«An van. Dienderen Promotor: Professor Dr. Rik Pinxten Proefschrift voorgelegd tot het behalen van de graad van Doctor in de Vergelijkende ...»
12:24 It didn’t really demoralize me. After my job’s done I feel like its up to Minh-ha, to make what we shot watchable. I thought I did a good job a Multitasking and documentary month long, but it looked bad for Kathleen and for Brian because people influences might have thought that was his recording cause Minh-ha only said something briefly that this was the rough edit, rough sound before starting, but she is not outspoken so even people who were standing next to her probably didn’t hear it. And it should have been more clear that it was just a rough approximation of the shots but she still had to pick out the good parts and not show the whole fucking forty minutes of crap basically. Part of it was the video projector and that’s another fucked up thing about video: its so much depending on the equipment you are using, its not like with film where you use the same film in different projectors and it is pretty much the same rough approximation of the shots but she still had to pick out the good parts and not show the whole fucking forty minutes of crap basically. Part of it was the video projector and that’s another fucked up thing about video: its so much depending on the equipment you are using, its not like with film where you use the same film in different projectors and it is pretty much the same film. Video you change from one deck to another, from one projector to another and it is really quite different.
14:30 So it was not rewarding?
14:31 No it was not rewarding at all: only in a negative sense: you just see the problems that were on the set being transferred to the footage, maybe. But hopefully it will be better than what we saw.
15:10 What were the problems on the set?
16:19 Yeah, so Chris’ must have been even darker.
16:29 But what do you mean then if you say that the screening reflected the problems on the set?
16:31 I mean there were all these problems on the set but there were solutions too. Like not having a good monitor for the director to see the action, half of the shoot they had a crappy monitor that wasn’t exactly showing what the camera was filming. If they got a better monitor.. If you are looking at such a monitor, then you have a big problem: because you don’t know how the final product on tape will be. A thing like this partially has to do with the budget and pre-production, not really knowing the equipment really well: they just had the camera before the shoot! And they didn’t know exactly the capabilities.. And then there were the lighting problems which we kind of gone over already. But in the end we always got the lighting to the specifications of the DP and the directors. They never said: ‘This lighting is wrong but we have to shoot anyway.’ So we did our job, its up to you guys now!
18:28 What did you think when Jean-Paul asked you to be in the cast? I ask it in relevance to the multitasking?
18:36 They just didn’t know how much work I had to do, they saw me running around all the time but didn’t know why. They needed someone to act I suppose, and they didn’t really think I had other things to do. That’s just part of the non-professionalism of the whole crew and the whole set up. They just didn’t realize how important I was doing other things. Didn’t you tell me?
Someone told me that they were standing upstairs and they needed someone and they saw me walking by, and they said: ‘Get him!’ That’s silly, I don’t understand why she took those non-professional actors: they just made the scenes look bad.
00:21 An anecdote? you missed this because you were in San Diego but we were on the whole night train shoot, outside in the freezing cold and arctic wind, manning the lights. Inside everybody was freaked out in the train, we finished like at 5 am. And this was normally the time when Rony, Chris and I and sometimes you, would hang out for a while after the shoot. But you weren’t around this time. So we finished around four, five and it was Armando’s last night. Armando and Chris, Rony and I, after finishing loading wind, manning the lights. Inside everybody was freaked out in the train, we finished like at 5 am. And this was normally the time when Rony, Chris and I and sometimes you, would hang out for a while after the shoot. But you weren’t around this time. So we finished around four, five and it was Armando’s last night. Armando and Chris, Rony and I, after finishing loading the truck, when everything was all done, we went down by the docks, to this place I know called ‘Toxic beach’ which has all this tires sticking out of the mud. Its like a very low rent, little punk rock park, with all these burnt out busses with graffiti on them. A junkie part of the city, a nice spot. So we went down and watched the sun rise -and smoked a bunch of pot. And hung out and talked about a lot of things, about experimental films with Chris, which is always good because he and I have seen a lot of films which no one else have seen. And we talked about the film we were shooting of course. Always. And talked how we would shoot it, how things would be different. And then we went out to have breakfast, where all the workers go who work in the docks before their work and we went their after finishing our job. We were all in our blurry mind state with not enough sleep and a lot of drugs. And at about 8 o’clock 9 am we went all home to bed, to sleep. Not an exciting anecdote but that was part of the best thing of this set: the relationships between us, fun and interesting people and we were doing a lot of cool stuff. And it was good thing to meet them. In some ways it was almost when you are climbing because you are with these people on this sort of epic adventure and there is this huge process to get to the final outcome like the top of a mountain or whatever you are climbing and then you have to come down. Often you are up on long nights and you are in this really stressy-yet-you-have-to-remaincalm situation. So you develop really intense relationships. Similar, on film shoots really. Where you are put in these situations for many hours at a time that are totally unnatural. And everyone is trying to perform as well as they absolutely can, you are not trying to do a bad job, its not like you bare working in a retail store where you don’t give a shit. Its like climbing: you have to do a good job. Otherwise its not going to be successful. In these extreme circumstances, you form relationships that you normally wouldn’t form, certain truth and honesty come out that you just not experience in normal rounds of existence. That’s it.
form, certain truth and honesty come out that you just not experience in normal rounds of existence. That’s it.
00:11 Like you said on power in relationships on the set: in our department there was a major problem with one particular person and how he interacted with other people and how we and I perceived his actions. It wasn’t just him but also our perceptions, this person was just in his mind a megalomaniac: in his mind he was always right to tell people what to do when it wasn’t really his place. The first day when he came on the set, everybody in my department was saying: ‘Who is this? And when is he going to leave? ’Cause he was bossing us around and half of the time he didn’t know what he was talking about and he has got a very annoying way of dealing with other people. A lot of people didn’t want to hang around with him, didn’t want to work with him, didn’t want to speak to him.
01:28 How did he get that power?
01:32 How did he get that power? It was self assumed power. He was just a grip, essentially under my and under Jaek because I am the key grip and Jaek is the best boy. He didn’t know when to stop talking and to work. To put his advice in. Everyone got their own psychological problems but I think he feels deep down maybe not very important and he wants everybody to think he is.
A lonely bald man. And he is just a difficult person to work with and I was never out right mean to hem. Nor was he. But he just didn’t know when to shut up. He has this Napoleon complex: he wants to be in charge.
03:45 Do you think that kind of people are more apt to get their self assumed power because it was a more open sphere on the set? A less hierarchal sphere?
04:03 Yeah, perhaps, because he would swing between different things: he was a grip doing electric, being an extra: he was a talent in a bunch of scenes. Most of the time he was hanging around, smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee talking to people who didn’t want to listen to him. Or: trying to tell me how I should do my job but I just wanted to ignore him. But part of this is just my perception. In a certain way I want to be in charge, right, I am the key grip. I really don’t like people bossing me around which is why Edwin was great: he was not really bossy. But part of this was just this person’s huge ego. And how he wanted to get his position inflated. And part of this about my ego how I didn’t want to get my position deflated. But I still don’t like him.
05:33 I am still trying to see how this can connect to the structure and organization of the set.
05:44 You know in other productions: if you are a grip, you only carry the whole day sand bags. Or unload and load the truck. Other times your duties are more rigid and you don’t even have room too.. I mean he was offering Minh-ha directorial advice which was uncalled for at the time. And I know a lot of women had problems with him too. In other productions you don’t have the freedom to do all these different things. You are a sand bag boy and nothing else. In this shoot there was more room for attempts to assume more control.
07:02 Did you feel power games going on due to the specific structure of the set?
07:05 There was a lot of power play between the DP and the directors. At one point Kathleen was threatening to quit, because she felt he was not treating her very well and he was not treating Lesly very well. These things happen on set, any time when you are together that long you can either form deep relationships, or these little problems can escalate and form huge problems.
relationships, or these little problems can escalate and form huge problems.
Addendum 4 : Full transcription of an Interview with a Swallow Marc 003 00:05 Je vais passer par le tournage, tes expériences sur le tournage. Tu as toi-même plus ou moins décidé quel rôle tu voulais jouer dans le film ?
00:23 Oui, c’est vrai que j’ai plus ou moins décidé du rôle que j’ai joué dans le film parce que, au départ, Els nous avait demandé d’écrire nous-même un scénario et c’est sur base de cela qu’elle nous a donné notre rôle. Donc, moi j’avais écrit mon histoire à moi et elle s’est inspirée de ça pour me donner mon rôle. Donc, le rôle que je joue dans le film, c’est moi-même.
Marc 004 00:00 Si on compare la situation plus ou moins professionnelle du tournage avec les répétitions, ne t’es-tu pas senti trop intimidé du fait de jouer ton propre rôle ? Car on est assez bien confronté à soi-même, non ?
00:26 Bon, c’est vrai qu’à certains moments je me suis senti intimidé, impressionné par le petit public qui m’entourait, surtout au moment où mon émotion a pris le dessus et où je ne n’ai pas hésité à verser mes larmes. C’est comme si,… je compare cela au moment de,… excuse moi de faire cette comparaison, mais je compare cela à un acte sexuel…(he he he)…c’est-à-dire que tu commences l’acte, tu le fais, tu le fais et puis à un moment donné tu es tellement excité que tu arrives au summum, au point de non retour et après, tu éjacules, tu exploses. (he he he he he) C’est clair et net. Et après, dans l’explosion [au moment de jouer son rôle], je ne me reconnaissais plus, je me sentais vraiment comme le jour où cela s’était réellement passé, où j’avais réellement versé des larmes. Mais par après, je me suis senti gêné, gêné comme après une éjaculation quand tu te sens un peu relâché, un peu gêné vis-à-vis du partenaire.
03:15 C’était donc très émouvant ?
03:20 Oui, c’était très émouvant.
03:23 Est-ce que c’était aussi une sorte de thérapie pour toi, une manière de digérer tout cela ?
00:31 Oui, je crois, je crois bien que c’est une thérapie pour moi, justement pour digérer ce qui m’était arrivé. Le fait d’en parler fait que je me suis libéré.
Pour moi, le message est passé. J’avais envie de dire quelque chose, je l’ai dit et les gens ont compris. Et je me suis senti enfin libéré. Voilà ce que j’ai ressenti.
04:13 Ce sentiment d’être libéré, c’était après le tournage ou après les répétitions ?
04:20 Non, pas du tout. Pendant les répétitions, il m’arrivait de m’approcher de temps en temps de cette émotion mais ce n’était pas la même chose que pendant le tournage. Pendant le tournage, je me suis transporté sur les lieux des événements. Ce n’était pas du tout pareil.
04:51 Donc c’est la situation qui t’as donné le souvenir du moment lui-même ?
[C’est-à-dire] le fait qu’il y avait tant de gens que tu ne connaissais pas et qui te regardaient ?
05:11 Mais oui, justement, le fait que les gens m’écoutaient ! Les gens m’écoutaient ! Des gens qui ne me connaissaient pas ! Parce que le jour du tournage, je ne connaissais pas ceux qui étaient en face de moi, ceux qui étaient dans le bar… je ne les connaissais pas. C’était la première fois. Il devait y avoir une dizaine, une quinzaine, pourquoi pas même une vingtaine de figurants. Ils étaient tous là et c’était la première fois que je devais jouer cette scène devant eux. Pour les autres, du fait des répétitions, ils savaient déjà ce que j’allais dire. Mais devant ces gens je me disais « Ah, enfin un nouveau public, je vais pouvoir dire ce que j’ai dans le cœur pour ces gens qui m’écoutent ». Et c’est ce que j’ai fait et c’est ce qui m’a donné cette émotion.
Ils m’ont transmis quelque chose et en retour je leur ai donné ce qui était en moi.
06:29 Et quelle était leur réaction ?