Guest blog by Richard Holmes
The Kid/Food/Baby/Horse Stays In The Picture
“There’s always ONE, isn’t there” Or, in filmmaking it’s, “There’s always THE THING.”
In Jadoo it was, of course, The Food. And lots of it.
We’re warming up for Jadoo’s release right now (jadoomovie.com) and everyone who laughs and cries throughout the movie also comes out absolutely ravenous for a curry.
Thank goodness for that. We put a lot of work into getting you drooling. Or at least the director Amit Gupta and the Art Department did, under the eagle eye of the (true genius) Production Designer, Adrian Smith and the Nicole Herft, Head Food Stylist extraordinaire.
On Amit’s first film, Resistance, is was The Animals, an ark-full of the critters. Again, Adrian was the Production Designer, working his magic; this time with my indefatigable producing partner (and farm-girl, lawyer, teacher, mountaineer) Amanda Faber.
On my new one, Keeping Rosy, it was The Baby, or actually the baby-twins who played The Baby. Remind me next time to hire a specific baby-wrangler. Sweet as the were (and they’ve delivered an astonishing, heart-melting performance) the twins were, well, wild when they first landed on the set. They just didn’t want to be there. And who could blame them?
The lesson-learned is this: there’s always one thing, one element, that can make, break or perhaps just severely wobble your film. And one of your colleagues (usually the Production Designer or the Line Producer… Hello, Rachel Donkor, smarty-pants) will sit you down at some point during prep and read you the Riot Act about THE THING.
You will ignore them. They will smile and have the same meeting with you week after week until you get the sweats. And then you’ll start to throw money at it (money you don’t have) when you should have followed the instincts you had when you first read the script and it screamed FOOD! BABIES!! ANIMALS!!! at you.
So, if you’re getting close to making your first/next movie: sit down, read the script again, put a cold-flannel on your head and make yourself acknowledge THE THING.