by Rebecca Cody
12th February 2010
I’ve just arrived in Latin America, tired after nearly 2 days of travelling, but tremendously excited. The air is warm, I’ve left the vicious cold behind, I’m happy. I’ve been met by my fixer, Paola at the airport, and she has given me the best chocolate I have ever tasted in my life.
18th February 2010
We’ve now been in pre-production for almost a week, and things are coming together nicely. My director Kim and I have been to the coastal town of Guayaquil, where we have spent 3 days on a recce. It is so hot there, 39 degrees in the shade, and the humidity must be at a 100%. At night the fan is so loud that I have a choice, stay awake or swelter!
19th February 2010
We have nearly everything in place except some critical casting, we cannot find an actress to play Makisha, as she needs to be black, speak English and do a Caribbean accent. So far no good, I don’t know what we are going to do as I don’t think we can afford to fly an actress from London, we’ll just have to keep trying.
20th February 2010
Tonight our DOP Neve, and lead actor arrive. It is late but I need to do a wig fitting with our actor. Our character had dreadlocks, and so we need to get our actor wigged up! Luckily the wig looks good, and Kim and Neve are pleased.
22nd February 2010
Hurray, today the shoot begins. We are filming the streets of Guayaquil, for our “Miami shots” All photographed on a long lens, looking really good. This afternoon disaster struck, our actor is feeling very poorly, and so I call a doctor to set. The doctor has diagnosed that he needs to rest for a couple of hours, and then she will return to see how he is. A couple of hours later,.. the diagnosis is not good, he must go home to rest, and see the doctor next day at 5am before we can ascertain that he is well enough to work the next day.
23rd February 2010
It is 5am in the morning, and the doctor arrives, bad news, poor Ryan is not well enough to film. So we send the crew home. What are we going to do now?
Tuesday 24th February 2010
I have a conversation with my office, and the only thing we can do is to fly in another actor, as our actor has other commitments and won’t make the schedule. I hope the wig fits! We now have to re-schedule and change everything around, sounds just like Peru last year.
Monday 1st March 2010
First day of filming with our new actor, who is great, and the wig fits a dream. We are filming in our hotel all day, so it is very controllable.
Wednesday 2nd March 2010
Filming is going really well, we’ve recreated a Trinidadian carnival on the streets of Quito, but I’ve lost my precious blackberry, I feel distraught.
Thursday 4th March 2010
As the crew slog it out in the airport, with endless security, I spend my time filling in endless insurance forms, not sure what I prefer!
Saturday 6th March 2010
At last, a free day, I hope. But my director calls me at 8am, he has fallen ill. We spend the whole weekend in hospital, and we think he has been bitten by a fly, as his whole face and eye has swollen up so much that he has lost the sight in one eye.
Monday 8th March 2010
I’ve flown to tropical Quayaquil, ahead of the director, so I can start directing straight away. Our director follows later that morning, and picks up, all going well.
Wednesday 10th March 2010
Last day of the shoot, I’m totally exhausted, 4 and a half weeks of work from 5am to 10pm without a day off – but I’m determined to take the crew out for drinks, they so deserve it, they have been totally amazing. I last till 3am, must have been all that dancing!!
Locked Up Abroad “Spain” premieres July 28 at 10P et/pt.