07 Apr Absolutely Anything Production diary Day 4
It’s great to see a gag we thought of just last week becoming reality. In the original script when Neil, in trouble, wishes himself “back home having dinner, with Dennis” his amazing powers whisk him back to his apartment where he finds himself eating out of the same dog bowl as his beloved terrier. But Mojo’s handlers point out that even the best trained dogs don’t take well to people taking their food from them, especially from the actual bowl. So we come up with the idea of there being two bowls, side by side, and the extra little gag of having one of them labeled Dennis and the other labeled Neil. And lo and behold, when we turn up on set today the Art Department have created exactly this. It’s still too much to ask of Mojo that Simon be eating right next to him (beef stew, you’ll be relieved to hear by the way, not dog food,) so the two stars are shot separately on the old split screen principle, and then the shots are married together so it looks as if they’re eating side by side.
We’ve solved the mystery of the phrase “I’ll take the dairy out of it later” – it comes, it seems from the phrase, “dairy fresh” and means, “I will make it look much more lived in later.” Brilliant!
Oh, one more entertaining task today. When Neil discovers his powers allow him to read abstruse German texts fluently, Terry and I wrote a bit of German text and move right along. But as we now approach the moment when Simon has to say these words, we need to get him coached by a native German speaker – who points out that what we have written makes no sense at all. My task for today is to come up with a text in English which will sound funny when translated into German. Hmm! Working on the basis that the more recognizable German words there are the more entertaining it will be, I create the following text:
My worldview was infused with schadenfreude, when I sat down with my doppelganger to eat knackwurst and hasenpfeffer, but as I thought of lederhosen, ubermenschen and ostpolitik, a gradual feeling of calm came over me.
And when our language coach Aletta translates it into German, it sounds wonderful!