Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Making of Milk Watch

So Friday was all about Boston. As of today our company has formally acquired the Boston team. Lots of to-and-fro on Friday to get the last minute details in place and there will be more on Monday to make sure the transition is smooth and our new colleagues feel welcomed and included in the company. Oh, and I have to have the first draft of my budget ready to go by Friday. I could say it isn’t going to happen, but in fact it will, it’s just that most of the important figures in it will be wrong…

Anyway, today Brett and I were in darkest East London. The Chorus had agreed to provide extras for a short film being created for the East London Film Festival. It’s called Milk Watch and details how milkmen (the defenders of decency throughout the land, doncha know!) apprehend two villains. About thirty of us showed up at a house in Newham this morning ready to be made-up and outfitted with various milkman paraphernalia. It was all very pleasant (one of the crew’s mum making tea, coffee and toast and handing round biscuits for all and sundry) as we waited to troop to location at the appointed hour. The forecast had initially been for dismal weather but this morning the BBC was predicting sunshine through most of the daytime hours, and so it was.

The venue for filming was a side-street/back-alley behind a pub near Manor House and we lounged around in the room reserved for us whilst awaiting our call. The pub was laying on catering which started well with a tasty selection of breads and a mountain of haloumi (which I love). The lunch turned out to be chips and sandwiches though – the sandwiches on white bread. I don’t remember the last time I saw that. [You can see that I am deeply embedded in the Middle Class these days.] It was a good chance to chat to such Chorus boys as were there and they were a nice mixture of the ones I like/time for and the newer ones that I would still like to get to know.

We were used in four different shots in the concluding scene of the film. The first one saw everyone clustered around a milk float, including myself (and several others) hanging onto the side for the half-hour it took to get the shot right while we sang, “We are milk distribution technicians, our mission’s to bring you the milk in the morning.” Hmm.

The later shots were easier on the biceps as we were standing around, rather than hanging on for dear life. As these things tend to though, it took an age to get each one right. By the time we were doing the last shot, where we crowd the baddies onto the milk float to be carted off to justice, we were literally huddling together to share body warmth in between takes; it’s not a lot of fun spending three hours outdoors in your shirtsleeves on a blustery January afternoon!

On the whole though, despite the cold, it was not an unpleasant way to spend the day; we were well looked after and the atmosphere was good and sociable. Sometime around April too, I expect I shall be dragging my friends to an obscure cinema in the East End purely for the self-gratification of elbowing them at the appropriate moments and pointing out the brief glimpses you will get of my face in the finished movie. If you want to see a few photos in the meantime, you can find them on my Flickr profile here.

Once all the excitement was over, we headed back towards Greenwich intent on seeing Slumdog Millionaire, but all the timely showings were sold-out, so we gave up and went home, watched TV and read the evening away. (Probably the best outcome actually as the rain is lashing the windows as I write!)

1 comment:

czechOUT said...

Ahoj Liam.

Hope I'm in either or BOTH I like or time for....

I can only wish. Yum haloumi...

Made in Scotland: A Something Delivery Technician

Thx for your pic