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CONFETTI

The Production
As CONFETTI built steam and hurtled forward towards the day of the wedding competition, the film's crew had to be just as flexible as the actors – if not more so, as their plans and designs could change instantly with the whim of an ad-lib.

From the start, the filmmakers knew that assembling the crew would be another of the film's big challenges. "We had to take as much care in terms of all the technical crew – the director of photography, the production designer, the hair and makeup – as with the actors,” notes producer Ian Benson. "They each had to totally buy into the idea. They also had to have the ability to work completely in the moment and be very responsive to the needs of Debbie and the actors that would arise during the course of each day's improv. In the end, I think they pulled off a great feat.” Adds co-producer May Chu: "The crew in this case had to behave almost like a documentary crew in that they had to be absolutely fluid and responsive to any and all situations that might suddenly arise.”

Throughout the filming of CONFETTI, real locations were used whenever possible, right down to the housing for each couple. Stephen Mangan and Meredith MacNeill, who play Josef and Isabelle, were dispatched to a seedy local hotel. Martin Freeman and Jessica Stevenson as Matt and Sam moved into a private house while Robert Webb and Olivia Colman as Michael and Joanna were set up in Spielplatz, the UK's oldest naturist club nestled in the idyllic Hertfordshire countryside.

Shooting at Spielplatz came with its own set of unusual and well . . . nude . . . circumstances, even for director Debbie Isitt. She recalls: "It was requested of me, by the actors, to take my clothes off as well during the shoot there so that they wouldn't feel quite so exposed. It may have been one of the most embarrassing things that I've ever done, but I did it and I'm glad I did!”

For keeping up with all the film's unpredictable twists, turns and even spontaneous strip teases, Isitt has particular praise for director of photography Dewald Aukema, a renowned documentary filmmaker whose previous dramatic films include the Oscar®-nominated MANDELA. "He had filmed so many documentaries that he was really up for this unusual process,” says Isitt. "He was also very experienced at shooting in high-definition video.”

Meanwhile production designer Chris Roope collaborated closely with actors Vincent Franklin and Jason Watkins, playing the wedding planners Heron & Hough, to come up with the hilariously overdone wedding sets. "The poor production designer,” Isitt sympathizes. "Chris did a great job of putting himself in a position where he was always following the actors' leads and running with their wildest ideas. It was that kind of commitment on the part of the entire crew that really made the project work.”

To keep the flow uninterrupted among the actors, the entire film was shot in chronological sequence. "This was very tricky,” admits co-producer Nick Jones. "Debbie wanted the actors to actually make the journey in real time as far as it was possible -- but this meant we often had to go back to the same locations. Normally, you'd shoot all your scenes in one particular location and then move on. So this was a bit of a nightmare, especially for the location managers, where they'd have to dress a set in week one only to return in week three and again in week five.”

The cameras were kept running almost constantly, although everyone knew only a small fraction of what was shot would wind up in the final cut. "What's interesting is that a lot of the stuff that didn't wind up in the film was still vitally important because it contributed to what the characters were feeling,” says Chu.

The three weddings themselves were shot in real time with seven cameras running simultaneously and a camera team following ea

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