|A night shoot followed,
that, happened to take place on a Sunday evening. It was the sequence where
Prince’s character Daniel would be bitten fatally when Murphy and Daniel set up
camp. I had already had a real tough time convincing everyone to leave the
accommodation for the shoot and I had since sent 2 separate ‘search parties’
out for food, both coming back empty handed, as all the food establishments
were closed. There seemed to be nothing I could do to get the crew fed and I
really wanted to spend just a little bit of energy making the shots look nice.
|Then a lifeline call came –
someone had found a bakery that had a few pastries left over from yesterday.
Brilliant, we would not starve. The relief of hearing this gave me the strength
to get back in the dirt and scramble around to get the manic hand-held shots of
Rob & Prince trying to fight off the dead as they attacked their fragile
camp, before we ourselves might be able to get some much needed carbs into us,
as it had been at least 8 hours since we had eaten last.
|A few shots and about
an hour later, a beeping moped turns up out of the darkness with
three people loaded on it kicking up dust, one of them clutching and
waving paper bags filled with pastries, the other holding a
flashlight as a headlamp. They were waved over to the van where a
little ‘working lamp’ was set up and everyone piled over and ripped
those little bags apart like animals. We all grabbed at whatever we
|I remember three hands grabbing at one pastry and tearing it
apart like it was a rag doll. It was every man for himself and I only ended up
with half a croissant and a tiny piece of what looked like an attempt at an
Eccles cake but somehow we were stuffing these things in our faces and laughing
at the same time. It was so basic but, somehow, quite a joyous moment.
|Then a voice came at me from
close proximity full of undeniable rage; ‘You F**king C**t!’, I turned slowly,
still chewing the last of my Eccles cake, to be confronted by Rob Freeman,
standing in the half-light, in his full Murphy gear with his sleeping bag
wrapped around him.
Howard stress starting to show
|His eyes locked onto
me, his lips quivering like he’d finally found the man who had
slaughtered his entire family and his 40 year quest had led him to
this moment of retribution ‘How F**king dare you’ he went on.
|It suddenly dawned on me that Rob was the only
pastry-less person in the vicinity, my short-lived smile had already faded and
I wanted to reply immediately, perhaps to calm him down but first I was forced
to swallow my overzealous mouthful of cake in an awkward and guilty fashion. It
probably didn’t help that everyone had gone deadly silent and, as a result, it
actually made an audible ‘gulp’ noise as it went down. ‘You stand there
stuffing your faces and you don’t even invite me over, it’s disgusting’.
|I had assumed the
beeping, the dust, the cacophony of noise that had occurred and the
fact that everyone had dropped what they were doing and descended on
the bags of pastries, had negated the need for an invitation and it
honestly hadn’t entered my mind that our lead actor might not be
there grabbing at the bags with us. I physically could not have seen
who was or wasn’t there and we had all grabbed and torn like NATO
had just dropped bags of rice into a famine.
|I could tell my genuine
attempts to apologise were going to be futile and instead I just stood there
while Rob squared up to my face and screamed at me so intensely that I could
smell the hunger in his mouth and feel the patter of his spit on my face. I had
no idea what he was saying anymore. Instead, I started to think about how
interesting this situation was. Here I was standing in this vast wilderness
feeling saliva hitting my face from the actor I first saw in Saving Private
Ryan. I wondered if Spielberg had ever had to endure such a moment, even early
on in his career and perhaps, in some way, I should feel privileged to be
standing here enduring this tirade.
|No matter what I
tried, Rob would not back down. The good thing about this was, Rob’s
aggression towards me had helped kick Jon’s brotherly instincts back
in and for a moment, he was very much back on my side and even ready
for a fight. He jumped down from the van and told Rob his outburst
was out-of-order. Even adding, ‘what did he want anyway, a written
invitation to dinner?’. Rob ignored this and instead turned and
walked away, spending the rest of the night wrapped in his sleeping
bag without uttering a single word to anyone.