We have 20 scenes to shoot in a week. After a slow start, I realised that my hands-off approach might be fine for actual filming, but it damn well wasn’t working for planning. We’ll see how my schedule works out.
There’d been a general sense of surprise at how much work was involved, and more interest in taking photos of each other wearing sunglasses. (Is that an age thing, a boy thing, or a Ugandan thing?) It’s probably going to rain now, they said. We don’t have all the actors. They won’t let us film there. There’s no power. It’s too expensive to print out the script.
Somehow, we get to the first location. Everyone is shouting at the same time; no one really knows where they are meant to be. A crowd of kids and a few adults with nothing to do are getting in the way. Shakul is taking photos, Baker is sitting on the steps, still in skinny jeans and sunglasses. The girls are chatting and playing crackly Celine Dion songs on their phones.
Gradually, though, people start slotting into their roles. Daniel directs, Shakul shoots, Baker dances. Soon, they are deciding which shots they need, shooing kids out of the way, and getting things done.
By the end of day one, we’ve shot one scene (less, actually, because our music system got taken off us mid-shoot). As we leave, a kid we’d pulled in as an extra starts shouting at us: we want money. We’ll soon get used to that, as it turns out.
In the meantime, though, at least the team are getting a lot of practise. And an unexpected bonus has been involving new people. Scene one, featuring Parent No. 2 and his wayward child, has resulted in Parent No. 2 – a graphic designer – wanting to join our team; next week he wants me to teach him video editing, and he’ll do some design for us.
If we have time, that is – naturally, we’re already way behind on my schedule.