Production Blog Day 5 – That’s a wrap! (Well nearly)

We’ve had a great week of sunshine when filming outside, sometimes a little too sunny, but we managed. Now we’re working inside – and the heavens opened. I call that planning.

Unfortunately the car park was some way off! Without going into all the soggy detail, I think I was the wettest out of the whole crew and cast. Even so, everyone else was dripping as well

Once inside this oak paneled room, we set about turning it into a period tavern. Quite a task as so many of the artefacts and decorations were firmly screwed to the wall to prevent modern day villains making off with them.

I learned several lessons from this days shooting, which I know will stand me in good stead for the future.

 

Firstly, when severely pushed for time, things seem to run better. Two of the lead actors had to leave by lunchtime, which resulted in quick fire takes with no time for asides or general banter. Filming was tight.

Lesson two – hessian hides everything! Plus no one knows what period it’s really from.

So with hessian hung over the annoying lights, pictures and other ephemera, we’re ready to go. We’ve been lucky enough to get hold of period drinking vessels, but alas, much to everyone’s disappointment, they were only filled with modern day drinking water. However, there was a trip to another pub at lunchtime to get some folly sound of beer being drawn from a barrel. Since a good producer should ensure that nothing goes to waste, well there was only one thing to do with the beer really…………

We needed two different locations in this ‘tavern’ of ours, which meant some creative re-dressing and moving of furniture (I think it all went back in the same place). We shot everything we needed – so that was a wrap!

Once everything was packed up and sorted out, everyone collapsed back at base. The costumes still needed to be sorted out and checked off before being packed into the car. Now that was a sight! I didn’t know a Ford Ka could hold that much.

Now, there is only one thing left to say – thanks to everyone.

 

Thank you to all those people who gave up their time and expertise to support the film. Thank you to all those who have given financial and moral support to the project. An especially big thank you to our major sponsor, the Boathouse Pub in Falmouth. We’ve downed many a fine pint there whilst planning this project.

Without all this help, none of this would have been possible!

Keep an eye out for updates on how the editing is going, the trailer, news of the next project and much, much more.

 

Bemused director. A pint needed for getting the folly.

 

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Production DAY 4! Day off? No!

Since we ended up running out of time yesterday (Day 3) we had to do some more filming.

However it was a nice and relaxed & much less stressful than other days – until that is – people started climbing again.

As I mentioned somewhere back in Day 1 I think, we sent the camera and DOP skywards. This was rather amusing – for everyone else at least. Firstly James got on to the top of the fort we were filming in and then with a little bit of ingenuity we were able to get Vicky up there complete with expensive camera – all held together courtesy of the camera bag strap.

Despite the hair-raising ascent, everything turned out fine and we got some great shots of the fight sequence from on high.  When watching the rushes I put on some music, which seemed to match the activity. Brilliant.

Once we finished for the day it was time for a leisurely lunch! Basically we couldn’t move!

Then all we had to do was get ready for tomorrow! At least those scenes are in a Pub!

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Production Day 3!

Day 3

The day dawned bright and sunny – and one of the actors lost his trousers – which meant that quite a few of the cast and crew were lost to the search. Eventually, they were found and we were able to get on. It turned out to be a bit too sunny, which made shooting difficult, but then you can’t have everything – it could have been pouring with rain.

The scenes for today’s shoot involved a Vicar – wearing a tight costume to say the least. When everyone got back from the great trouser hunt we were able to crack on – bursting at the seams so to speak.

Having finished the scene we went for a spot of lunch, which is when we learned that traffic cones and hi-vis jackets really are effective at keeping most people out. Interesting to observe – as was the sword fighting practice!

We also had several incidents involving the unexpected discovery of dog excrement (a lovely smell). People really do need to clean up after their animals even if it is a woodland area.  There are footpaths and small children running around.

Anyway, we finally got to the top of the hill for a take, when James (Actor) managed to accidentally lie down in a bush. After he was extricated, we filmed the ‘Big Fight scene’. Immediately afterwards the sound engineer had his shoes stolen at sword point, so that James could climb up a tower and jump off. It was something of an anti climax to be honest. You’ll get to see the results soon enough.

Unfortunately we ran short on time, so off we went for much needed rest and to prepare for the next day!

 

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Production Day 2!

No animals today, only small rooms. This was the Commanding Officer scene. After moving sofas, tables and carpets and some excellent set dressing, we had an office – well at least in part of the room.

We were very lucky to have a couple of Re-enactors help us today, one playing the Colonel and another on hand to help out and position some amazing props. It was a little disconcerting to see several period rifles and other weapons lying around, but it worked.

The lighting was set up – inside and out. We needed to burn out a modern decked area outside the window so high-powered “blondes” were used to provide a strong light. All was well; until the set designer gave a loud shout that it had started raining. I’ve never seen people move so fast as we all rushed to bring the lights in.

Also the monitor kept trying to fall off the camera, driving us all mad – and the redheads lighting the room interior were keeping us all nice and “warm”, which would have been fine had it been a cold day.

It was a long day and of course we were running behind schedule, but somehow there seemed to be mugs of tea everywhere. None of them however seemed to come my way. I did manage to find some pizza though!

Whilst the Captains were waiting, they practiced their swordplay in the garden – with sticks. When they were finally called, they complained about the uncomfortable, ill-fitting uniforms and the boots in particular, which were rather too small. Our re-enactors advised that the uniforms were the wrong period. Never mind, they looked good.

Once we finished in the house, I mean office; we headed down to Pendennis Castle to film the hanging scene. First of all we managed to confuse a few people, since a crew from another production company (Plymouth based Twofour) were filming for a daytime show. Anyway we were in and ready to go just after the Castle closed for the day. I’ll leave the rest for you to watch.

One of the re-enactors had his black powder licence with him together with the appropriate insurance for its use. So after a quick check with the falconry display group (there was a jousting at the Castle on during the day) and checking about the holiday cottage, we were ready for some real “shooting”.

There is something strange about turning away from a Hanging to be confronted by an 18th Century Green Jacket, heading your way, rifle half cocked and a smile on his face, swiftly followed by a very loud bang. This caused one the lead actors to jump into the air and then almost head butt the floor. The DOP was holding the camera just over the tripod and looking shocked.

The first loud bang was followed by a number of misfires. Good job we didn’t have the French charging at us!  This went on for some time, whilst I tried to work out how the hell this all fitted into the plot. Wait and see…..

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Production DAY1!

Despite careful planning, just like most film productions, the day started in chaos. Costumes everywhere (some fitted, others didn’t) food and drink in heaps, people arriving late – or early, timings up the shute and so on.

Somehow however, we all managed to leave for the location at the right time. After some interesting map reading we arrived at the beautiful Enys gardens, said to be the oldest gardens in Cornwall, two of the actors travelling in full costume in an open topped BMW. We were filming in the bluebell field, which unfortunately at this time of year, were over.

So, after setting up, script discussions and final costume dressing we were ready to roll. Just the horses and carriage to come!

Now bear in mind that we are filming in a place with a sign that read “Watch out for the Bull”. Not in our field I hasten to add, but it concentrates the mind. The horses and carriage duly arrived in a large horsebox with a trailer attached. It was a quite a sight. Once assembled the whole ensemble moved down the track towards the cast and crew, which caused a ripple of excitement. It looked magnificent. We were actually under way.

Now comes the fun part. As some of the extras had to pull out, it fell to some of the crew to don costume and squeeze into the carriage. Our soundman, set designer, costumier and grip somehow squeezed into the carriage. Cosy.

Never having filmed with a horse and carriage before, this was a leap into the unknown – but amazing fun. Having got most of the shots inside the carriage, we staged the hold up. For some reason it ended up being filmed next to some Bamboo. Not sure if bamboo had arrived here by then, but then some plant hunter may have brought it back.

The hold up sequence was fun to shoot, with at one point, swords pointed towards the camera, which the DOP was guarding with her life as it was, (and still is) new and shiny! More on how we sent it some 20 feet into the air later.

We finished filming – and the sun was still shining. Everyone packed up and prepared to leave. Unfortunately, in all the excitement, one of the crew lost his car keys in the long grass. After a search, the quest to find them was abandoned and arrangements made to get hold of the spare – which happened to be In South Wales. A couple of days later, the key arrived and the car was able to depart.

Not a great way to end the first day, but on the positive side, the footage looks good and well worth the effort. Somehow I managed to get a large bruise on my leg and I’ve still got no idea how it got there.

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Production Blog coming soon!

Production blog coming soon! Keep an eye out for behind the scenes info and some cast bios!

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Costume and ideas

Our costume department (One person) has been putting together a pinterest board. Some great pictures on there. Really help set the scene.

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