And so my Moroccan diary has come to an end. What a journey, what an experience. This whole job took me about 23 weeks to complete and it is actually not fully over in theory, but in practice it is over for me now and what a weird sense of relief that is.
Now as I am home I started craving being back at work, busy with things and lacking sleep. This type of work gives a strange sort of high which is hard to come out off. I am a work addict I am starting to think.. But ok, for now. I just want to send you love and say thank you for sticking with me through all the ups and downs of shooting in the desert in June/July. Don’t do it! Take my word for it.
Monday. Ah today was special. First of all I wore a t-shirt I was gifted by our military advisor and modelled the “sh*t” out of it as by the end of the day every girl wanted it. Secondly, the sunset today was just magical and when the night came the blood moon showed up. It was special I tell you. Also we did some really nice scenes I have been looking forward to. At one point we had an actor walking towards the ocean for a swim as that’s what his character had to do and the whole crew was just running behind the camera through the dunes following him. It was actually pretty exciting. I love team moments like that. We are all in this together, and shots like that just show it. Everyone is talking about season 2 for this, that maybe it will happen in Malta. Would be nice, but then again, it hasn’t yet been approved for the 2nd season so anything can happen. For now I was just so so happy at the end of the night and that was that.
Tuesday. This was a long ass day. Well it was presenting itself to be. Main unit started at 12:00 with estimated wrap at 22:00. The second unit was also filming on the day with the estimated wrap at 1 am. Well I ended up doing both. It was kinda my choice though, because some of the cast were wrapping on the night and I wanted to see them off. I have never been this close with the cast before as I generally used to keep myself separate from them, but it was impossible on this job and I actually liked it so much better. See how that affects my other jobs. Ah also it was so windy and dusty!! This place is driving me crazy because of it. I dream of the days I can just have nice and clean hair as well as no sand moustache.
Wednesday. Travel day back to Casablanca. Ah what a day it was… Well basically, in the early hours of the morning there was a little gathering by the pool. It was a last night for a few of my favourite cast guys aka my Covid hotel survivors. So I was out. At around 5.30am we were still out sitting and passing a bottle of rum around (yes Covid, but they had their fit to fly by this point and didn’t care) so one of the guys who was meant to be leaving for the airport at 7am fell asleep on the armchair and we sort of let him have a nap for as long as there was rum left in the bottle. Yes wise. My idea as well. Anyway an hour later and still with the rum left in the bottle we decided to move the poor guy back to his room and I made grand promises of waking him up for 7 am. Well, you have probably figured out by this point that I failed my mission and gosh I feel guilty, especially when I opened my eyes and it was half past 9 in the morning. Anyway we ended up having lunch together with few of the survivors and I set off to Casablanca in the late afternoon. Of course promises to see each other again were exchanged and it feels nice and warm to remember that, not sure how much of the truth that will turn out to be. But hey. Love is love.
Thursday. Last day aka wrap day. Well technically, there are 3 more days of pick ups required to finish this whole thing and they are thinking of doing it at the end of August. BUT for now it is the end and chances are it is the end for me, since due to all the isolation and travel rules I am not sure I can just easily swing by for three days and leave. Anyway the mood today is rather interesting. Sort of happiness, but also disbelief. We shot a rather fun boxing scene, for one of the actors it was his main intro scene, so it was pretty interesting to do it on a very last day. He was well excited for it though and I am just so glad he got it done and literally smashed it. I used to make comments about him never wearing a shirt in a scene so after he was wrapped I made a point of telling him that I know there is more to him than that. Because there is and we should not objectify. He did say he liked my shirtless comments though so all is good.
Friday. I feel like it is a morning after.. after something I am not sure really happened. So we wrapped last night at 23:01. As per my report. I had a quick shower and there were drinks happening at the sky bar. Nothing crazy, only a handful of people left. We watched a little behind the scenes video my colleague Jay (yes I mention his name, because sometimes he comes to read my blog and I love him) made, it was nice a very decent night. The night ended with three pizzas in the lobby of the hotel and delivering my other colleague Stuart “the sea lion” to his room after he has managed to loose his keycard and started passing out in random places. He had to be up for 10 for his pick up to the airport. As far as I know he made it. That man really does surprise me sometimes. Ah yes also I had a second interview today with the director and the 1st AD for this Norwegian job. It went well, the director seemed very nice actually. We shall see, maybe in few weeks time I’ll be doing my diaries from there.
Saturday. Travel day back home. My flight was booked via Paris and had me leaving my hotel at 4.30am.. Ah I hate early flights like that. Also I had only one piece of suitcase bought for me by the production so had to sort myself out at the airport. It turned out to be so expensive, it was cheaper to get myself upgraded to business class than to pay my bags. Weird, but well, it was not this fancy business class flight anyway. Just a regular one with a curtain and a meal. Fine by me. I slept all the way to Paris and boy.. good that I did, because in Paris it was impossible to do an easy transfer. Luckily I had almost 6 hours layover, because it took me about 3 just to get out of the plane and find the right terminal for my next flight. Also Covid testing stations everywhere!! Anyway after all that I decided to take a little power nap, literally set my alarm to wake me up in an hour before the boarding of my flight was about to start and then I’ve heard the announcement for my actual flight. Apparently my phone didn’t update my time on it and I thought I was one hour behind. If I would have fallen asleep for that nap, I would have missed the flight. Lucky! All in all I got home in the late hours of the day. Was picked up by my sister and her Spanish boyfriend and driven to my moms house. It is so green here I just cannot believe I am seeing it.
Sunday. Moms birthday. I overheard her talking on a phone to somebody saying how happy she was that all of her kids are home. We did bbq and the weather was nice, warm and sunny. It promised rain, but it never came. Lucky again. I still can’t quite comprehend being back home.
- So, our hotel in Essaoira, did not serve food past 11pm and we have been doing split days, which meant wrap at 11pm. You see the issue right? So my gentle giant (as the director called him) friend stole and another time negotiated some bread from the kitchen just so we had something. One night we literally had bread, butter and a bottle of red wine for dinner. Funny, but it goes down with one of the best dinners for me.
- On the last day of work we ordered McDonalds for lunch instead of the desert catering. What a treat.
- Not a highlight, but a honourable mention. Just before the last day of the shoot our producer tested positive for covid and now has to isolate in Morocco for the next 14 days. I so hope he will be ok.
Cheers with a glass full of professionally fulfilled elephant!