Our shining sword

Filming Feb 2015

Day 1- 

After arriving at the director Callum's house on the Sunday night before, the 5am Monday morning start was a struggle (to say the least!). However, after a coffee and breakfast we were all ready for the day. By 7.15am we were on our way to the location, a period railway station used by television programmes such a Poirot. The cast were already in costume and makeup so all that way left for me to do was oversee the extras and touch up the main casts makeup/hair thoughout the day.

The day started a little later than expected, partly because the train carriage we were using wasn't on the platform on time, however we made the time back eventually. Then about 2 hours into the filming, the rain started....and kept going! No one warns you as a crew member (and especially hair/make-up) just how cold it is on an outdoor set. This wasn't even really that cold in terms of outside temperature but when you're standing in it for hours it's pretty bloody chilly!! Fortunately that's not the first film shoot I've ever been on so I knew to wrap up with thermals etc. Biggest piece of advice I could give any make-up artist is to LAYER! And take extra in your car (just in case!)

Train station

Train station

Day 2-

Today we filmed in a house just down the road from where we were staying. A gorgeous interior, perfect for the wartime era. Today we were mostly filming the lead cast members, Doug (played by Jeffery Mundell), Ron (Eric Flynn), Mr and Mrs Miller (Tina and Tony). The hair and make-up was very similar to the previous day focusing on the 1940's hair and very basic make-up. It was discussed between myself and the director that the characters had a certain look in different parts of the film. Without giving too much away, we basically decided that during the 'miserable' parts of the play the hair and make-up would be slicker, smarter and the characters looked more tired and dreary. In contrast, during the 'happier' times in the film the hair would be a little more free-flowing and the make-up fresher and more colourful. 

The wonderful Bridget in full 1940's hair and make-up 

The wonderful Bridget in full 1940's hair and make-up 

Day 3-

After another successful day yesterday today we had A LOT of filming to get through! We started at Callum's house in his purpose-built set for Mr Miller's shed. It was all hands on deck and as well as focusing on the hair and make-up of the cast I was also roped into sound mixing too. This basically involved me being responsible for rolling the sound and watching the levels to check that none were peaking or sounding too loud, and as it happened listening out for cars and loud bird noises. (oh the joy of working outdoors!) One we finished that section of filming we moved back to the house we were at on day 2. We filmed our last scene of the day there for another 5 hours- yes it takes that long to film just once scene! (you can see why it takes so long to make a feature film!) And after another long day shooting we wrapped about 7.30pm...time to have a hot shower and chill out! 

Shed scene

Shed scene

Day 4- 

Today we were filming at a new location (about 5 mins away from where we were staying) which was in fact one of the actors homes. Again a beautiful period property that was great for housing this part of the film. We got some amazing pieces of footage from today's filming, really atmospheric and gritty. Once again rain affected filming, it may be a pain in the ass to film in but it does give great texture and an extra dimension to the scenes which are meant to be grey, dreary and miserable. However it was nothing that a rainbow coloured umbrella couldn't fix! Jeffery (the lead) looked so awesome in his uniform and the acting from him and Tina was top notch, they deserve a big mention!

home-made rain proof steady cam 

home-made rain proof steady cam 

Day 5- 

The alarm went off at 5.15am this morning (this is starting to get easier!) Really looking forward to having a lie in Sunday, however I can almost guarantee that I wake up at 6! Today we were at a lay-by about 1/2 hour drive away. We arrived on set for 7.15am where we all helped to clear the litter and inanimate objects from the scene, I won't go into details about what we found there but lets just say... film-making is far from glamorous. In fact I often get asked if it is as glamorous as it sounds and if the early mornings, cold weather and litter picking isn't enough for you to make your minds up then I don't know what else to tell you! The best bit I have to admit about waking up is that you get to see the most beautiful sun rises. We had another great day of filming and finished early for a change! Home time to watch TV and hang out until tomorrow, our last day! 

The beautiful view at 6.30am

The beautiful view at 6.30am

Day 6-

The final 5am call time! Woohoo! Although it has to be said I have rather enjoyed the early mornings, you feel so productive and obviously the morning sunrises are beautiful! Today we had quite a few difficult shots to do, with an old classic car arriving on set at 11am we had loads to squeeze in that morning! We started filming with Eric (character- Ron) then when the car arrived we moved on to filming with our newly arrived actor- David Dobson who plays the character George. In this scene he is supposed to look drunk and a bit worse for wear, to achieve this I reddened around his nose and cheek area, to give that 'alcoholic' effect and used a pink around his eyes, darkening the eye socket slightly to make him appear tired and the effect of eye-bags.

David Dobson

David Dobson

The make-up is supposed to look very natural and subtle, for film this is so important because the camera pick up every single detail! I always take pictures to check whether the make-up looks okay on the camera and I am constantly checking the monitor on set to double check that everything looks right. Even though the camera picks out a lot of detail sometime its handy to check the colour on camera as this can alter and change from the natural light. As an added effect I got david to put a little lip balm just under his eye and on the lid (definitely NOT IN HIS EYES!) just to give that appearance of them looking watery and hot. 

The day went really well filming wise until the glorious sunshine stopped and out of nowhere a huge hail cloud came! I think the weather was trying to tell us to move on to the next scene! That's British weather for you!

The team huddled for shelter

The team huddled for shelter

Overall it was a great week filming. I want to give a huge shout out to Mr and Mrs Burns for putting us all up for the week, feeding us and keeping us warm with tea and coffee and the occasional biscuits! I cannot wait to start shooting in August, lots more special effects stuff and cool 1940's Hair dos!

Thanks for reading,

comments welcome,

Aimee x