Wednesday, March 14, 2007

2. The Shoot

On the appointed day, we arrived at the Houses of Parliament, found the room, set up and tested the equipment then went to lunch.
When we got back we found that the Dutch Prime minister – presumably with nothing else to do that day, (like running a country) – had heard about the imminent arrival of Princess Beatrix and, of course, had felt an immediate desire to be present.

She arrived with her husband surrounded by the secretaries, ladies-in-waiting, security people and the other hangers-on that are always collectively known as the Entourage. Introductions were made. Instructions were given. I got them to sit on the turntable and asked them to look straight ahead. As the film started to roll and the turntable rotate, I asked them to slowly turn to face each other and smile.

Sounds easy enough, doesn’t it? Don’t believe it. I had not counted on the fact that Beatrix actually had a great sense of humour. I sat below the camera, shouted “Action “ and everything started to move the way it was supposed to do until Beatrix started to turn her head to look at her husband. And, as soon as she got him in her field of vision she burst into a loud and violent laugh.

Now, to make these holograms, the golden rule is slow, smooth movements. I had seen examples of finished holograms where this rule had not been adhered to and the effect was nothing less comic. Laughing – and particularly Beatrix’s laughing was neither slow nor smooth. We had a problem.

The hour that had been allocated to this project flew by. The secretaries started signalling to her that the time was up. Beatrix called me over and asked me how things were going. As diplomatically as I possibly could be, I told her that all the takes we had made til then would not produce one good hologram. She thought for a moment, called over the secretary and asked her to cancel the following appointment, She intended to stay with us.

She and Claus stayed another 45 minutes. We got around 6 more takes, she got more serious and we started to get some decent footage. In the end, she appeared to have enjoyed herself immensely. Claus as well. As he left, he told me he would look forward to meeting again when the hologram was finished. And then, they were gone.

No comments: