d stand in for him and get his part down separately. Brain, Kim and Sukuntala (who I’d cast after just a few emails and a phone call, not ideal, but when you’re after a voice the phone call is a great indicator) are good to go on the Bank Holiday but Tom Woodman, the first actor I had got on board can’t do any of the dates or anything around that time. I had to recast to get moving on production so went back to an actor who showed an interest initially via shootingpeople.org. I ended up changing the name of the character from Bennett to Dooley when Gareth Turkington agreed to take the part. What can I say? He sounded like a Dooley.
Week before the recording I get a call from Brian.
”I was just checking you know that the recording day was the Jubilee”
That was kind of the point. I like doing things like this on memorable days.
“Just seems a bit weird us doing one thing and the rest of the country doing something else.”
”If you can’t do that date just say. It’s not a problem. I’m happy to work around you.”
Next it’s Kim who can’t make the date.
A new strategy, one which doesn’t have a “like a radio play” bit. Record two actors on the Bank Holiday, one the following Tuesday and the other two the following weekend.
“In the midst of a tropical storm, the crew of an offshore oil rig must survive the rampage of a creature after invading its undersea habitat.”
Swap “In the midst of a tropical storm…” for “Stranded by an impenetrable fog” and you’ve got my synopsis! They even called it The Rig!!
So, I can’t seem to be able to get my cast in the same place at the same time, the film needs a new title and I found out the bloke I had lined up to engineer and supply the sound equipment is getting married abroad over the time I’d sorted for the recordings.
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