Monday, August 26, 2013

I'm Ready For My Close Up, Mr DeMille...

The King finally discovers the reason why men wear cod pieces.  This was a mere 37 seconds before someone invented the hat stand.
I'd only just finished another weekend at Hever Castle, so guess where I was on the Wednesday and Thursday?  Yes!  Lerwick in the Shetland Islands.  I jest.  Of course I was back at Hever Castle, but this time to film the long awaited and promised comedy short "The Six Wives of Henry VIII in 2 Minutes and 19 Seconds".  I had put together a script and Hever had sorted out some ladies to play some of my wives, but it was down to me to sort out the final few.  I called in the lovely Zarrina and Louise from Tudor Gowns, naturally I had the wonderful Michelle Coda and her other half Matt on hand, plus there was the lovely Katherine Miller who only lived up in Greenwich with easy access to Hever.  My final choice for a wife was a bit surprising.  It was my old mate Ian Weston from Portals to the Past - he was to play Anne of Cleves, and he did it marvellously.  Vivien from the Hever Marketing Department was on hand to help out with any problems we might encounter, plus of course we had Doug Bolton from Maveryk TV as our camerman/lighting engineer and soon to be editor and sound effects wrangler.  Well we had two fantastic days to film our little epic and it was such a fun time.  I can honestly say I have never had more fun or been more knackered at the end of a Tudor related event.  It was lovely to work with a group of people where there was no egos, no delicate personalities and no squabbles or back biting.  We just got on with it and had a terrific laugh in the process.  The photo above shows the lovely Helen Reeves from Hever Castle with her friend Charlotte (also from Hever staff) with Matt Rentell as the Priest and yours truly as Henry VIII in a scene we shot early on the second morning, of Arthur and Catherine of Aragon's wedding, followed very swiftly by the marriage of Henry to Catherine of Aragon just after Arthur pops his clogs.  Even Ian Weston, a veteran of numerous film shoots for cinema and TV said that the two days had been the most fun he'd ever had on a shoot, and this from a man who has worked with Ridley Scott!  Take THAT Ridley!  So thank you Hever, thank you Vivien, and a massive thanks to Zarrina, Louise, Katherine, Michelle, Matt, Ian, Helen, Charlotte, all the staff who work at Hever and helped us out so much, and most of all, to Doug Bolton for his genius with a camera and his help and advice in making this dream a reality.  Watch out for when we post the finished item here.  And anyone I have forgotten to thank here - SORRY!
I was back at Hever for Friday and Saturday for two more days jousting.  It was two pleasant days, aside from the near biblical flood we had on the Saturday.  Our costumes were drenched and poor old James, my lovely son, fell over twice on the rain sodden walk back to the Castle and promptly announced on our arrival back in our dressing room: "I WANT TOMORROW OFF!"  And so he did.
Sunday and Monday found me driving back up to Castle Hedingham in Essex for the final two days of jousting for this summer with the Knights of Royal England.  We had two lovely days in near perfect weather, but by now most of the jousters were running on empty and even the young ones seemed to be flagging.  But we put on two good shows on each day and got some tremendous feedback from all those that watched.  So another summer of jousting comes to an end and I have about four days to myself before the schools all start again and it's back to rushing round like a Tudor blue arsed fly!

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