4th April 2011
So, rather scarily, this will probably be the last posting on this page. At the end of the month we start filming so the diary will move to the 'Shooting' page.It has been one hell of a journey already and the really exciting stuff is yet to come! Meanwhile, to end this section, the news that last Friday I collected our new camera and lighting kit - very exciting. We are now totally in a position to start filming, safe in the knowledge that at the very least, the picture will look great! Now all I have to do is point the camera in the right place and we're off!!
On Sunday 3rd we recorded all the songs for the film. Damh himself oversaw the recording and it was the first time we had all the principal cast together in one place. It was a lovely day - everyone got on so well and the songs went very smoothly. Even un-mixed they were sounding great which was very encouraging and really got us all very excited about getting down to the serious business of making the film. Here are a couple of photos from the day - see you all over on the Shooting diary page!
Joy (Ceridwen) records 'The Cauldron Born'
5th March 2011
Since the last posting we have been mainly locking down locations and doing the boring admin side of pre-production that will help everything go all the smoother once we get filming. We also have our official photographer in place http://www.lusete.com/ and have firmed up details with our friends at Banshee Productions who are proving to be a great help. Another piece of very exciting news is that we now have a sound mixer in place who will finalise the soundtrack in 5.1 surround. And we are in the final stages of sorting out a Supporters page, where people will be able to make donations to assist in the making of the film - more on that at a later date.
Today, however, was a very good day as we spent it doing make-up tests on the Gods and Goddesses. Our make-up artist, Nicola Thomas came down and we came up with a look for everyone. Pictures below.
In reply to a few comments made on the Facebook page, It may be a good time to point out here that 'Herne' is simply the name we use in the script for this character - no one actually calls him that in the film. He is The Horned God - one who has gone by many names, as he points out himself in the movie! All will become clear when you see the film...
So, the clock is ticking and the start of production gets ever closer. We pick up the new camera and lighting kit in a couple of weeks (and run some tests) and then, on Sun 3rd April we will be recording all the songs for the film. Deep breath - here we go...
6th Jan 2011
The last month has been a very busy one - mostly stuff that is not that visual, hence the lack of posting! However, here is an update of the state of things as we go into production year. We have confirmation an nearly all of our locations now - just a couple of minor ones to firm up. All bar one of our shooting dates are locked as well, so schedule-wise all is very rosy. We have our very own digital effects wizard on board in the shape of Chris Taylor (http://chris-taylor.squarespace.com/). We also have Marq English on board http://www.mevproductions.co.uk/ who will be following us shooting a 'making of' video to go on the DVD. He will also post regular 'behind the scenes' clips on a dedicated You Tube channel we will be setting up. Finally, I am pleased to announce that the lovely people at Banshee Productions (see link on Links page) are coming on as Associate Producers, mainly in charge of the marketing but helping in lots of other ways too. One of these other ways is with costuming Arianrhod. We had a measuring and fitting session the other day, and here are a couple of pics for you.
It has all been a bit quiet recently as we have been concentrating on firming up the shooting schedule and looking at new equipment. On the latter subject, we will be filming using the Redrock M2 lens adapter so we can use prime lenses for a more filmic look. That is on order and will be arriving 2011. Also a new 3 head KinoFlo lighting rig. I doubt here will be much activity on this site until the new year, but in the mean-time here is another costume design - our Horned God.
Here are a few costume designs for the Goddesses. This time around we have tried to link them all with a few details that carry through on all 3 costumes - the binding on the arms for instance and the use of a cloak for all three.
On a cold, rainy Sunday the family took an outing to the very wonderful Weald and Downland Open Air Museum. One reason was for the Christmas Market that was on that day but the
other was for me to have a look at Bayleaf Farmhouse, where I propose to shoot the flashback scenes in 'Samhain Eve'. It was every bit as wonderful as I remembered, as the photos below will show - try to imagine it in early morning sunlight rather than a grey November afternoon! The rooms inside are set up in period so with the help of a few costumed extras this should look wonderful. I will also be using the 'street' in the Marketplace for a couple of shots.
In a break from plans for the film, today was the performance of the live show at Witchfest International, at The Fairfield halls, Croydon. The cast (some of whom are going to be appearing in the film) had just 6 rehearsals in the 2 weeks running up to the show but were all amazing and came up with some terrific performances. We arrived with a
couple of hours to go and had a sound check, threw together a very simple set and plotted some lighting cues. Almost before we knew it, 12.00 mid-day came and it was curtain up. There was a good sized audience and the warmth that came up to us on the stage was palpable. The show took off and flew and at the end the response was nothing short of overwhelming. The whole crowd standing and joining in on the finale song - what else but 'The Spirit of Albion'. Below are just a couple of pictures to give you a feel of the day - there are many more on the Facebook page.
Another location scout done and the really exciting news (well, I'm excited anyway) is that we have found the location for the Grove. This is the main location for the heart of the story - the place where all our protagonists meet and the tales are told. And here it is:
Try to imagine it at night - the moonlight filtering through the branches and a fire burning in the centre. The spot is ideal - surrounded by lovely gnarly trees but with a path down 2 sides where we can lay tracks if we need to. It is on private woodland where they run various courses in woodcraft etc. Please go to: http://morganswood.co.uk/ to find out more about these lovely people and what they do. There are also a few other spots there where we can shoot a couple of other scenes as well, as the woodland is incredibly varied so you are able to get a very different feel without traveling miles and miles.
Had the most fantastic location scout in some beautiful woodland - Oak, Ash, Silver Birch, Hawthorn - ancient mosses. All perfect stuff - and to make it even better, they are private, which means total control when filming. This gives us our location for 'Pagan Ways' and 'Green and Grey'. Photos below.
9th October 2010
Had a lovely family holiday in Devon last week but couldn't resist the urge to combine it with some location scouting! I now have some very cool locations planned for parts of Arianrhod's opening narration. This narration has also been added to the list of scenes that will need storyboarding.
30th September 2010
Had a fantastic evening with Damh, where we discussed all things Albion. He helped tidy up a few loose ends and came up with some great location ideas. As a result we have a location scouting trip in a couple of weeks time which if all goes well will really help with the filming schedule. He is also (and this is very cool) going to record a new version of the opening song, 'Pagan Ways' that he will be seen singing in the film.
Boarding is almost finished on 'Lady of the Silver Wheel' and next up will be 'Pipes of Pan'. The plan for this song is to make extensive use of Green-screen to give a dream-like quality to it.
25th September 2010
Casting is complete for the Witchfest stage version - a re-staging of the original that takes into account the fact that we will have much simpler lighting and basically no set. The result is a more 'rough theatre' approach but this should let the storytelling shine through. Several of the Witchfest cast will be playing the same roles in the film, others appearing but as different characters.
Meanwhile, a final polish has been made to the shooting script - including a re-ordering of a couple of scenes. 'Morrighan's Poem' has moved to the end of the film. Originally it was where it was to give a couple of cast the time to change costumes but the speech always had a sense of finality. In the play, we finished with a rousing rendition of 'The Spirit of Albion' with all the cast - in the film, this will be performed by Damh himself. So, I have moved the poem to after the song as a kind of Epilogue - and it will now be shared amongst all the Gods.
'Land, Sky and Sea' & 'Green and Grey' have both been storyboarded and thoughts now turn to 'Lady of the Silver Wheel'. This was always the hardest song to stage. In the original we kept it very simple (mainly because we ran out of time to do anything clever!). At Witchfest, the plan is for Arianrhod to dance during the song (Faye, who is playing her is a trained dancer). In the film, the idea is for the song to be a kind of 'storybook' moment, using moving illustrations.
The shooting script is finished. There are a few subtle differences to the stage version, reflecting the revised cast and the fact that we will be shooting on location. The stage version was naturally very theatrical, and the aim has been to retain the essence of the original whilst making the most of the opportunities that location shooting gives us.
The next stage will be to storyboard certain key sequences - especially the songs. Meanwhile, casting continues, with almost all of the principal cast in place and about half of the supporting cast confirmed.
During this time, the focus has been mainly on the second stage version for Witchfest International on Nov 6th. There have been a few small changes to the script which are a direct result of working on the film script and some of the costumes and props that have been bought or made for the film are being used in the stage show as well. A few of the film cast are also playing roles in the stage version, which will help enormously when it comes to filming.