Monday, June 22, 2009

half way there! end of day 3

Day 3 is done and Nureyev is on schedule, gliding, or is that chaine-turning?, towards its Thursday finish. All is going great, says producer Peter Gentile when I ask him and that sense of confidence is present in almost everyone, despite being aware of the long road to go. I continue to be amazed by the fluidity with which Moze moves from one thing to another without any pause. He is equally comfortable consulting about the set design, conferring with the cinematographer or having a quick conversation (pictured here) with the audio man, Brian Hanish, who also bailed me out with batteries when my own rechargeables died. Thanks, Brian! Moments later, I was able to catch Moze with producer, Peter Gentile and Production Co-Ordinator, Mikey Lalonde before all three of them were pulled in opposite directions. It is hard to convey that sense of constant activity in a blog but trust me it is there!

Over lunch, Moze and the designers made an adjustment to the rear projection, by widening and taking out the framing blacks to allow colour bars in at the side. The adjustments for camera included changes in lighting. The resulting look not only expanded the vision and scope of the space, but allowed an opportunity for playing with colour fields of light within single dances. This is the kind of creativity that can happen on set when all are open to exploration. It is a tribute also to the flexibile versatility of Astrid Janson's set, assisted by Sarah Armstrong. As the panels rolled into place for the sequence later on in the park, it seemed to take no time at all to create a brand new place and space. These are critical talents to bring to a film set, where time is always a precious commodity.

A special pleasure for me today was finding a former student from Toronto Film School days: steadicam operator Jason Vieira. A graduate of nearly five years, it was exciting to see him in the critical position of shooting a challenging in-the-round sequence in which Nureyev and some of his young lovers intertwine and interconnect in a park. Jason's rig is almost as big as he is and two assistants follow him, careful not to be found on camera. And speaking of that, I nearly was, when I found myself in an area of the "round" during a rehearsal take. Luckily it was a rehearsal and not the real thing! Looking forward to seeing more of Jason's work tomorrow.

That dawn park scene among Nureyev and his lovers is set against a gorgeous image created by director of photography, Dylan MacLeod. Taken originally for a separate project, Dylan showed the picture to Moze as a suggested similar look to what Moze might be looking for. Moze loved the image so much he asked to take it on. The intimate round space provides a perfect playground to explore the sensual side of Nureyev's life: it is just small enough for the web-like intricacies of relationships to be evident, and just large enough for the sense of freedom that is evoked for Nureyev in these encounters. Mat Mrozewski's beautiful choreography rounds out one of the most stunning sequences I've seen so far. In this picture at right, ensemble member Etienne Lavigne rehearses some of the dance with Nico.

And speaking of Nico, the pictures on this blog don't do justice to his presence and charisma in the title role. Today, I was impressed by his acting within the dancing, embodying some of Nureyev's well-known flourishes, and also conveying deep emotion in the complexly-nuanced park scene. Here, he stands between takes with Moze. As someone else who seems easygoing and relaxed with almost anyone, he and Moze are well-matched!

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