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.