Friday, 7 June 2013

2nd June 2013 - shooting for Munch 150

Oslo 2nd June 2013.   1am. Well, it’s in the can… (not that we use film canisters any more of course!  We should say ‘it’s on the cards!’ as everything we shoot goes on to memory cards and then is downloaded to computers ready for immediate editing).  Two days of intensive filming at the National Museum and the Munch Museum, both in Oslo.  The Munch 150 is an absolutely fantastic exhibition – I think it is rightfully being called a ‘once-in-a-lifetime’ show.  230 of his wonderful paintings exhibited in a very smart way across the two locations.  I could name dozens of paintings I’d advise people to take a good long look at but if I had to pick a few I’d include ‘The Sick Child’, ‘The Kiss’, most of his self-portraits and ‘Madonna’.  Funnily enough, ‘The Scream’ wouldn’t be in my top 10- although I must say it’s very revealing to see it as part of The Frieze of Life room.  When you see the whole group of paintings side by side – and ‘The Scream’ among them - you get a fabulous sense of the colour thought (just look at the repeated use of orange), the rhythm of the works, the lines that pass from one painting to the next.  I didn’t really understand what the Frieze of Life room was before I stood inside it but it’s worth seeing the film just for that room alone.  Logistically this has been a tough one as we have had to fly in crew & equipment as well as hiring local grip equipment.  So lots of gear, excess baggage, hire car tomfoolery, parking, checking in and out of hotels, hunting for quick meals, carrying (and more carrying) of gear in and out of the galleries and, above all, the pressure of filming each and every required painting and interview.  AND in the most ridiculously expensive country I’ve ever been to.  £14 for a beer…. so tough but worth it.  We have stood and filmed some of the greatest paintings of the 19th and 20th centuries. I have become a real fan of Munch over the course of this project and hope we get big audiences to share my discoveries.  Ben, the director, has a big job now – the minute we get back to Gatwick at 2pm (Sunday) he’s off to the edit suite to piece it all together by Wednesday night. Then (once we’re happy with every last detail) it gets post-produced (including grading, audio mixing, captions and credits).  Then subtitling and preparation for the satellite transmission...which is coming rapidly down the tracks on June 27th.  So we’ve a very busy few days ahead…plus I’m off to the USA to film some Vermeer paintings for the next film and I’m busy editing In Search of Chopin too….  

Edvard Munch, The Scream, 1893. National Museum, Oslo © The Munch Museum/ The Munch - Ellingsen Group, BONO, Oslo/DACS, London 2013

Behind the scenes at Munch 150

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