Friday, June 10, 2005

Episode 3 - Elizabeth the Virgin Queen

Chastleton House

Filming was on the 9th of June not the 10th as I was originally told. Richard and I travelled up to the cotswolds on wednesday night to find the location beforehand and to save a two and a half hour drive on the day of the shoot. The BBC kindly put us up in the nearby village of Deddington, which seemed to be a pleasant place with lots of typical cotswold stone houses.

We arrived on site and were firstly shown the room we would be working in before being introduced to the director. They were shooting outside scenes in the morning and we were due after lunch. After helping ourselves to tea and biscuits we made our way back up to the room at the top to prepare for the performance. I was pleased with the puppets and the silk screen which gave nice sharp images. I took some test shots to show the director.

The director decided that it looked too modern and thought a change of screen would be better. After lunch we did a run through with the actors using the original screen which was then hastily changed before the actual shooting.

It was then time to shoot the scene. Firstly it was done from in front of the screen but we still had to perform to give the children in the scene something to react to. Then it was done several more times with slight differences in the delivery of the lines and with close ups on different characters. Because there was only one camera it seemed like we perfomed the show a couple of dozen times to get all the variants needed.

(actors Anne-Marie Duff - Elizabeth, Dextor Fletcher - Sussex, Ian Hart - Burgley, Matthias Girbirg - Anjou, Tom Hardy - Dudley, Jason Watkins - Hatton, Enzio Clienti - Simier)

After all the actors had done their bit it was time for a close up on the show, firstly with musicians and then just us. Having performed for about 4 1/2 hours at this point and being cramped up under the screen I'm not sure the filmed version was our best effort but we shall have to wait and see. They seemed happy with it so that's the main thing.

The second screen didn't reflect the light as well as the silk one and therefore i don't think the images will be as sharp but it did have a nicer colour to it.

Anyway It should appear in episode 3 of Elizabeth The Virgin Queen which should air later on in the year on BBC1.

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