Manila, April 25, 2005
After we wait for helicopter for a while we fly for 30 min at 500 feet.It s a tiny little brand new bubble today. So much fun. Packed like sardines I enjoy the ride.The director is scared of flying but also so tired that he falls asleep later. Chopper lands in a field after 25 min. Schoolkids wave. The pilote gets out and walks off to ask directions. The kids point and he gets back in. Once we land in a huge military facillity we all start to prep.
There are a few tanks needed in the scene we need to start with. One tank is supposed to create problems because it keeps stalling. And mechanics keep working on it and stall the so-called ongoing war. I have chatted with the director yesterday about the technical aspect of army strategy and what it is exactly being done according to script and he said an expert would be there. He also mentioned with a sweet sigh that every the day is a big surprise in terms of what is actually there. Sometimes the works not even asked for and sometimes less. It is a strange thing between truth and fiction. We are making a warmovie in a country where the same war is going on. Then we wait for the hardware to roll in. We wait for three hours and go over other scenes we have to do this day. Not sure if we can finish it. I find that "character" is a ballpark name for what i do. In smaller parts like this it seems truly important to find some good solid "strokes" and I love looking for them. Thought I found the key. We wait. Tanks don't get flat tyres that's for sure. Then it s lunch and the cooking van stops and a makeshift lunch is set up under a covered broken down basketball field. One tank arrives. It looks like a bad copy and not very impressive. Looks can be deceiving It's real. We shoot and shoot and move rapidly through most of the work. With a break because we need to wait for night to settle in. And we finish. Love that. A days work in a half day.
Choppers don't do night much. In a mercedes van we steam through the winding roads where people walk and dogs lie. The night is dark with a full moon on top of the clouds. Along the road are no other lighs than the few lightbulbs in the small sheetmetal shacks that nestle on the side with regularity. This is a world with unlit billboards and little candy to spoit the kids.
With people who own very little but have the greatest smiles and they sit and sit and hang and chat and help. Always help and try to please. English is not a first language. It is just a left over of the last decades. It is not easy to follow what they say. Had a long conversation with an old man who told me stories and was having a great time doing it althought I had to pretend that I understood.what came from his toothless lips. You gotta serve somebody. Bob Dylan's song. Came to mind. It may have a sweet bitter taste in a country like this. Yet so true. The ride was up and downhill with black smoking trucks doing 20mph. Got back at 1030pm. And hit the sack within seconds.
Day out of Days List