From September ORTT didn't transferred the sum needed for starting
the shootings. We planned to start at the beginning of April.
There are continuous negotiations, but there are no results.
There are problems with the animated parts from the script,
the person responsible with the special effects now vanishes,
then - in the moment we give her up - appears again. We also
need a biologist, who can accept to grow a plant in the studio
in order to be shoot by the special effect cameraman, Jozsef
Rak. In this matter we appeal to Biology Department of ELTE
TTK University, but for the moment there is no hopeful sign.
Despite of all the work is going on: the disposition book is
under work, we select the actors, search for shooting scenes,
and according to these we make the necessary modifications on
The director, the cameraman and the assistant are looking for
a scene for the opening images of the film. They are looking
for a little village hidden in a valley. They have already found
all the other scenes in Ozora. They go to see the mountains
around Budapest with the idea of finding the ideal total-plan.
Unfortunately it doesn't happen so.
March 7 - Kesernyés
The chief lighting man, Attila Doczi and the fahrtmaster Istvan
Santa arrive to Kesernyés (Bittervile). With the cameraman and
the director they survey all those scenes that need light or
special techniques. They introduce every light, every meter
of fahrt rail in the disposition book. In particular cases the
director's conceptions seem impossible to carry out, mostly
for financial reasons (some accessories, like Javelin crane,
Pegasus etc. cost thousands of HUF by day). These scenes have
to be reconsidered, simplified, or they have to find other solutions
for its. They have to reconsider problems like if it's profitable
to pay rent for specific equipment, or it would be cheaper to
build a system of platform in the valley that makes horizontal
field from the vertical one.
March 8-10 - Kesernyés
Scene survey, casting. We haven't found the protagonist yet,
but the list of the other actors is increasing. Furthermore:
from the hills around Kesernyés we can shoot two great total-plans
of the village. We search the village to find the ideal protagonist,
and we take pictures of the willing people. We need everybody,
because we have two scenes that request the presence of almost
all the villagers. Often we have to deal with refusal of the
villagers that seem to be ideal for the purpose. They act like
that mostly on the family's pressure… The others, that would
act gladly in the movie are not suitable because of theirs physical
or face construction. They can be used only like extras. The
most unpleasant situations are those when somebody wants to
play a part in the movie at any price, and with his methods
does everything for it, but from our side it is certain that
there is no role that fits him. The good part is that the rumour
of shooting is spreading in the village and most of the people
support the "ordeal" of it just because the neighbours
are going to take part in the movie.
March 17 - Budapest
The spring is coming, the flowers are growing fast. The director
agrees with the botanist about the appropriate plant (lily of
the valley) that has to grow in the movie in 5 seconds, while
in reality this process requires 4-6 weeks. In the afternoon
the director, the G and the assistant meet in a pretty restaurant.
The assistant, who just recovered from the flu, has immediately
a little dispute with the heavy smoker G on whether they should
sit in a smoking or no smoking area. The director avoids interfering.
The G is frightening them with a 38 million budget-limitation,
and jumps up every minute from the table to light a cigarette.
After hard conciliation they agree about the first 10 days of
shooting. We'll start on April the 10th. The ORTT still didn't
transfer the money. We don't know why.
March 20-21-22 - Kesernyés
The casting is going on from two weeks. It's no way for us to
find an old man to play Uncle Cseklik's role. For the time being
we are taking pictures. This is the first selection: those,
who allowed us, are taken in pictures. From the pictures we
select the most characteristic faces, and we make a test video
recording. The decision is made after we saw the video recordings.
We extend the search to the nearby villages too. With our hired
man we follow the lunch-deliver, and with the caretakers help
we get talking to the elderly people. Most of them rejected
our offer. A woman told us: "we have no time for such little
things." (What does "little" things mean? According
to this, the film. But is also entertainment. Perhaps the laughing
too, and the meaningless walks on the fields, the exchange of
views. And what are the not "little" things? Wakeups
at dawn, the hard work, the born and death? Everything that
hurts and that is duty? This film wants to be about all these.
Be perished all useless things!)
We are not able to pay. That put us in an embarrassing situation
in the village. At the eating-house we are asked when are we
going to pay the bill. The 10-15 actors to come - women - whisper
behind our backs, and is hard to swallow a bite in theirs presence.
At the pub we have dinner on credit. But the owner lady is more
patient, and she acquainted with the local business life. We
don't even start to go into details about the reasons of our
impecuniousness. Most of the crewmembers already spend behind
theirs possibility on the film, and the payment of the won financial
support is still uncertain. The producer promises some money
that would cover fire extinguishing, but the limited budget
conditioned the money transfer to handling in the budget. But
the producer can't handle in the budget for weeks. There are
many reasons of it… This is why the director and the assistant
feel ashamed before the villagers, since they have to meet them
every week. And the worst thing: one of the leading actors cancelled
his appearance. (The script is based on his character.) On this
point he is adamant… The original conception seems to be spoiled
that everybody should play himself/herself in the movie. Now
we have to look for a young man too.
March 23 - Budapest
The Zoo. The cameraman and the director are visiting the animal
trainer, examine the catfish - one of the "actors"
- at its natural aquarium.
Negotiations with magyar.film.hu about publishing the shooting
of the film.
March 24 - Budapest
Discussions. The persons present: the director, the cameraman,
the G, the assistant, the special effect cameraman, the biologist,
the producer's assistant and the son of the G. Items on the
agenda: the growth of the plant, the way and conditions of shooting
it, the fixing as precisely as possible the shooting days, the
offer request for digital special effect making, and the overcame
of the last obstacles in the way of finalising the budget.
The biologist announces that the chosen plants are growing even
in frozen condition, namely they are feeling the spring. The
scene has to be shoot as soon as possible.
After long hours of discussion it turned out that only the 35mm
camera can serve for this purpose, and we need 3 of it. Or,
we should choose another plant, which can be grown from bulb
or seed, independently of the season.
Monday we count, and we are looking for other plants too. For
start the producers estimate this special effect cost about
one million HUF. Is it worth it? There is no answer, this is
important. After heavy disputes, and "Mr. If not me, who
else" we close the meeting. Go home.
March 28 - Budapest
On the floor of the assistant's apartment are lined up the photos
with the actors. The director, the dramaturg (script/scenario
consultant) and the assistant are trying to make the cast. The
actors they know personally, who don't have photos are replaced
with theirs improvised portrait and names on the same size papers.
On Friday and Saturday we should make photos with them, and
we should take pictures with the four old men chosen for the
role of Uncle Cseklik.
March 29 - Budapest
The Internet page is on the net!
It is an experimental version yet, but the main information
and the structure of the flash page can be already viewed. Because
of the two weeks waiting list, we have got the www.hukkle.hu
domain name only on April 3rd. We have tried to obtain the www.hukkle.com
address too, which would require only a few days, but to our
great astonishment an English person have already reserved the
name though he didn't operated a page on it.
We have a new person in the crew: József Csala. At the beginning
of the week, as the G's assistant he organised the testing,
namely the test of the raw material, the sound and the experiment
of technically or theoretically complicated images. The director
discusses with the cameraman the cut of the scenes. They discuss
about the experience from the three-day shooting, because the
material shoot that time was incomplete. This is why we have
to invent a documentary style and mix it with aesthetic presentations.
In the meantime, the cameraman announces that though he rejected
a lot of requests because of this film, in April he would like
to engage himself in a work in foreign country. This would mean
that on his days off during the shooting of "Hukkle"
he would prepare for the other movie, and he requests to postpone
the last two days of shooting to the beginning of May. The director
has to comply with his request. For this production there is
no money even for shooting the planned presentations, and the
financing of the work after the shooting is uncertain. More
than that: even the receiving of the existing financial resource
is uncertain, as well as the beginning of the shooting on the
10th. We cannot inform the producer about the planned first
day of shooting, as he is abroad. He will arrive on Friday.
The time is pressing us.
March 30 - Kesernyés
The main people of the crew visit the scenes. The director,
the cameraman, the assistant and the shooting director are in
the sound editor's car. The finish fast there is great understanding
between them. At the coffee bar of the village they talk over
the disposition book of the first 12 days of shooting, then,
excepting the director and the assistant they left home. In
the village they continue to select the actors.
In the evening the cameraman calls the director and tells him
that the sound editor talked with the producer, who didn't knew
everything about the beginning of shooting on April 10. The
director calls the sound editor and asks him, why didn't he
consulted the G with the production problems, while he travelled
all day long with the G's assistant. He replies that there is
only a week to the shooting, and the G didn't call him at all,
so he waned to clear the things out. The director calls the
G, who assures him that they will start shooting on the 10th
and he fixed already a meeting for Monday with the shooting
director. The director calls the cameraman and assures him that
things will be cleared out till Monday. Much serious problem
could be that the leading actor candidates are hiccuping extremely
bad. We have to figure out something for that too.