On August 6th 2012 a crew of 15 people sat down to breakfast before the shoot for Mouse.
There was a palpable sense of anticipation and I would like to describe that to you now.
Filmmaking, despite it being a business, is something very special. We are magicians. Now that might sound like a slightly over the top statement but bear with me.
We conceive something, something that did not exist in precisely that form until we put it down on paper and called it the script. Over a period of months that first idea is given a little more life by being shared, critiqued, added to and fleshed out through pictures and items that will eventually become the set.
The final days of our epic set build!
And then there comes a day when the IDEA of what the film could be ceases to exist and is replaced by something very real indeed. The footage.
At 8.30am on Monday we rolled for the very first take on Mouse and everything we had proposed up until that point turned, as if by the very magic I mentioned a few moments ago, into an asset. A string of images that give the illusion of movement and will eventually be slotted into an edit which makes the film itself. Why magic though?
Because filmmaking and, indeed, any creative process is about making choices. Those choices lead to tangible things being produced that simply did not exist before. Once there was nothing and now there is something. We live to affect culture, to add value and put something 'out there' that was not 'out there' before.
That silence and anticipation around the breakfast table, that hushed breath, was there because of you all. You put us at that table. you gave us the means with which to go out and start shooting and I am VERY proud to say that between Monday morning at 8:30am and Thursday evening at 10:30pm we shot Mouse. We made it exist where it only partially did before.
Now, there is no doubt that we are not there yet. Traditionally you could argue that the script is one film, the stuff you shoot becomes another and the edit takes you somewhere else again. That's a nice way to look at it because it gives each moment an opportunity to be reflected in the film rather than only dictated by the script.
Post-production will take a while and we will have triumphs and we will hit problems, but, as we have done the whole way through so far, we will solve them in a way which gives us something even better than we had before.
For your part, our contributors, you made this happen.
I will continue to update you throughout the Post-Production process and will begin, shortly, to put together the first sets of Crowdfunding rewards (some, of course, will not be available until much later in the process). For now I have taken a few screen grabs of what we have been upto to show off. Remember these stills are out of context at the moment, they have not been coloured/graded, any VFX touch ups are yet to be done and they are really just the raw material. But even so, they look pretty damn good, don't they! I've also included some of our Press Stills taken by Megan Kerr of Mill & Peg Photography http://millandpeg.co.uk/
Finally a further THANK YOU to the crew that helped make this happen. To JOANNE, ADAM, AMANDA, MEG, HÁKON, CHARLETTE, PETE, JAMES, ITAMAR, CHRIS, AMY, CLAIRE, JON-PAUL, SARAH and STEVE (Our Mouse Wranglers!), PIERRE and last but not least JULIAN (Our enigmatic lead actor), Thank You for being so damn good at your jobs!
I'd also like to repeat THANK YOU to our set build crew, our leader Mark Sutherland and also the people that worked their socks off to complete the set itself, Steve, Chris, Angela, Mike, Pierre, Michiel and Ben!
PRESS STILLS (above): Credit to Megan Kerr @ Mill &Peg Photography (http://millandpeg.co.uk/)
SCREEN GRAB: Anderson wakes.
SCREEN GRAB: Julian catching the light of our Chandeliers in his goggles, the blue you can see in the background will be replaced with yet more corridor by our stunning VFX team
SCREEN GRAB:Julian Nicholson as 'Anderson' in Mouse, taking shelter behind a 1950's record player.
SCREEN GRAB: It wasn't all running around our beautiful set, we also took a trip out to a local rock-climbing club for a very late night of hoisting Julian to the rafters.
DOCUMENTARY STILL: Taking a long hard look at the storyboards with our Director of Photography Hákon Pállson
DOCUMENTARY STILL: One of our wonderful dinners prepared by Amanda Verity. Remember boys and girls... an army marches on it's stomach! In the background you can see the wall of storyboards which was very useful for planning but also extremely therapeutic, whenever we completed a shot we could cross it off with a fat black marker!