Danny Boyle

Sunshine Video

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. The day has finally arrived. I can finally give you your first look at Sunshine.

My colleagues Phil and Damien interviewed Danny Boyle a while back. A bit later on, they took a video camera into the edit and pressed record while the editors were viewing scenes. Then Damien took the interview and the sneaky edit suite footage and cut it all together using music by the fabulous Digitonal. After a bit of persuading, Danny and Producer Andrew Macdonald agreed to let me put it up.

So please make sure you thank Danny, Andrew, Phil and Damien for this beauty: ‘Danny Boyle introduces Sunshine‘.

Enjoy!

Stubble=Stress

When filming started way back in September, pretty much all of the men were clean-shaven. There was the odd beardy, but, you know, one doesn’t expect anything other than that from the Special Effects department. ;)

A few weeks ago, however, I started to pay attention to the shaving habits of the men around me when I got my first glimpse of stubble. I deduced very quickly that on a film set stubble=stress. I noticed that when a normally very clean-shaven guy was having a difficult time, he’d not shave for a day or two until the stress had passed and then he’d turn up for work with cheeks as smooth as a baby’s bottom.

After a week or so of the odd stubbly day here or there, I noticed that several guys would turn up to work clean-shaven on Monday morning, but by Friday would have a pretty full beard on the go. They didn’t shave at all during the week, but would leave their shaving until the weekend so that they could start the new week afresh. I decided that the moment men stopped shaving on the weekend and started turning up to work on a Monday with a beard that things will have tipped over the bristly edge and really started to get stressful.

Last week, for the first time, I noticed several beards on Monday morning. They’ve been doing six day weeks, 12 hours filming each day and, frankly, I’d guess that the last thing anyone wants to do on their only day off is waste any time at all on shaving. Not everyone has succumbed, but a large percentage of the men are, at the very least, stubbly for several days per week…

Alex Garland, however, has been cultivating his ’stubble look’ from day one… so no one really knows if he’s stressed or not. Veeeery clever move on his part. Very clever.

The only two men I’ve noticed who have *never* had stubble:
Andrew Macdonald and Danny Boyle…

I’m afraid, however, I have no data available on the women-on-production’s legs.

Gonna Shine Like A Sunbeam

They’ve been filming in Stage A for the past several days. A lot of really important scenes happen there throughout the film and for the past couple days the set has been covered in filth. The other day the set was pretty bad, today, however, everyone is wearing either dust masks, protective clothing or both. The air is hazy. Everyone is covered in dust and dirt. It’s not helping those of us who have caught the nasty cold going round.

I went to the set to find Suttirat Anne Larlarb to have a chat about the costumes and as I got to the top of the stairs, Danny was walking up the corridor wearing a protective suit. He looked so cool I had to grab a snap.

1310_dannygalactic

My first thought was the Beastie Boys’ Intergalactic video

Sunlight

Today, they’re getting the last few close-up shots from the spacewalk with Hiroyuki Sanada. As I arrived I saw Hiro sitting outside getting ready to film. Every time I see him he is loosening-up, stretching, preparing to film. You can almost feel the intense energy coming from him. He’s remarkable to watch.

This morning I arrived on set when they were still setting up the lights. Danny asked me not to take pictures of Hiro as he’s not feeling particularly well today. Instead, I got Danny talking to Alwin Kuchler, the Director of Photography, bathed in ’sunlight’.

Sunlight

Helmet Cam

The “helmet cam” is located inside the characters’ spacesuits. Along with getting the actors’ close-ups, it’s getting everything that each character can see outside during a spacewalk. And there’s a lot going on. For more than a week they’ve been filming very technical shots with stunt doubles on wires who have certain cues to hit whilst ‘floating’ in space and several major scenes which are very physically and emotionally draining on the actors. And throughout it, of course, there is the ever-present Sun.

The other day they created the most amazing Sun-plasma effect just using orange lights, reflective material and a fan. Of course, visual effects will probably re-do it in the final shot, but it created the correct reflections on the actors’ faces and, I would guess, helped them with their performances.

I was watching a monitor as Cillian Murphy was doing one of the big scenes during which this effect was used and by the end of it I noticed I was biting my lower lip extremely hard and my forehead was all tensed up. Very harrowing stuff. And that was only about 10 seconds of the film.

Everything seems to be going rather well and the tension from last week has cleared. Just after lunch, Danny Boyle was talking with a couple of the runners about the cricket- it’s looking like England is going to win the Ashes- before he went off to get ready to start again.

Good Day

Things have certainly turned around here. I arrived and everyone was milling around, chatting. I got to the bottom of the steps which lead to the set and saw Danny at the top on his way down.

‘Hi, Gia! How are you today?’
‘Fine, Danny. How are you doing?’
‘Good. Good.’

It’s going to be a good day.

Studio 8

0209_dannySince Wednesday they’ve been filming ‘zero G’ stuff with the stunt doubles in space suits connected to wires. I went down to the studio just before lunchtime to have a look at what they were filming. Right as I arrived Danny Boyle ran off to another set for a few minutes.

When I first met Danny a couple months ago I recognised him the first second I saw him. While we were talking with Andrew Macdonald, I couldn’t stop trying to think of all the directors I know by sight. They were asking me serious questions about the web and I had ‘Scorsese, Coppola, Spielberg, Lucas, Hitchcock, Houston, Cronenberg, Lee, Herzog, Tarantino, Allen, Boyle…’ running through my head.

Oh. Apparently, they’ve just now decided to re-shoot everything they’ve shot with the space suits over the past couple days. They’ve said they want to make it look better.

No one here is going to make do with ‘good enough’, everything has got to be amazing.