Mark’s Festival Principal Photography- Foreign legs, pigs heads and old ladies on film sets
Back-dated from February 2011
What a week. We pretty much completed principal photography on Mark’s festival over the last 8 cold days. Everybody put in long hours (15-20 a day), despite being outdoors in the country with no heating options in freezing temperatures. Our last day had to be postponed due to an outlandish snowfall which even made the news in the U.K. (most likely because British weather was not unusual enough that week to warrant a news story). I can just imagine the editor going ‘We only have drizzle across the U.K. this week, what are we going to do? We need an extreme weather story people! Get on wunderground.com and see what’s been going on across the world. Stat!’
I am very happy with how it all went. The most difficult and challenging scenes I have ever filmed went by with just a few takes, which surprised me. I think perhaps the weather helped me into character.
Being in the Korean middle of nowhere was interesting for the fact that few people in the tiny village we shot most of the film in had ever seen a foreigner there. They were mostly elderly farmers with a great sense of community and a lucky, old tree at the village entrance.
They found it hilarious that I couldn’t cross my legs very comfortably, to which I replied I had foreign legs. They thought this was hilarious and kept inviting members of the village to come and look at the weird white man who had difficulties sitting on the floor.
The most fascinating scene for me took place in the market. I’ve seen it all now I’m sure. Tables laden with pig’s heads, and another with a huge cow’s head. Just sitting out as though mounted on the table like a macabre trophy.
At the old house where most of our shoot was located, a little old lady lived there. She was slightly senile and insisted on feeding me at all points of the day. I am also convinced that she had never seen a film camera in her life. Many a take was failed as she ambled in and out of frame irregardless of a huge group of people filming an intense scene in hushed tones right by her. Old people are great. It didn’t seem to bother her one bit that we had invaded her life.
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