6pm. Rain clouds. Large ominous shapes drifted towards Middlesbrough a few hours before we were due to start shooting.
Filming becomes very difficult in bad weather. Even if your equipment is adequately covered, the tendency is to speed everything up because you don't want your actors soaking during each take. Luckily, we were in a street where we were able to park 2 cars so people could wait in them while they weren't needed. As a director it was hard to not rush the scenes because I didn't want to keep cast and crew in the cold and wet. I did feel myself rushing and more panicky then I had been on the previous day so I had to work against my nature to calm down and get every shot I wanted.
The biggest thing I would say about bad weather filming is come as prepared as you can. Brollies, cars, plastic sheets, towels and waterproofs.
Fortunately the rain wasn't as bad as it could have been. We did pray beforehand.
Scenes of a violent nature
There is one attack scene in 'Harlot.' I'll be honest I was a little concerned about that scene because I didn't have a choreographer. I did have director, Laura Degnan with me who has filmed violence before who was a great help in giving advice. I learnt a valuable lesson in that scene. We blocked the scene with the actors and placed the camera in position on a tripod. It looked good. Then my cameraman suggested that we reshoot the scene, same angle but handheld to add more dynamic to the scene. I agreed, always willing to have an alternative. The difference was surprising. I knew that moving camera works well in energetic scenes that have a lot of movement in them but I did not have that knowledge as ingrained in to me as Crawford. His experience knew that would bring out the emotion of the scene more. It made the scene. Had I a larger budget I think I would have invested in a choreographer for this scene but it went amazingly well. James Senior who came in for the part of the attacker was excellent. He is able to switch in to his part in what seems seconds and he really lives the character.