Creation in town, Tàrrega calls for accomplice
By Mio Nakano, Cultural management master course student, intern at Fira Tàrrega Used to work on set decoration for films and TV commercials.
Place + Story + Moment + You. You are the one who complete the affair.
For the shooting, we travel a lot. The shooting locations are the places you won’t go without a particular reason. They don’t attract tourist but if you wear special glasses of film maker, the sight will appeal to you with vivid color. Story is about ‘someone like you who lives an ordinary life’, so the location is in a little town away from any major city in a frequent situation. The location coordinator brings an empty modest house, and we the decorators revive the abandoned house. Bring a set of furniture, fill the fridge, plant flowers in the garden, and some supermarket receipts in the rubbish bin. The crew arrives. Director loves the set. Cameraman fix the angle. The lighting comes into the room more natural than sunlight. Shooting starts. Cut, OK. Another angle. The designer looks into the finder. Then says, ‘Mio, missing something.’ On the monitor, he points out this empty wall behind the face of the actor on rehearsal. We definitely should put something there, if not, this cut wouldn’t look lively. Something natural to hang on the wall, which creates atmosphere, maybe from the region, but not too flashy, goandfindityouhave10minutes. I start to run before he finishes the phrase.
The item can’t be something newly bought from a corner shop, it is deemed to be on the wall for already many years, dusty and worn out. I go straight to neighbor houses. First one doesn’t answer. 2nd one neither, but I reach to the entrance door, ‘Hello…’ push the door and it opens. I insert my head. Yes, this house is full of local crafts around the entrance, of genres, a faded flag of the town, a mirror with folkloric curving around, a frame of pressed flower craft! Bravo, they are so sexy! ‘Hello! Anyone there? Hello!’ in high voice, still no answer. I have 3 minutes left… I hear huge tick-tack in my head. Never go back with empty hand. I take off my shoes (because you have to, in Japan), enter the house, approach to the wall and take all items which captivate me violently. ‘Thank you’ in low voice and sneak out. Then run like a wild deer to the set and put the ones which fit to the set. Seconds later the actor arrives back in position. The shooting goes on. The cut is beautiful.
Hours later we finish the scene and rap. I go back but the house is still empty. Without a sound, I hang the borrowed things as they were exactly there in the morning for past 15 years. Decorators are very well trained to remember the original state of the place. It must be really safe in this town. They feel totally ok to leave the house unlocked. But sometimes, your decorations go out to act in a film….
A film shooting can take more than a month. While we make noises on the set, some curious people come to see us and we make friends. We walk around and talk to people, actually with wicked intention to locate some emergency props. A big ceramic pot of azalea covered by moss at Mr. Suzuki’s garden is perfect to animate the alley if an insert cut gets added. Suddenly the director requests a delivery bike as extra, let’s ask the Sushi restaurant Kiyo to run his bike… In this way, the whole town gets deeply involved. They create the film together with us. We appreciate the people enjoy this festive atmosphere. They’re impressed by our earnest attitude for work and support us a lot. Through whole period of stay, we feel as if we live in an imaginary town. The town opens up only during this specific period and you will never go back there once you shoot the last scene.
I wonder how would be Fira Tàrrega. As the festival has already a long history, maybe the atmosphere is not as hectic and improvised as my shootings. We’ve attended the rehearsal of ‘Momentos Estelares de la Humanidad’ by Eléctorico 28. You’ll be brought into their story at the moment the sound arrives through the headphone. Tàrrega is the stage of story. The sound and narration give you same effect as film maker’s magic glasses, it shows the town of Tàrrega different, it entirely includes you in the story, at the same time, you are excluded from today’s Tàrrega, and you see the surroundings through a semitransparent filter, kind of far from the real world. You suspect all passers-by as a part of the trick, thus they are accidentally acting some inspiring role in the story. On the other hand for towners, the audience would be seen as part of performers. A sensation of accomplice occurs when you see someone’s confused face. There are triple layers of dynamics in this performance among performers, audience and the town with people. The performance is unique to the town and not reproductive because of unexpected elements of wind, light, sound, smell, people, a cat, a ball, a car, laundries… I am excited to see what are the surprises the town of Tàrrega preparing for us on the day in this September.