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DOLLS film production diary day threeToday saw the final full length day of our live action shoot. Emma collected me in our trusty rented van and we took off to Elena’s house where all of the equipment was being stored.

There were met Warren, Christin and Louisa and began the three-floor trek up and down the stairs collecting the equipment and packing it up into the van. This was no mean feat, some of the equipment, particularly the professional lights, was so heavy! Much of it was a two (wo)man job carrying it down the stairs and placing it into the van. To be honest, by the end of it I was exhausted and ready to go home! But this was just the start of the day.

We headed over to our location, The Rock Inn in Kemp Town, Brighton. It’s perfectly suited for the attic scenes of the film because not only are we using a real attic, but it’s got a nice oldy worldy feel about it. It’s been lived in.

We stored all of the filming equipment safely away in the basement and carried all the set dressing props and costumes upstairs into the attic. Once everything was packed away, I started to help Christin, the set dresser, decorate the room. We carefully dotted around old picture frames, dolls, oil lamps and other ornaments to set the scene.

Meanwhile Rich, Bonnie, Jonny, Russell, Jenn and Jay prepared the camera, lights and dolly. We were also joined once more by a happy labrador, the curiously named Brickface owned by Doll Christina. He played his part by keeping floor blankets warm.

When Christina was ready with her hair and make-up done, and all the props ready and in place, we started to shoot. We firstly captured all dressed attic shots in this half of the room with Doll sat in her chair. Hours later, when we had captured everything we needed, we switched to the other half of the room.

At this point we also stopped for some well-deserved food and The Rock even supplied us with teas and coffees!

Not wanting to lose momentum, we dressed the other half of the attic room with the door as the main focus. We stacked loads of chairs around the door in a haphazard fashion (but securely fastened, Mr Health & Safety Man reading this), and then dressed them with sheets. By angling a light in the right position, we managed to get some really nicely shaped shadows across the floor. Here we filmed the shots where Doll receives a letter and leaves the room.

We finished at around 6pm – we packed up the equipment, transported it into the vans and cleared up the room. A smaller crew went on to the next location in Lewes for the evening to film the exterior of the church tower and the pick-ups that we missed on Sunday. It was a long day but very productive – we only have the beach scenes left to do and then we can get started on the animation!

Amy Rutter
Assistant Producer

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