Phil Peel

Film, video, photography, sound and story

Filming Jean-Luc Godard’s Breathless. behind the scenes

Posted by Phil On August - 7 - 2011

Cameraman Raoul Coutard shooting a scene from a rooftop.

This is frankly terrifying …I wonder who did the risk assessment for this shoot?  🙂

Now’s here’s a really stylish camera track!


…and talking of stylish …Here’s Jean Seberg



















…with Jean-Paul Belmondo   …in a bathroom scene. Wonder if they had a bigger bathroom than the ones we recently filmed in?

…and the final scene  …with just a small group of onlookers


No Apologies : filming the other sex scene: 4 in a bath

Posted by Phil On July - 17 - 2011


Yes! the whole camera crew, sound and director all in the bath.  ( well actually I only have one leg in the bath)  Paul is focus pulling. I’m using a 50 mm 1.8 prime lens, which only gave about an inch of sharp focus. We were doing a shot from the actress to her reflection in the the mirror.  ..and we still have another actor to get in the room !


This was the other scene in which “Chase” our sex obsessed character has a one night fling.  In which she gets the bruise filmed earlier.


Here’s Mike (director) rehearsing Nicola and Sean.



Whilst I set up the lighting in the hall..  even less space than the previous hall shoot…..



…Nicola and Sean made a totally separate quick film …a quickie ??  with Ken and Paul



…Don’t ask    …I think it was for an online audition piece??


Anyway ..back to the main filming


Nicola had to repeatedly throw herself at the wall to simulate how she got the bruise


She achieved this all safe and fine, until the very last shot when she wasn’t even in frame ..only her legs, when she managed to accidentally actually hit the wall quite hard.



Here’s Paul Witcombe and Paul Francis back in the bathroom. On the right Paul is using the Zoom H4n digital sound recorder. Paul on the left is using a cardiod mike, not a rifle mike, as a cardiod is better for use inside.



Here’s “Joe” (Sean Pogmore), laid out in the bathroom having been sick in the sink.   .. which is why “Chase” who was looking for a a sexy night, gets fed up with him and tries to leave, but ends up colliding with the  wall.   ..gripping stuff !!


Note the little eyelight down at the bottom.



..and here’s Ken, the writer,  as a stand in, blocking through the shot of Joe, who very drunk heading for the bathroom to be sick.    Great acting Ken!!   Smile


Here’s some links to how we filmed it.

Filming No Apologies – The Bathroom scene

Posted by Phil On July - 7 - 2011

Second filming day.

Well actually to be strictly accurate this was a filming night.  But as we were almost on midsummer day, with the longest day and hence shortest night, the flat was blacked out. Using the ubiquitous bin bags. (extra thick ones, as there was full sunshine on the windows. )



We were filming a torrid scene in bedroom, bathroom. lounge and hall, with sex and violence.  …ending in a death by door slamming.   I’m not sure this is anatomically possible, but that’s what Ken wrote!

Actually I think he wrote several other ways of dying first, including being thrown off the balcony, but we had only limited time and resources, so Mike compromised with the deadly door.


It was very cramped in the bathroom. Paul Francis on sound, Mike directing, Jude on make up and focus pulling, Nicola acting and me hidden away on the left on camera +  Paul Witcombe taking the photo.


The new LED battery lights came in very useful, as we need to film with the door shut. I mounted two of them on a polecat

So we had to use every available space. Mike getting comfortable here..






..and there was a mirror smashing required ..7 years bad luck!!


Mike prepared a second mirror, used sticky film on the back so it wouldn’t splinter out and then cracked it before we filmed as we didn’t want to risk glass flying around on set.

It worked well. Here’s the shot.  The pictures are ungraded.

GH2 focus pull

GH2 focus pullGH2 focus pullGH2 focus pull


Here’s some links to how we filmed it.


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