By Penelope Merrill, Line Producer for ‘The Butterfly Tattoo’
As the filming of The Butterfly Tattoo is location based, instead of studio, a recce is essential for the crew to view and get a feel of these places beforehand. It is essential that the locations fit the criteria that the Director has storyboarded for, it is also important that the Cinematography team and Sound are happy with the atmosphere of the location, and that the Production team are confident with the facilities and the overall practicability of the location.
When planning the recce I had to work closely with the Location Manager to schedule around the locations’ availability, also we had to schedule the timings so that we could get around all of the locations in the space of two days and in a logical geographical pattern.
At the same time of scheduling, I contacted the crew we had onboard to see who could come. Once I knew the numbers that were coming, I then had to organise transport and accommodation for everybody; which considering this is during the peak of the summer tourist period in Oxford, it wasn’t the easiest and most readily available thing to do.
Once the location availability information was gathered I created a schedule on Excel and sent it around to the crew so that they knew what to expect.
When the time comes for the recce it is my job to make sure that everyone makes their way to Oxford, and the hotel ok, and from then on it is my job to herd everyone about from pillar to post! Knowledge of the city and its back street’s is very handy when showing people around on a recce, as you have to get to the next location via the quickest and easiest route.
A couple of extra tips: It helps to know where to park for free, and it is very valuable knowing the best and worst pubs and restaurants in town!
It is down to the Location Manager and me to explain which locations are for what scenes, and it is important we know what action happens in each of these scenes too, as well as the Director, so nothing is left out! We are also there to answer any questions and queries the crew may have about these places.
Questions throughout the recce are crucial for the pre-production development, as it highlights and synchronises everybody’s thoughts on the style and theme of the film; as to have an understanding throughout all departments is very important, especially when it comes to the actual shoot. To have a disagreement on shoot would not only cause an awkward atmosphere, but would take up time, which consequently costs money (there’s the Producer in me!).
After the recce, it is important to then follow up what was said during the recce and to make sure something is done about it; which is where I am at now.
Until next time…