The Director’s Cut: On the set of ‘Bakerman’

After years of writing, rewriting and then more rewriting, months of preproduction, planning, casting, location scouting, rehearsing and crew assembling, it was time to go out and shoot a new indie film: ‘BAKERMAN’!
This low-budget indie stuff is hard to do, but what else can you do as a filmmaker but just take what you have and MAKE. As Woody Allen says: “It’s all about turning up.” It really is.

Smooth then rocky
DAY 1: We are to shoot in Rørvig – that’s 90km up north. I arrange to pick up the sound guy and the light guy and drive them to the location. I also pick up the sound equipment and also some camera gear. I bring coffee and breakfast. But first I drop off my two kids at school. Many hats and all that – this is the indie film universe. All the actors bring their own costumes – we have some but not all. The first scenes go well – at least we are indoors.

DAY 2: I do the usual pick-ups, and my kids are dropped off at school, but halfway to Rørvig I get a punctured tire. I call Falck and they arrive promptly, but they can only do a temporary repair, so I need to drive to Sami’s Dæk service and get another repair to make us road worthy. We wait and call the set and say we are late. Sami is finished but doesn’t take Dankort. Nobody has cash, so I have to walk 2km to the nearest ATM and make a withdrawal. Back on the road, my GPS has screwed up, so we take the scenic route – eventually we get to the set and the actor and crew are not in the most jovial of moods. I understand. We rehearse, but just before we shoot a scene, my actor gets frustrated because he cannot find his costume … it was there yesterday. We tear the house apart looking for it, but there’s no sign of it. We rewrite the scene to accommodate a different look …

Pick-me-ups and the flu
DAY 3: I do my usual round of pick-ups and drop-offs, but today, there’s no sign of the light guy. Where is he? I make a few calls … eventually finding out he is hungover from a night of drinking and can’t come. I call around and eventually we find a replacement. On set the main actor is sniffling and sneezing – I hope to God he’s not getting sick. We do a few scenes, some on a beach with a fantastic view of a sunset – which is good production value and, more importantly, very low cost. We do a few night shots and suddenly it’s 12 am and everyone is tired and has to go home. I take a few home and drop them off. I try to stay awake and nearly nod off a few times. I stock up on some Red Bull for safety. I get home and fall into my bed.

DAY 4: My worst fears: my main actor has got the flu (those beach scenes!) and will be out for a few days. We do small pick-up shots. I go and look for costumes and props. The two old ladies at the local genbrug shop are now my best friends.

Wheelie big problems
DAY 5: I get a call from my camera guy. He says there’s a crisis. My first thought is that there’s a fire or that a camera has been dropped into water. Turns out he has locked himself out and the key is inside. I tell him to break a side-window. We continue to wait for our main actor, who is still sick. There’s nothing we can do.

DAY 6: The good news is that our actor is on his feet again. We are planning a shoot in a bikeshop in Valby that we have arranged. I drop in before, and now the owner has had a change of mind? What? After explaining the scene will take two hours max, he allows us to shoot, and when we do, he loves it. We shoot the scene, but run overtime. Our sound guy has to go to see Brøndby play and is being picked up … we rush the scene and get everything in the can. Just!

DAY 7: The sound guy calls and says he has a pulled a back muscle and can’t come to the set. The actor calls and says he has had a relapse and has a fever now. Our light guy is apparently still in the pub. We call off the day and do some planning for the next sessions. Easter is coming up, so we agree to take a break and resume afterwards. I need to turn up for Easter or else I’m in trouble!

To be continued! Follow the progress of BAKERMAN the movie at

David Noel Bourkeweb
David, a Denmark-based, Irish-born indie filmmaker, is best known for the 2008 neo-noir thriller ‘No Right Turn’. Married with two children, he is currently working on several film projects (