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FIRST &ME BLOG BY NORBERT

When the story becomes something of itself

In a film production you always have to find your rhythm quickly and, if I am really honest, during the first few days of this film shoot I found it really hard to get into my stride. No scenes were messed up. Nothing was spoilt. And in the end we did a really good job. But nevertheless this period of uncertainty lasted longer that I thought it would.
But yesterday, things turned full circle. For the first time I had the feeling that we had finally arrived. We were shooting two scenes, the first in which Edurne assesses the photos she has taken on her digital camera before deciding on her future, the second when Eduard turns and leaves the Atomium building.
 
 
In Veronicas (Edurne) scene I asked her to wear a Mona Lisa smile that the audience could interpret as one of happiness or sadness or relief. The way she reacted to this instruction was with a gesture both complex and magical, and beautiful. 
In the scene where Mark (Eduard) runs from the Atomium building we decided to shoot from an objective angle, towards the camera and using a long lens. First he started walking, and then he was running, and then we realised this action could be interpreted both as leaving a failed relationship or embracing a new and better future. It was an inspiring moment.
These scenes turned out more wonderful than I imagined they could, and this surprised me. It wasnt as if we shot anything other than what is in the script, but we discovered more options than I had originally seen. That is always the most interesting moment, when the story becomes something of itself, when it becomes in some way self-determining, when it begins to dictate its own logic.
Filmmaking is not something you can do alone. It is collaborative, and it can only fly when everybody contributes their best, at which point the result can be something that none of us ever expected. That is what you are looking to achieve when making a movie. Otherwise it is just a straight repetition of what is in your imagination, and that would be rather boring.
 
Norbert ter Hall
 
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