PICK-UP DAY. With the main body of troops already onto their next gigs a few of us stayed behind to mop up the bits of scenes we’d not had time for – Jon’s hand collecting Euros at the Sitges beach table, the car’s brakelights going on as it stops at Snappers trailer. It was a beautiful day and I just wanted to sit in the sun and watch the clouds drift over the salt mine as Pao hauled his video station around and Joan fiddled over exposures and screen directions. A chopper flew in from Barcelona and we tied a wooden dummy dressed in Victor’s clothes to a rope ladder and shot it as it flew backwards and forwards in front of the castle. The locals rang up the Police to report that those crazy film people were making a man hang from a helicopter and they were scared he would fall off – I suppose the dummy looked real then! After lunch we returned to the castle in the clear autumn air and finally the tension of the last weeks started to slip away.
In the ancient courtyard we built a shower head and shot the water coming on – another missing shot from our Monday from hell at the Olympic Stadium – some tourists wondered by obviously confused; why would a film crew drive all the way from Barcelona just to shoot a shower head in this beautiful spot? With some final details inside the chapel it was done and we bundled into the car to drive home to Barcelona in the dark.
The wrap party was in a club off the Ramblas and rightly I felt somehow excluded – this is a celebration for all the crew members great and small who have worked so hard over the recent weeks. Status and experience mean nothing here as it is about life and joy and, because we’re in Spain, drink and cigarettes! David Gant (Victor) danced expertly with one of the ladies and I talked with Joan and his wife who has seen little of her man over recent weeks. As the music got louder and the tables were pushed to one side I disappeared and made my way home leaving the crew to do what they’ve been dying to do for a month – raise some hell without me shouting at them!
It’s been nine weeks since we finished shooting and at last I’m going home. It’s been an interminable period of hard work, impatience and boredom. Significantly most of the hard work has been done by others and it seems all I’ve done is sit around and drink cups of tea and eat mince pies and yet the process has gone rather smoothly and is actually ahead of our original schedule. Last week we showed the band the movie for the first time and, even though the picture was locked and we couldn’t change anything, I was anxious for their approval. They laughed and giggled all the way through and as the lights went up their big smiles let me know I hadn’t betrayed their trust.
Making Seeing Double has been a frantic and intense process – all film-making is – and as I sit in the airport I’m still trying to get some perspective on it all. When we started rehearsing in that ugly hotel room back in September I said to the band: “This film isn’t about making the critics happy and I can tell you now what the reviews will be like.” Now, as the final touches are executed I’m intensely proud of our mini-epic which spanned the oceans and the seasons. We set out to have some fun and create a fine piece of entertainment that will appeal to SClub fans and non-believers alike and our mission is nearly completed. It’s not Hamlet and it was never meant to be – I wanted to shoot a movie that would give someone the same thrill I had when I saw Summer Holiday in the Cromer Odeon when I was 10.
But no matter what I say there’s only so much spin one can create – eventually it comes down to the viewer and I just hope they will get the chance to make up their own minds. A few weeks ago Mark alerted me to a posting on a popular entertainment industry web-site that alleged the band had squabbled and argued their way through the shoot and were no longer on speaking terms. What a load! I wish the writer of that piece could have seen the six of them cuddling together that Friday night at the castle, sharing a cigarette, giggling and laughing together with the easy intimacy of three year olds and the deep trust of mature adults who’ve travelled the world together. When the movie is complete my relationship with SClub will be over – it will be a sad day for I have come to love them all.
I’m sitting on the tarmac and I’m ready to go home. Lord Of The Rings – Twin Towers stuff is everywhere, on the tube, on the TV, in the paper. I’m flying Air New Zealand and as I sit back in my seat the steward announces: “Welcome to Air New Zealand Flight 001 – your official airline to Middle Earth!” My dearest Christmas request for Jo, Jon, Hannah, Tina, Brad and Rachel is that the distributors will now take the baton for SClub and for SClub what others have been doing for Frodo Baggins.