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if you like it then you should have put a rig on it:

a day in the life

Emilia takes us behind the scenes on a Pillow Talk shoot day


The day before: Prep day! We show up at our shooting location with the essentials (instant coffee, lighting gels, turkey dinosaurs) and the kit is delivered - it all has my name on it, which makes me incredibly irrationally excited.

7:15am: Resign myself to the fact that nowhere that sells coffee that isn’t a Starbucks is open, so go in, hoping it doesn’t make me late - I don’t function without coffee. Remember soon after that I really, really dislike Starbucks coffee. Drink it anyway.

8am: Having braved various modes of transport (with some unnamed crew members having arrived in an Uber) we all reach Josh’s house. I introduce myself to crew members I have not yet met with the statement that “yes, I am wearing double denim, for comfort and style”.

9am: We start to rig. The team have somehow managed to create a very professional, very large rig on a very residential street, and we’re starting to get attention from the neighbours. We consider cameos for particularly cute dogs. 


Meanwhile, our amazing production designer, Daniela, is in the bedroom setting up some wallpaper which really doesn’t want to stay on the wall, switching out different potential Pillow Talk-themed pillow cases, and using a serendipitously perfect pink dresser that Josh’s father happened to have in the loft.

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12:40: Lunchtime. I feel a little like Vanessa Bayer in the Totinos SNL skit, but in a good way. (For anybody wondering, I didn’t manage to have an affair with Kristen Stewart in Josh’s parents’ kitchen, but I’m game if she is.)

We managed to find a pot big enough to cook pasta for eight people (and any leftovers were also enthusiastically devoured, as pictured…)


Josh’s parents comment that the M18 light outside is making it look like it’s spring again. Unexpected bonus, but the bulbs under the feet of the stands holding it up are probably feeling less spring-y.


1:30pm: Back to rigging. We’re setting up the crane that’s going to allow us to get the overhead shots of Stella and Astrid in bed, which in practice means that various crew members get to take short naps under the guise of “standing in” while our long-suffering camera team balance on the bed above them.

Next challenge is to make sure that the crane can slide along the dolly - a couple of us almost have to sacrifice fingers to the noble cause but we manage it in the end.

The weather isn’t looking kind, so the light we’ve left outside to masquerade as the sun has its own personal umbrella.

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3pm: The cast arrive. I isolate (look how proleptic I was) them in the living room so they don’t see the chaos upstairs before it has a chance to look a little less terrifying, and they get into hair and make-up and run through a warm-up with our incredible (and multi-talented!) Intimacy Coordinator, Anna. 


4pm: First take! We may all be squashed into a pretty small room trying to figure out how to unwrap a Nakd bar in a way that looks good on camera while a massive, umbrella-covered light outside pretends to be the sun during the British winter, but it feels incredible to finally see some of the work we’ve been doing come together, and this amazing story start to come to life. 

5pm: … more shooting.


6pm: It’s a wrap on the first day! The cast get sent home, and it’s now time to take down the Thing that has been built outside. Note to self - taking down what is essentially a 20x20 sheet attached to two massive stands would be easier in daylight. Next time don’t shoot in January.

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