Having taken Thursday off, though I don’t recall actually relaxing in any way, we spent Friday night shooting the scenes in Dante’s lair. The location for this was a derelict romney hut on Rotherwas Industrial Estate, just outside of town. Filled with random junk (and, in the recent past so I’m told, unexploded grenades), it was a fantastic location to begin with. Once Ian (the art director) had worked his magic and we’d set up a few lights shining in through the gaps in the corrugated iron and pumped it full of smoke, it looked like a million dollars.
It was supposed to be a fairly short day, but by now I’d hit my stride and wrap times were going out the window. It was Andy Nicol’s first day of shooting in his role as the villanous Dante, and I worked with him to adjust some of the scenes’ dialogue and blocking to improve on what was on the page. Ian’s drawbridge chains and The Book of Fire came to the fore, though the latter got kind of trashed after being thrown across the room several times.
The former got trashed tonight at LaFarge quarry, our second port of call after paying a visit to a blacksmith named Alex Wilkins who we shot transforming the drawbridge chains into smaller, chained-library-style chains. Muchos fire, muchos sparks. The rushes look amazing. Edd, Colin, James and I then squeezed back into the producer’s car with all the gear to travel to the quarry. We got lost, but had lots of fun on the way.
We rendez-voused with the Companions of the Crow, a medieval re-enactment group from Oxford who were portraying soldiers in the flashback to the battle between Mankind and Demonkind. They were all enthusiastic, particularly when we got to the bit where they could actually kick the crap out of each other. We would have come close to wrapping on time, were it not for a bout of rain just before nine which threatened to shut us down for the evening. But it cleared eventually and we were able to grab the final scene before coming home for some pizza and a look at the budget. We’re not as wildly out of control in that area as I’d feared we might be, but I will be spending a lot of 2004 in debt by the looks of things.