After months of workshopping, sharing, tears, laughter, preparation and dedication the time finally came for the actors and crew to be commingled. The home that had been a temple of our artistic exploration, became a hustling bustling hub of passionate filmmakers. Victoria McKenzie our fabulously talented art designer had begun hoarding furniture and knick-knacks throughout the house whilst obsessing over colourful children’s drawings to hang about the set. It was incredible to see this space completely transformed into a characters bedroom, professional makeup area, unit, wardrobe and general HQ. To make things even more interesting we were shooting all night every night for five days and sleeping throughout the day. (Well some of us slept, most of us kept going! )
The cast and crew instantly bonded over shared stories and the chaotic elements of the shoot gave us the feel of an extremely large family unit. Giggles, excitement and nerves were present at the beginning of each night followed by some dangerous driving home in the peak hour traffic the following mornings. When all was going well Mark (Lapwood) the DOP would bounce around set shaking his head and talking in an Indian accent but when we were behind schedule he would become a focused little Kiwi perfectionist unwilling to move on until the shot was exactly what he envisaged. All through the shoot Stefan was there as 2nd camera man, editor and spiritual anchor for the group calmly offering advice and suggestions.
From an actor’s perspective the shoot was both exhilarating and exhausting. To witness the work of all of our colleagues forming into multifaceted characters was a real gift. The space was a generous, inviting creative safe haven. The preparation was so thorough that the only real challenge became sleep deprivation! And what a challenge it was! Actors and extras bobbing their heads up and down as the desperately fought to stay awake. And then as soon as the camera was rolling they were completely present for one another.
Somehow Kim managed to stay present for everyone throughout the day and night. Being both producer and writer/director she would be awake the longest and up the earliest – averaging two hours sleep per day. Organizing and managing all departments. The drive of everyone on board to tell this story has been astoundingly inspiring. The issues involved in this film are relevant to so many people experiencing sexual abuse who are still living in silence. To have had the experience to work alongside so many wonderfully colourful characters (both real and fictional) in an effort to make a piece of art that facilitates change is the type of vision all artists dream of. Please help our dream reach an audience.
(Written by Michael Argus – member and actor from Truth Group)