It’s been quite a good summer, hasn’t it? Certainly in London we’ve had a pretty good few months – dry, sunny, warm, sometimes very warm. Often too hot for comfort, if truth be told. But let’s not complain, especially after last year’s washout.
Yes… last year. After a summer when it looked like the jet stream was going to bathe us in its gentle/stormy waters for the entire season, the weather unexpectedly improved towards the end of August and everything was dry for the two days of our shoot in September. This year, the summer has been (mostly) glorious and now, as the next shoot approaches… things are going downhill. As I write, the skies above are so grey it’s like someone took a dark pencil and scribbled all over the air. The rain has been falling (well, that’s what rain does, it doesn’t go any other way) in varying degrees of heaviness and, while the flowers are enjoying a respite from the recent baking heat, I’m sitting thinking I’m glad we weren’t shooting today. But I’m obsessing over forecasts, all of which are as much use at this stage as a cardboard gazebo, and which ALL SAY A DIFFERENT THING. It’s going to pour down on Friday. It’s going to pour down on Saturday. It’s going to pour down on Sunday. It’s not going to rain at all (thank you, BBC Weather, keep it up).
Obviously there’s no way of knowing what’s going to happen until we’ve turned up, set up, started rolling and sat back (what am I saying? You never sit back on set, there isn’t time). But we have to pack anoraks, umbrellas, covers, tarpaulins, tents, all kinds of wet weather gear – none of which might be used. But we have a lot to get through – this is only a short film, but it’s a sophisticated one with a lot of set-ups. The schedule is very tight already. We can’t afford any delay. There’ll be none of the cheery British, “never mind, it’ll stop in a few minutes, let’s go and sit in the car.” The sensitivity of a shoot like this to the rain is greater than a cricket match – not because of people being worried about getting wet (far from it, they’re a resilient bunch) but because of continuity. We can’t have Donna getting out of a dry car in one shot and then cut to her standing in front of a wet car.
So, dear reader, although you can have no influence over natural events at all, please help me – watch the skies!
(I see I wrote an almost identical post this time last year…)