Tuesday, 4 May 2010

UNIVERSAL EARLog: Day 1

Lockwood is rooming with me for the duration of the UNIVERSAL EAR shoot. He and I rise at 8am for probably the last time, and he makes us eggs, possibly for the last time. We mount our company bicycles to head in for the first day of production, and then dismount as Lockwood's Raleigh Pioneer has a puncture. He gets the bus instead, and while I wait for him outside Nexus I am joined by the department's Physical Welfare Enforcer Fran Higginson, and our First AD Rowan, who is already busy making calls at 10am. It quickly transpires that there is no-one on the other end of the phone (aside from in her imagination), but Rowan looks professional and I don't know who she'd need to call anyway, so we let it pass. Aside from her frequent breaks for "mummy milk", Rowan will prove to be one of the most energetic ADs I've yet worked with.


Lockwood joins us on the street and we all talk about the situation we're in. Ten minutes later, I call Nexus to ask if we can be let in, and they apologise for forgetting to open the cafe. The schedule quickly takes on what we will explain away as an "organic" evolutionary imperative, with warm up and the performance of our anthem (Fat Larry's Band's "Zoom") postponed whilst we arrange the two spaces into a production office/dressing room (which Rowan, with no little marketing savvy, christens as the "Snuggle Office") and studio space.

Higginson leads us in a combined warm-up/anthem/exploration of temporal cubist space-time. Our Physical Welfare Enforcer has been training with a Soviet martial arts expert who seems to know the secret of most things. We are shown some speculative photo-montages illustrating muscle-use during temporal cubist-based time travel, and we attempt to warm up some of same.

Later, we spend some time developing Harley Byrne's screen fighting technique. The real Byrne, in 2012, had developed his own technique based on a personal biophysics of twenty years in the postal service. In order to make these acceptable to cinema audiences, a special trainer was employed to refine his moves: however, the trainer was 8-months pregnant, and Byrne took her demonstrations rather literally. Fortunately, we have planned ahead and Higginson is well into her third trimester. In just a few hours, Lockwood is punching like a knocked-up parcel vet: indeed, like Harley Byrne.

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