It seemed like such a good idea in advance, but seriously, guerrilla filming while freezing to death in Times Square in late October is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Having to sing in the street like some demented person as the crowds hurry past looking pityingly at the mad lady is harder these days. There’s no crew and gang of ‘your people’ to protect you – especially important if you’ve got to disperse instantly at the merest whiff of traffic cops. Saves a lot in permits, time and money, but who wouldn’t want to be Tom Cruise at a time like this? There’s a lot to be said for entourages…
Because of the amazing tiny-ness of these new Canon cameras, you can get away with shooting like a tourist in very public places. It doesn’t solve the problem of looking like a particularly committed karaoke survivor however; at least with a socking great camera waving around in your face like they used to, you had a reasonable excuse for looking foolish!
But all was bearable till it came to the ‘sing this bit at half speed and then we’ll speed it up
in post’ section of the evening. Honestly. It’s probably better if you’ve had a drink beforehand – and we did very nearly rush in to O’Lunney’s for a quick one, but thought better of it. It feels like swimming underwater very slowly, especially when both ears are plugged up with invisible earphones. Being unable to hear instructions during every take was fun – Ang the director waving her arms around with frantic signals ‘no, this way, over there, your OTHER right, keep walking, no, not that way!!’.
Ryan the cameraman and me lost each other in the crowd for the walking scenes every single time, necessitating a long catchup period after each one, wandering lamely about wondering if it was all, in fact, a dream…but er, no, that storyline has been done before I think… Meanwhile Ang flailed about on the other side of the street, unable to do anything to help short of getting her hands on a great big loudhailer…not the best plan in Times Square, I can assure you.
Still, we did get to try the scary hotdogs from the famous blue-and-yellow stands, even ifonly because we wanted to film the smoke and steam – so atmospheric to watch…so horrible to digest…
“Now, of course, the real fun stuff starts, with post production on the promo. And if the previous efforts of this team are anything to go by, it’ll be well worth waiting for!!