The Wedding Date
ABOUT THE PRODUCTION - 2
A few districts away, London’s leafy, residential Primrose Hill was the setting for the game of rounders (the English ancestor of American baseball) between “Team Ellis” and “Team Fletcher-Wooten.” Other city neighborhoods used included The West End, Little Venice, Chiswick, Richmond, Hammersmith, St. John’s Wood and North London’s Islington area.
In addition, London’s Gatwick Airport doubled for the interior of New York’s JFK Airport. While England was brimming with scenic, memorable locations and polite, convivial people, there was, however, one obstacle to shooting therethe traditional English weather replete with ample rain. The wet and stormy weather that Britain is known for made almost daily appearances during production of The Wedding Date.
But Clare Kilner, like so much of the English crew, took it in stride: “Filming is all about just going with what you have and making the best of it. You can’t fight the elements, so maybe there’s something else the day offers you.” The American actors were impressed with the ease with which the English crew handled the inclement weather.
“They’re just so used to having to deal with it,” says Debra Messing.
“They whip out their parkas, open their ‘brollies’ [umbrellas] and they’re good to go. As an American, I’m used to a little more consistency in weather, so when it starts to rain it’s like, ‘Wow, what do we do now?’ Here there are a lot of people around to guide us like little ducklings and say, ‘Okay, come over here now.’ It’s all part of the adventure.”
Dermot Mulroney agrees, “When you’re shooting in England and it starts to rain, everyone just goes and stands under something until it blows over. If you’re filming in California and it begins to rain, everybody starts panicking and havoc and mayhem ensue. Here it’s all just part of a day’s work.”
Jokes English actor Jack Davenport, “Keeping your hair dry can be a nightmare if you haven’t got a shower cap!” But for head make-up artist Kirstin Chalmers, the rain is serious stuff. “Make-up can slide off your face and get all streaky, so we really have to be extra vigilant,” she explains. “As far as hair goes, the dampness actually helps some actors’ hair. But for others, it can go badly wrong, frizzy and such. That’s where the real work kicks in.”
Erratic weather is a challenge for the cinematographer as well. Affirms Oliver Curtis, “Lighting continuity is a big issue. For example, one of the days we shot at the boat house, it started off bright, with dappled sunlight, then turned cloudy and miserable.
But you have to think around these problems and light accordingly and try to make it cut. Whether people watching the film will notice is another question, but we do our best.” In the end, Clare Kilner was thrilled with what she was able to achieve with her “top-flight” cast and crew, despite an accelerated shooting schedule, unpredictable weather and the “high-wire” demands of the romantic-comedy genre.
“I think we truly accomplished what we set out to do hereand much more,” the director says proudly.
“Filmmaking is such a collaborative art and when you’re working with a group as talented, dedicated and generous as I was fortunate enough to have, you can achieve a great deal indeed.”
Next: About the Cast
©2004 Universal Studios. www.theweddingdate.net
Visit the Valentine Shoppe