Acting Aboard an Armada

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Photo Credit: Helen Sloan

Day 29: "If you fall in the water, the life jacket will automatically inflate. If it doesn't, pull the cord on your chest. If it still doesn't inflate, sink quietly so you don't ruin the take."

Such is the sage wisdom offered to us by our marine squad as we shoot a water sequence this week.

It seemed so easy on the page: a solitary boat on the water. But as we all know, pesky reality too often intrudes on fantasy. One boat became an armada: a boat with our heroes aboard, lashed to a primary camera boat; a second camera boat trying to keep up; a third boat for sound and VFX; a fastboat for props; a fastboat for marine rescue, just in case.

As for the water, who knew that landlocked lakes could unleash 4-foot swells? A couple of times we had to cut camera thanks to waves, lest the "Hero Boat" become hero-less.

But our cast bravely persevered. While the rest of us hung onto our seats (or cameras, or boom mics), they nailed their lines and acted like it was a balmy day on calm seas. A brilliant performance that most viewers will never realize.

Perhaps the cast were emboldened because, in our show, drowning would be a cleaner death than most...