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How Not To Live Your Life: Filming Diary Part 3

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Dan Clark Dan Clark | 17:23 UK time, Wednesday, 20 October 2010

The third week of filming How Not To Live Your Life saw the beginnings of what is now known as 'The Curse of Bell Street'. I had written a scene involving Don bumping into Sam outside a café. It's intrinsic to the plot that she's sitting outside. This proved to be a problem. It rained the first time we tried shooting it. We had to abandon the scene and re-schedule it for a few days time. (Re-scheduling scenes that late in the day is a very costly exercise - you've paid to use the location and extras already, and you'll have to pay to use them again when you attempt to re-shoot that scene - these are just a few of the things you're faced with.)

How Not To Live Your Life (Dan Clark)

So we arrived to re-shoot that scene a few days later. It was dry when we got there. But shortly after the 1st Assistant Director called "action" the clouds decided to cry. We ended up abandoning the scene again. In fact, this kept happening over and over again and finally, on our fourth attempt at shooting the 'Bell Street Scene', we got a lucky break in the weather. Well, that was until the sun started going down and we ended up with a single shot of one character looking like he was sat there at night, while the others were there during the day. So, with a sense of disbelief and frustration, we went back to Bell Street for a fifth time and shot one person's single shot. Hoorah! Scene complete. It's about 3 minutes of screen time. Only took 5 days to do!

How Not To Live Your Life

We knew we were going to make the show through BBC Scotland but we had to decide where exactly. I was pretty adamant that we'd have to do it in Glasgow. It's much more cosmopolitan than Edinburgh and easier to make look like a generic city. There's no getting past the gothic architecture of Edinburgh, or it's cobbled streets or posh Georgian residential houses. Whereas Glasgow has a great mix of different architecture, old and new, beautiful and downbeat. It's also a great city to be in; full of character and characters. They're incredibly friendly in Glasgow... and occasionally incredibly scary. It's got a great art scene and lots of music venues. I love it there. But... and this is a huge draw back... the weather is bloody awful! I mean it's one thing being incredibly cold during the winter but to be grey, chilly and wet during the summer months of July and August, well that's just taking the piss. I'd had visions of us all shooting Series 3 in t-shirts and hanging out on the streets of Glasgow on cool summer evenings. Standing around waiting for shots to be lined up, catching some rays. No. It rained almost every day. I'm not exaggerating. Almost. Every. Day. I don't know how they do it. The locals, that is. How do they put up with never having proper summers? It's probably why they love to drink.

But back to the upside of Glasgow. The people are great. And the crew are not only very hard working but they're a really good laugh. The Scottish have a wicked sense of humour. And that suits the show. The banter between the crew is what gets us through the hard work.

Next week you can read the fourth part of my filming diary to find out who guest stars in the musical episode. You can read the first two parts of my filming diary here on the BBC Three blog.

Dan Clark stars as Don and writes How Not to Live Your Life. Series 3 starts on BBC Three in November.


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