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Day 1 (Friday Sept 17th) - Curry for dinner
Arrived in Southampton mid-afternoon and was driven to the cabin. Tried on my teeth which I had
been fitted for a few weeks before and had them filed to size by Nathan of M-FX. Eat a very late
breakfast with the cast and crew. On set at sunset to film barn sequence with Dan and Nicole
(Judd and Molly) and fellow angels Ella and Cleo. This is the first time I have
tried the white fx contact lenses. I have Nathan put them in for me over my own lenses. This
works pretty well. We all have to kiss Dan while Nicole, his girlfriend, stands over us with an axe.
When Jo shouts 'more tongue' we all fear for our lives, thankfully Nicole is very understanding.
Meanwhile the second unit works on the effects shot of Molly slashing her wrist open and some other shots.
Day 2 (Saturday) - Pizza for dinner
We move into our own cast cabin now that there are six of us, as Hana has arrived to also play an
angel. Down to the creepy house with Shaun Hutson, Nicole, Ella and Cleo to film the final
sequence of the film. Everyone is very impressed with the job Nathan has done on Shaun's severed head.
The house is derelict, used in the past to house livestock in the winter, it still has the remains of
a rare Beatles wallpaper on the walls of the room we use for hospitality. It also contains much grafitti
by the local kids. We film out front only, the interior shots were completed earlier in the week. It is
very cold tonight, giving us a beautiful view of the stars but making the shoot a bit of a trial. My
contact lenses, which were hardly noticeable last night, are starting to bother me.
Day 3 (Sunday) - Cous cous for dinner
Out to the Anderwood forest location to shoot Dan's death scene and the final confrontation with Nicole.
This is where we shot for two days in July with Steve Hart and Francesca on a different version of the
beginning of the movie which has now been scrapped. There are a lot fewer bugs around than last time
when we had to coat ourselves into insect repellant. The other angels, including three extras brought
in for the pit scene, have a long wait while Nicole (Molly) and I shoot her final attempt to escape from
the forest. I haven't seen the rushes for this one but I think it'll look pretty good. At about 5.30am
we finally rip Dan (Judd) in half, the shot has to be got in one take as there is no way to put
the effect back together after it has been used. The smell is not pleasant, they have used real
animal intestines stuffed with cotton wool. We are warned not to put anything in our mouths until
they give us some specially prepared 'cake' to eat. In the meantime Dan is buried up to mid chest
in the ground and doing his best not to look as cold and uncomfortable as he is. Further warnings
not to press down on the ground under the fake body or we will crush Dan and to try not to get
blood on his jeans as they will be needed, unstained, later. As the girls are instructed on how
and where to break the skin and what angle to pull the legs at I'm glad I've been positioned at
his head, although it is the steepest part of the slope and I'm having to be careful not to slip
and break his neck. We have three cameras ready to get as much footage from different angles
as we can. Finally we're ready to shoot and all the various shoes and coats are thrown out of
the pit before Jo shouts action. All goes well until we tug at the intestines and they split
apart to reveal pristine white cotton wool. Oops. We hide it quickly. I get to dip out early as they
get some further shots of the angels eating the slabs of cake as they are shooting from Dan's pov and
I am behind his head. As the sun rises we are finally done and head back to the cabins.
Day 4 (Monday)
Day off for the angels while the rest of the cast shoot some daylight sequences. Hana goes home, her
shooting is now over. There really isn't a whole lot to do in the middle of the New Forest with no
internet connection. I go for a walk. In the evening we have a few drinks and half of us pile into
the minivan being used as the kids van in the film to listen to The Doors.
Day 5 (Tuesday) - KFC for dinner
Ella, Cleo and I go back to Anderwood to shoot the opening of the film with Francesca (Sally) and
Steve Hart (John). Ella takes the lions share of the angel's work tonight seducing Steve and then
ripping out his throat in another tricky fx shot that doesn't quite come off. It will need to be
redone in close up another day to get a better second angle. We also have to put together a complicated
steady cam shot of Francesca trying to get the car running then escaping into the woods. It takes a
long time to find a place we can light the scene from that won't show either the light itself or the
steadycam operator's (kit) shadow in the shot. We run till dawn again.
Day 6 (Wednesday) - Stroganoff for dinner
New location out the back of the barns for scenes with Sophie (Ally), Richard (Emilio) and Francesca.
This time it's Cleo's turn to do most of the work, although really most of the night is taken up with
scenes between Ally and Emilio. Cleo tempts Ally into the woods and then the three of us shoot a very
short sequence advancing on Sally. Ella helps out with some fx shots that only require an arm.
Day 7 (Thursday) - Bolognese for dinner
There is a freezing cold wind coming in over the hill wjere we are shooting. We continue the scenes
from last night and I have a tricky fx shot ripping Richard's lower face off. I manage to do it without
removing his actual lower face (those teeth are sharp!) but he chokes on the fake blood and spends five
minutes trying not to throw up after Jo (the director) shouts cut. The next and last shot I have to do
has been put back to Sunday giving me time to go home for a couple of days, so I say a quick goodbye to
Dan and Nicole and head back to the cabin for a couple of hours sleep before
getting an early train back to London with Ella.
Day 8 (Friday)
Get home, check email, sleep, watch tv, sleep some more. Bacon and salad for dinner, thanks Andrew.
It feels like I've been away a lot longer than a week, night shoots mess with your sense of time passing.
Day 9 (Saturday) - Burger King for dinner
Told to immediately get train back to Southampton by Ernest around 3pm. Rush to Waterloo. Told to get
later train to Swansea instead after I have bought ticket for Southampton and got on train! Get to
Southampton, picked up and driven to cabins, drive up to Brecon Beacons with Dom (the producer), Cleo
and David (Andrew). Ella is informed in time to catch the train to Cardiff where we pick her up on the way to Craig Y Nos castle where we are staying. It turns out the castle is infested by the Most Haunted people who are filming there this weekend. Which leads to much amusement when opening a door causes anyone on the other side of it to jump a foot in the air and scream their lungs out. We are accosted in the tv room by an excitable blonde who insists she's not that drunk really as she grills us repeatedly about the film. David and I find this rather amusing and try to explain to her how angels can be evil.
Day 10 (Sunday Sept 26th)
Up early to get everything ready and out to the location. Alas no ghosts in the night, very disappointing. The location is a popular tourist attraction in the area and there is a steady trickle of people coming by to see the spectacular falls. Jo wanders around the set pondering his shots while Cleo, David and I change into wetsuits for the rehersal. We are missing one so Ella sits out until we go for a take. It becomes obvious very soon that this is not going to be an easy shot as we stumble around on the slippy sharp rocks even with wet suit slippers on. The water is very cold. The decision is made to just go straight for a take and film as much at once as we can. The wet suits are pried off (easier said than done) and Cleo heads right in to the deep end while Ella and I squeal around the edge. The water is freezing. Jo gestures us back to where Cleo is and we try to look less pained than we are as we persuade our bodies that no they really do want to be neck deep in the water. Finally we make it and once we've adjusted it starts to become a lot easier. We swim around, mostly oblivious to any direction as we can't hear a thing for the falls pounding down behind us. David staggers into the water in character and we do our best to seduce him amid growing shivers, goosebumps and chattering teeth. Finally Jo shouts cut and I suddenly realise I don't want to get out of the water. Not that I'm not cold, because I am, but I know it's going to be much worse as soon as I stop swimming and get out and I've never swum anywhere but a swimming pool before so it's kind of fun. I swim a couple of lengths and Jo shouts to keep going as he has moved the camera to a new angle and is in fact shooting from an angle I had really hoped we would do for this shot as I thought it would look particularly good. I do a few more lengths and then head out of the water only to discover I can barely stand up. I stumble over the stones with Jo's help and collapse on the bank with a couple of towels and a fairly inneffective orange plastic bag. I feel dizzy and start shaking quite impressively. So this is what hypothermia feels like I think. It took me about half an hour on the side of the water in a bathrobe and sleeping bag with Ernest and Maria rubbing my feet and arms before I could stand up enough to get dressed and walk up the hill to the van where the heater was. God bless the nice lady in the house up there who brought us out tea. We watch back the footage to make sure we got what we needed and then Ella and I are done. Cleo and David finish up some final effects shots and the shoot is wrapped! Back to Cardiff and a train to London. Until a finished cut is ready that's it for the actors.
The characters in the film are named after the actors in The Breakfast Club; Molly Ringwald, Judd Nelson,
Emilio Estevez, and Ally Sheedy. Andrew should have been Anthony for Anthony Michael Hall, but Jo
misremembered the name and then left it that way.
Nicole Petty never intended to audition for Molly, she just accompanied her boyfriend Daniel (Judd) to the audition for moral support. She was asked to read in to let them see the scene better and then cast as Molly. She turned down a shoot for Vogue to appear in the film.
Eleanor James and Marysia Kay have since also appeared together in feature films
White Admiral, Unwelcome, Karl The Butcher vs Axe and Colour From The Dark.
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