2001 July 2
From morning the whole crew is in fever. Everybody is packing:
the bags are full of T-shirts, shorts, sunscreen and towels.
Everybody is waiting the departure, to start the third shooting
stage at Ozora.
At Pipó's we are awaited with delicious roast duck leg.
2001 July 3
The twentieth day of shooting. With fresh forces, the crew starts
the shooting of inserts. First they shoot different cut images
on Bezerédi Street with Uncle Cseklik and the "symphonic
orchestra" (geese, dogs, bugs, high voltage wires) that
accompanies him. The five pages long insert list is diminishing
fast. But we face a few serious problems: we cannot shoot the
insert on the pasture for the owner of the carriage changed
one of the grey horses on a black one. And the G can't find
the original one…
After the refreshing shower from the lunch break, we move to
the granny's house to shoot the steps of making lunch. Since
we decided where to shoot the scene with the mill, the dumplings
are made of flour from there. Pour Király's are not happy for
the out of turn acting, but finally they reconcile with making
again mass in theirs house. The lunch making may start. We shoot
how she prepares the dumplings, how she cuts onion, how she
plucks the chicken. In the end we record a few inserts with
For the earthquake scene we demolish a brick stack, and we came
to the end of the day.
It turns out that the lens for the macros is completely useless.
Possibly the scenes are not recorded well. For tomorrow we request
new lenses from Budapest.
2001 July 4
Further series of inserts. Until we wait for the macros from
Budapest, we record a few images with one of Jimmy's "darling",
the indecent sow, and with the other animals from the yard (among
them with a kitty that seems to be born for acting, and one
creaking fence door). We rapidly shoot another earthquake insert
too, as the black clothes drying on a rope fall down. We stopped
in the center too, maybe we can shoot a stork coming home, but
it didn't happen so.
Back in the morning they dug a hole to build the fahrt rail
for us to shoot a cut in the old cemetery. This image shall
help the special effect makers to draw up the image of a flower
growing on a grave. The work is going on well; everybody is
doing his job, so it seems that we can record more inserts than
By the repaired lens arrived we were over lunch, and the crew
moved to Gigi's pub to record the spilling spirit. Then we rush
to the dressmaker's shop to record the postponed inserts about
different sewing machine's spare parts. At dawn we move to the
shepherd's farm to shoot again the cut we tried to record in
May: the way we go slowly down to the mole's nest.
2001 July 5
It's raining. We should have to shoot the scene with the transport
of the harvested wheat. But at breakfast we have to reorganize
all those scenes that are going on in cloudy weather or indoors.
The crisis-crew gathers and work out the possible program. At
Pipó's we shoot some indoor inserts, a gross plan with Aunt
Ica, then we move to Jimmy's pigsty where we have to record
again its arrival home. (Unfortunately the record made earlier
By we finish with Jimmy the sun comes out so we can continue
with the scenes planned for today, excepting the truck and the
First we go to the apiary (another one that is not so far away)
to shoot the falling bees for the earthquake - five times faster
in order to see slow motioned pictures on the screen. After
the bees come the frogs. We have to make close plan with the
jump, because the other jumps couldn't be seen clearly. By we
have to catch the frog arrives Péter Huszák, the animal trainer,
and everybody is happy that we won't have to hold the disgusting
animal. By the way, Péter Huszák brought the stork from the
behind of it we'll see at the first pub scene the bowling men.
While the crane-car is drove on its place (that will lift up
the stork with its nest + camera and cameraman too) we record
some inserts with the old man. Everybody is curious about the
scene with the stork, all crewmembers are watching under the
crane. After the pub follows the pasture, but it turned to be
much harder than the other scenes. Well, it turns out that we
have a similar yet completely different carriage with two white
horses since the owner of the carriage we record was not willing
to give it us because we put some gypsy's horse to it. But this
is not all: there are no sufficient cans we requested, more
than that we don't have other hose for the pump. Instead of
waiting we shoot inserts with the pump. Then we arrange the
carriage and the camera in a way the missing things are not
to be seen. At twilight we shoot the horse carriage going away.
We have to shoot the earthquake scene when the sweep falls.
The G bravely dismantles the sweep from the crane and replaces
the metal part with a broomstick. So, with one touch the booth
falls beautiful, but there is one problem, the G can't go away
fast enough, and we have to repeat the recording. It's almost
dark when we are able to shoot. The sweep falls beautiful -
if anything could be seen in the dark. (…) In the end the G's
crew is putting back the metal part of the sweep.
2001 July 6
In the morning everybody is happy. We'll start only at noon.
Today we have the wedding scene that is disposed till midnight.
Till lunch at half past four we shoot hose inserts in Pipó's
yard, then we move at Gigi to shoot the postponed funeral inserts.
Meanwhile József Kneisz, the utility man of the village, our
best help makes the prepared fire-hose we also need for hose
Until midnight most of the actors would prefer to go home to
sleep. Of course, a few hours ago they felt privileged that
they were allowed to enter to the co-operative's diner, but
they didn't reckoned that once entered they can't leave…We work
extremely fast, and our accomplishment is suitable for Guinness
Book: about 40 regrouping (not counting the movement of the
camera back a few meters). Around eleven the director and the
cameraman have a little debate. According to the director's
conception the scene (as the whole film) is based on big total
plans and narrow close-ups, but the cameraman's position is
that we need narrow total plans too for space effect. The clash
of views almost degenerates into a dispute (also rhetoric joke).
Finally the director decides that a few cuts won't hurt, and
By midnight arrives Kati Balatoni, who came to the shooting
immediately after her appearance at Siófok, to interpret the
closing song of the film. By that time we let the most part
of the actors home.
We finish with today's shooting around two in the morning. (For
the overtime we have a little fight with the producer…) Fortunately
there is plenty of meat-soup, so we have dinner between the
"ruins". It was an exhausting yet beautiful day. The
most beautiful scene of the night was when the director and
the cameraman embrace themselves after work.
2001 July 7
We start at ten… From early morning the landing stage and stall,
which are going to be shattered are built at the fishing pond.
By noon we go to the meadows with Aunt Mari to terrify snails
and guinea fowls for ours benefit. Unfortunately the guinea
fowl is much hysterical than Aunt Mari, and it won't stay in
the tree. The assistant, the G's assistant and the director
aren't get away unharmed, the bird drops on theirs shirt. But
it turns out well. For now everything is going according to
the plan, but it feels that everybody is extremely tired. Around
one o'clock we move to the fishing pond to soot again the scene
recorded before - which turned out useless at editing - about
the police investigation and the earthquake inserts with the
landing stage and the stall shattering.
On the spot chosen before suddenly arrives the owner, who is
not willing to renounce for us of his Saturday afternoon fishing.
Because of that we have to move the whole scene on the other
shore. We managed to find a 1 m2 dry spot for the camera. We
move the camera, the raw material, the director, the cameraman
and the focuspuller by boat (the G's assistants row with a row
and a shovel). It turns out that the water is so duckweed that
in the camera the pond is more like a meadow, so we have to
clean the pond's surface. The director of the fishing pond makes
a tool for cleaning from tree branches, and the G's assistants
are cleaning the green surface. (During the shooting we have
to repeat a few times this operation, because the wind unfavourable
We finish by six in the evening, when we should have finished
the ZIL scene.
But there the things are going on faster, however Ildi (yesterday
the bride) doesn't prove to be so good driver as her father
and the villagers told us. But we manage to do it: our helper,
Józsi Kneisz lies on the ZIL's floor at Ildi's feet and pushes
the pedals that almost unreachable for the girl.
By this time arrive the people with the balloon, and they feel
the weather appropriate to take off. The lights would be good
too, but the time we arrive to the takeoff scene, the wind is
going stronger. We postpone the shooting of the balloon scene
for tomorrow morning.
We move fast to the hillside, from where we see the IFA driving
on the road, while Aunt Gyula, the mother of the bride in the
film is hoeing the vineyard. The scene is beautiful, but until
we finish the setting there isn't enough light.
2001 July 8
From now on Sundays the 8th will be considered the great day
of misfortunes in the history of filmmaking. (That is followed
next week by a Friday 13th, that is a day of dangers and misfortunes
for all human being…) Today's happenings are so filled with
misfortune that we ask the weak nerved readers to skip reading
this day. In the name of the whole crew I can give only one
advice for our colleagues, namely to avoid Sunday 8th.
When the director and the cameraman woke up at three in the
morning to take off with the balloon above the village didn't
even suspect that those few minutes when they will fall over
the high voltage wires, being between life and death happened
just for them to remember over the day the mortal danger, and
to live the other problems of the day as something unimportant.
That will make easier to bear the events of the day.
The Javelin people arrive at 8 to shoot the scene with the harvest,
the policeman's way, and in the remaining time the postponed
settings like Aunt Gyula's hoeing in the vineyard.
The much tensed crewmembers watched the sky all the night seeing
if it would rain or we may harvest. The Fate took care of theirs
joy, even at 10 there were dark clouds running on the sky. "We'll
have dramatic sky" kept telling the cameraman trying to
cover his despair. By the crane is put together the sun came
out, everybody calmed down: we may shoot. We receive the deer
too: Rudi and Bambi. The combine ("Dominator") is
set, the ZIL too driven by Ildi with the help of Jóska Kneisz.
From here I continue relating the story with enumeration, without
comments for not to have to fight with the recollections of
- The big rattling thing in front of her in which it can see
another deer, similar to it frightens Bambi.
- Every starting of the ZIL has 50-50% chance, namely it would
start or not.
- It remains no wheat in the way of Dominator, so the whole
crane has to be moved (cca. 1 hour).
These are only pitfalls given by the complicated scenes, that
we manage to solve in time, disregarding the Dominator's activity.
At this point came the unexpected troubles.
At second shooting the cut turns to be good. It would have been
good, but one of our colleagues is in the image.
We move again, we lose one and a half hours.
The next scene would be good too (namely Bambi is in its place,
the ZIL starts, Dominator throws the seeds in the right way…)
if the crane's leg wouldn't be in the image.
We move again, we lose one and a half hours.
Between the moves we record some inserts with the Dominator's
work. WE try to make something useful…
The next scene isn't good, we didn't managed to turn the Javelin.
The ZIL is full with seeds, we loose another one and a half
hours till the crops are delivered to the mill.
Dominator is full too. Another hour lost until it's emptied.
We move again, we lose one and a half hours.
We wish it wouldn't be 40 oC…
If it would be more than one tree to give us shadow…
Last possibility of the day. Within an hour the sun will go
The turning with Javelin is not perfect, but we can tell that
it worked… until the focuspuller tells us that the automatic
sharp didn't worked and the whole record is not sharp.
That was the finishing stroke. We don't have time to move again.
We postpone the shooting of the planned scene, but it's a complicated
cut. The Javelin crew is ruined. So are we… We may only save
the scene with recording some close plans and editing it. We
are speechless. Everybody is packing in silence. Some are patting
the director's back.
This was our last day here. Good-by Ozora.
2001 July 9
Due to some unreasonable reasons this is the only day off before
we start shooting in the Budapest area. But the assistant producer,
the director and the cameraman decide not to rest, rather they
go to find some new scenes. (Naturally, it would be embarrassing
to rather rest, because they wouldn't know where to shoot tomorrow.)
In order to avoid boring they visit the operator's relative,
the special effect man for ask him to make for tomorrow a water-corps.
The special effect man acknowledges calmly the task and in the
night he makes the character they asked for.
No doubt that neither the other crewmembers was idling everybody
was waiting to meet, to work again.
2001 July 10
We start at ten at the Zoo. The Budapest air did us a lot of
good. A lot of smiling faces, a lot of washed T-shirts, clean
hairs, new sandals, sneakers, trendy denims, and ironed socks.
We are blossoming. And the work too. The Catfish swims with
fantastic talent, catches the frog, the liver, the hook… but
the extras, the craps, little snails, water-spiders, crocodiles,
sharks and other things are also doing theirs best during the
shooting. The liver we put on the hook is floating so great
in this strange gray-greenish light as if a protagonist of Grünewald
or Bosh came to life in the subway of the Zoo called "Life
on the river's bank". We recorded a beautiful underwater
In the afternoon we shoot a few insert in the grass near the
Finally a great day.
2001 July 11
The Hungarian Television's propmen furnish the Police station
from Kesernyés (Bittervile) in a kindergarten, near Gödöllő.
From Ozora arrive the actors we need: the policeman, the postman
and Annuska too. For this scene we need three extras, which
also came. The work is going on very good, everybody is working
happy. We need a lot of cuts to get the scene, since everything
has to clear up here; the strings are pulled here.
The first really bad experience of the day is the restaurant,
when they try to cheat us with the drinks. From here on everything
seems to fall apart.
Another race with time. Shortly turns out that we won't manage
to finish the work in due time. We rapidly try to shoot every
key-cut, we try to figure what are the less important ones,
but there are many. Anyway we have omit many close images. This
will put together only on the editing table. We hope we'll manage
to do it.
2001 July 12
The last day of shooting - till September. We didn't plan so.
Tomorrow we should shoot the field-table and the airport. Because
the protagonist of the field-table, the mole decided this morning
that it won't continue its (underground) life, we postpone today's
shooting for September. Then we have to spend another day at
Today we start at "Ferencvárosi Malom" (The Mill from
Ferencváros), on Sorksári Street.
Then we continue the work in the atelier from Algyógyi Way with
recordings of some inserts.
In the evening we drink champagne. We'll miss you boys!
2001 July 13
The director and the cameraman meet the producer at "Mokép".
They talk through the happenings, and the producer agrees to
hire for the next stage of shooting a second-unite that should
record inserts with the flying stork and different nature films.
2001 July 16
We start editing.
half of July 2001
Editing at "Mafilm" Media Center. After that we move
to the Avid from "Quality Pictures", because we may
not share the computer from Media Center with the editors of
"Hídember". The editor and the director may work in
worst conditions, lower quality picture, but without time limit.
It takes a week to move the material from one computer to another.
The director lets the editor to work alone since he is curious
what can this artist - who didn't attended the shooting - will
make with the images. It's promising how the scenes are put
together, but the work seems to be slow. There are more and
more personal conflicts between the two of them. The editor
can't disregard the bad things that happened with her lately,
and unfortunately she projects on her work too. On the other
hand the director is impatient, minute after minute he wants
to see newer edited pictures. In the small room the atmosphere
is getting worst, they are loosing trust in each other, while
there is no problem with the movie; it's getting more and more
beautiful, more and more interesting. After two weeks work the
director loose control and a day after - during a discussion
in a coffee shop - with mutual agreement they stop working together.
It's great sadness, since they started this film together. The
director doesn't know whom to assign with the film editing.