Simon “campest man in human history” Ball and I travelled down to London last night. We’re flying out to Italy tomorrow with Tom and the gang for the last leg of the Beyond Recogntion shoot. Today we held auditions in Conway Hall, Holborn, for the roles of Gary and Luca. Helping us out was Tom’s friend and partner in crime, Matt Manning, who kindly agreed to read opposite the hopeful thesps, a decision he probably regrets since, whilst popping out to get some cash and coffees, he was mugged. Mmmm, London.
Anyway, we were meant to see four or five people, but only two turned up. (This is perhaps the folly of holding auditions on a Saturday morning.) Unfortunately, neither of these folks were right for the parts, though in a bizarre stroke of coincidence one happened to be the girlfriend of props dude Rob Gillies.
I can now reveal that Chris Hatherhall, who we saw in Hereford on the 20th, has been cast as Gary. As for Luca, the search continues…
Max took me over to Norton Armouries Ltd, a company which makes armour for films such as Gladiator and A Knight’s Tale. Where was this company? London? Bristol maybe? New York? Er, no. It’s in Eastnor, Herefordshire. What are the chances of that happening, eh? Therein I met Dave, a very nice guy who looked at the Soul Searcher concept designs and promptly offered to work for free. Which is always nice. We were treated to a tour of the workshops, where some highly lethal-looking swords were being made, and remnants of past projects from various films and TV shows were scattered about. Coolest of all though, was a completely random formation of solidified plastic which looked exactly like something out of an H. R. Giger drawing. So anyway, that’s one less thing for me to worry about. It really has been great having Maya on board doing such fantastic concept art – his work is responsible for attracting several cast and crew members to the project.
Yesterday I spent largely in Maylord Orchard shopping centre, storyboarding the major action sequence which takes place there. My concentration was frequently broken as I attempted to guess which well-known song was currently being trashed by a hideous instrumental easy-listening cover getting piped through the centre’s PA system.
A Chuck Berry compilation was the much more agreeable musical accompaniment today, as I sat in Doodies boarding some other outstanding sequences. This evening I met with Karen Nielsen, our second make-up artist alongside Max Van De Banks. Then I went back to Doodies, where sadly Chuck was no more. “Okay guys, this is a blues riff in B. Watch me for the changes and try to keep up…”
The second wave auditions, at long last. Helped out by Chris “sound man” Mayall, Simon “Leave her alone, she’s just a kid!” Ball and Salem “only met him yesterday” Hanna, we saw some potential actors for Luca, Gary, Van Helsing and Abner. A couple of actresses understandably didn’t make it to the arse-end of nowhere that is St. John’s Methodist Hall, Hereford, and so I hope to set something up with them in London next week.
It’s been a while since my last entry – I’ve been pretty damn busy. I actually got a couple of free hours today to put my feet up and watch TV – yay! Okay, so last week I had a meeting with the powers that be at Leftbank Village, who were most agreeable to us filming a fight scene behind some of their shops. Last weekend I went to Italy to recce for another shoot – Beyond Recognition – and spent the extensive trains and planes journeys continuing my epic storyboarding quest. And then stupidly left them all on the plane when I got back to Stansted. Fortunately a very kind security guard posted them back to me.
On Wednesday I went to London, where I met up with an actor, as well as two people who are going to be making props and costumes for the show. One of them, Rob Gillies, worked on Lord of the Rings no less, and is going to be making the swords and scythes for us, as well as bounty hunter Luca’s customized arsenal. Today Cat and I went to Westons Cider Distillery out in the wild of the Herefordshire countryside. A very pleasant gentleman by the name of Colin gave us a guided tour of the vats – ranging from old stylee giant barrel affairs through to big shiny stainless steel numbers – plus the rest of the site, and was more than willing to let us film sword fights on the walkways and other such cool stuff. Now if I can just get a helicopter for that inevitable aerial angle…