Bad Girls

School’s out forever…

School Hall Slaughter

filming the trailer

This week, we ticked ‘star in a horror film’ off our coffin list. Ok, it wasn’t on our list, like ‘swim with sharks’, ‘learn to scuba dive’ and ‘world domination’ are, but it was a lot of fun. We’re not actors. We’ve never acted, never wanted to act. Drama in school used to fill us with a cold dread usually saved for facing the gallows. Our faces are more suited to radio. We’re far more comfortable in the crew roles but Huw Lloyd (you may remember him from guest hosting on our radio show and us guest hosting on his Undead Wookie podcast) wanted us to be in his film, School Hall Slaughter so we agreed. Who doesn’t want to slaughter a load of people in the name of art? Plus good things exist outside comfort zones. You can still donate to help the film in its post production phase,

School Hall Slaughter

Huw teaching Cat how to kill

The first day of shooting got straight into the death scenes. Always the best part of any horror film and the first death was no exception. Filming is a long process. It takes hours to do a single scene, even if it’s only thirty seconds. Eight hours of working resulted in what will be two minutes of footage. The lighting has to be perfect, camera angles have to be right, sometimes you shoot it from different angles or reverse shots. Add mirrors into the scene and it’s a new world of nightmares. We took our laptop and books with us so while lighting was being set up, we read our books and edited our gothic horror novella, The Curse of Ravenhall. Cat was in the first scene, which we started shooting at 5 p.m., while Lynx wasn’t needed ’til the final scene, which didn’t start shooting til 10:30 p.m. We’re glad we only had two lines each and that was at the end of the film. All we had to do was be creepy. That is as natural to us as our dark hair colour.

School Hall Slaughter

tormenting Boole during rehearsals

We warned Huw that we wouldn’t be able to stop ourselves from taking on crew roles. By halfway through the first scene, we were cleaning up blood, taking behind the scene photos and continuity photos, teaching people how to use the clapperboard and take notes about each board, which take was good and make notes on the bad takes. By the end of the first day, we were also operating lights and holding a strobe light up as it kept trying to kill the DOP, Will Bradshaw. We’d worked with Will on Clownface, where he was Assistant Director, so it was nice to get the chance to work with him again. It took FOREVER to clean up the blood from the girls’ toilets. It looked like a slaughter scene. Which it was. Getting blood out of white grouting is particularly hard. Those toilets have probably never been so clean.

School Hall Slaughter

Lamby ready for his close up

The first death of the day was the Assistant Head Teacher. The blood went everywhere! Why buildings insist on having magnolia walls is a mystery. It just shows all the blood. It was a fun death scene to shoot. People will never look at a pencil in the same way. Anthony Price’s SFX makeup looked so realistic. The last scene was the one in the girls’ toilets. It was a tight squeeze having four actresses; Will; the sound guy, Wayne Bassett; Lynx as the killer and Cat in a cubicle operating the lights. How Will managed to shoot it is an incredible feat of space usage. Full credit to him. We pointed out the toilets were too nice to pass as school toilets. There wasn’t a graffitied penis in sight! And nothing to keep us updated on who fancies who. The teenagers were all really good actors. They were about 15-20 years younger than us and all so much taller. We were old enough to be their mothers and yet there we were, in school uniform, butchering them.

School Hall Slaughter

cramped filming conditions

Day two started earlier, with copying footage over from the SD card to the hard drive. We took over that duty while Huw and Will set up scenes. We took our resistance bands and did glute exercises and flexibility work while the footage transferred then continued editing our novella. By the evening, we were having our hair and makeup done. This was a new experience for us. We cut our own hair rather than face the awkwardness of going to a hairdressers, and having someone close to our faces is incredibly uncomfortable for us. But Rhiannon (makeup) and Hollie (hair) were so lovely that they put us at ease and we were happy for them to do it. And we looked so different!School Hall Slaughter

School Hall Slaughter

Rhiannon doing makeup

We’ve had the same hairstyles for years now. In our younger days, we could age our photos by our hairstyles as they changed every year. Hollie combed it all back, pinned our fringes to the back of our heads then backcombed it. Rhiannon did beautiful dark eye makeup and was excited she finally got to use her red lip pallet. She successfully managed to make our 36 year old faces look 16. People have told Cat that she looks like Fairuza Balk (Nancy from The Craft). We’ve never seen the resemblance. But after the hair and makeup were done, she was almost the spitting image of her, even down to the wide demonic grin. So if Hollywood is reading this and you want to scrap The Craft remake and do a sequel with Nancy’s younger twin sisters, we are available. We also practise witchcraft, so y’know, we got this.

School Hall Slaughter

Hollie working her magic

Despite getting to set at two p.m, we didn’t start filming until 7:15 p.m. Our first scene of the day was the last scene of the film where we sit there looking all innocent after we’ve just slaughtered six people. There wasn’t a dolly on set so Will was bundled onto a trolley and wheeled back and forth to get the smooth zoom in shot. That scene took so long to light due to daylight coming in through the glass doors and windows as it was shot in the building’s foyer. It was probably the most awkward scene, lighting wise. It took hours to set up and about ten minutes to shoot the scene! Lynx’s eyes reacted to the smoke and watered the entire time. It’s so hard trying not to blink when your eyes are stinging and weeping. It was the only time they reacted to the smoke.

School Hall Slaughter

Cat tormenting Boole again

The final scene that day was one of our favourites to shoot as it involved action on our part. We’d actually rehearsed this scene a few weeks ago to make sure we got the timings right. Lynx stabs the victim in the back while Cat leaps on his back and savages him. The actor, Bool, is a lot taller than us, so she needed a run up. Cat had to have a blood-soaked sponge in her mouth to emulate blood seeping down her victim’s wound then smear it all over her face, psycho style. Sitting in blood wasn’t overly pleasant. It was sticky. Her fingers got stuck to her face every time she touched her cheeks on the drive home. When filming, you get used to scenes being cut, changed, added and you just wing it. That is how we like to work, so it suits us. And films never run on schedule. Two of the three days overran by an hour and a half, which isn’t bad. We didn’t get home each night til 1:30 a.m. and got to bed around 2 a.m after cleaning all the blood off and feeding our cats.

School Hall Slaughter

Lynx waiting to torment Boole

Day three was a 9 a.m. start. Full credit to Rhiannon for managing to hide the fact we’d been running on about three hours’ sleep each night. We were surprised when we found out it was the first time she’d done makeup on a film set, as she was so good and professional. Hollie tweaked our hair, which had managed to stay in place. That’s impressive. Our hair is wild and does what it wants but she managed to tame it.

School Hall Slaughter

deadly reflection

The first scenes of the day probably took the longest. They were classroom scenes and we were shooting in an actual school. Cat amused herself by reading dinosaur books in between takes. Pretty sure they drew the raptors wrong. This day, we were fully immersed in the crew roles. We were on clapperboard duty, note taking, holding reflector screens, cleaning up more blood and we provided fruit for the cast and crew. It was the longest shoot day – thirteen hours in total. During a break, Will found exercise equipment in the yard so we abandoned our squats and dashed out to do some pole poses on the high pull up bars. We weren’t in a lot of the scenes until the end, which is why we took on so many crew roles.

School Hall Slaughter

behind the scenes

One scene we’d rehearsed weeks ago, was an action scene involving a sledgehammer. Cat broke her finger when she accidentally slammed it against the wall. That was on the very first practise. She had to redo the action over and over. A month later, she can’t bend the top knuckle. On this day, we were meant to be shooting that scene, but due to previous scene changes, the sledgehammer scene got cut. But at least she has a memento of filming, even if it is a permanently misshapen finger.

School Hall SlaughterHuw wanted Lynx to twirl her machetes while walking down the corridor. Unfortunately, she completely failed at it, whereas Cat was really good, so we switched roles. Cat would twirl the machetes, Lynx would use the sledgehammer, but that scene was then cut due to timing.

School Hall SlaughterThe final scene was our fight scene with lead actress, Amber. Again, we’d rehearsed this one and it hadn’t gone too well. Cat got backhanded across the face for real when she didn’t duck in time. So for this one, she and Amber were very conscious about it. Cat felt her performance was awful in that scene, but hopefully it looks good on screen.

School Hall Slaughter

Anthony and Rhiannon doing Boole’s makeup

We finished on time on the final day then spent a while touring the school, scouring for any blood that needed to be cleaned up. We loved every moment of the shoot. The cast and crew were all lovely and we’d love to work with them again. We’re a lot more comfortable and confident being on a film set now. When we first joined Clownface, we had no idea what we were doing and spent our free time sitting far away from everyone. Now, we know what to do and just get on with it. Though admittedly, we do still spend our breaks on our own. Our first time in front of the camera went smoothly, though we’re glad we got to play creepy killers, as it was an easy role for us. Have we got the acting bug? No. We’d still much rather be crew but if needed to don the role of murderers again, we would say yes.

After all, we are the weirdos.

School Hall Slaughter

The makeup and hair team. Fiann, Anthony, Izzy, Hollie and Rhiannon

That’s A Wrap

ClownfaceIt’s a wrap! Complaining about the cold, sleeping on the director’s floor and managing not to yell at anyone for not washing up. We were back on Clownface! Like the Facebook page. Follow the adventure on Twitter Watch the trailer and the Kickstarter preview scene.

Filming on Clownface finished on Friday, after a final two days of shooting. There’s just pick ups and a final scene left. And we’re sad it’s over.

We drove up to West Bromwich Wednesday night to stay with the director, Alex. Producer, Mark, actors Hannah and Phil and runner, Razz, were also staying in Alex’s one bedroom flat. On the first block of filming, there were eight of us staying so we got used to the cramped conditions. We got there about 9:30 p.m. because we wanted chips before we left. Priorities. It was an early start the next morning as unit call was 8 a.m. and the location, an airbnb house, was 35 minutes away. Desite leaving slightly late, we were still the first to arrive and sat in our car, worried we’d got the wrong house. We went to the front door and creepily watched the owner making sandwiches. Fortunately, the others turned up 15 minutes later before we were arrested for prowling. Not sure Clownface’s budget covers bail fees.

It was a lovely house, if a little small. We thought filming in the cottage was squished, but this was even smaller. One of our jobs on Clownface is set dressing. It’s been our favourite job, apart from working the clapper board. Two days before we were due to be in Birmingham, Mark asked us to gather props to dress Hannah’s character, Jenna’s bedroom. Us “we’ve got nothing.” Mark said it just had to be normal stuff you find in a bedroom. Us “dragons and swords. That’s what is in ours.” Not quite suitable for an ex party girl in her twenties. So we failed in that aspect. We’d used all our non-gothic ornaments to dress the B&B in block one so couldn’t reuse them. Luckily Hannah had brought some old photos of herself so we used them to dress the sets. It was made difficult by the lack of nails in the walls, so some of the photos were stuck up with tape. Sorry Josh!

Cat was on clapper board duty so Lynx took continuity and behind the scenes photos. We also reprised our role of sticking foil to the windows to make it look like night. Hey, you can’t choose the talents you’re given. It was a long day with filming continuing til gone midnight. We haven’t worked on Clownface since November so we forgot how tiring 15 hour shoots can be, especially as we were recovering from a horrible virus that’s been wiping people out. We got quite a bit of reading done during set up times and food times. This time, however, we had no washing up related meltdowns, as a guy called Gene was on hand to do all the washing up. He quickly became our favourite person on set. We didn’t realise we’d be filming outside, so we dressed for indoor filming. It was so cold, we quickly stopped feeling our feet and fingers and threatened to quit. Then when we were back inside, the front door kept being left open, allowing the cold to invade the house and torment us all over again.

We left at 12:15 a.m. as us, Mark and Gene were returning to Alex’s flat, while everyone else was staying on location. There was nothing for us to do, as they were filming a fight scene in the living room and we’d been locked out due to lack of space. Unfortunately, Mark’s SatNav is a complete dick and the 35 minute journey took an hour. It didn’t help that Mark ignored two road closure signs then we ended up heading towards London for ten miles. We resigned ourselves to the long drive and slept through the rest of it. We got back to Alex’s flat at 1:15 a.m. There was no heating on, as the flat had been empty all day, so we slept in our coats. Cat’s air bed had deflated and our pump mysteriously stopped working, so she slept on the floor.

It was another 8 a.m. unit call on Friday, but first the four of us fetched Leah, who’d played Charlotte, from Walsall, as she was helping out for the day. We arrived at half 8 but everyone else was still in their pyjamas so we tin foiled windows and prepared the sets. While Cat operated the clapper board, Lynx spent her time resetting the house to its original condition so it would look like we’d never been there. We only had the house until lunchtime, after which we moved to a street location from the first block. Again, we managed to get to location first, swiftly followed by the DoP, Ben. Because our teams used Google maps on our phones and not SatNav. We had time to eat a yoghurt, some chocolate and settled down for a nap by the time everyone else arrived.

Again, we weren’t dressed for filming outside. This time, while Cat operated the clapper board, Lynx loitered behind a tree with a walkie talkie so Barry the sound guy could capture the clapper on it. We were so glad that Alex only wanted one shot on that scene. Freezing to death before Birmingham Horror Con would’ve been mildly inconvenient. After that, it was back to Alex’s flat for the final scene. Abi, who plays Amy, had brought a whole load of set dressing stuff so we could transform Alex’s bedroom into her room. We also taped one of our skirts to the wall, as it’s a lovely purple satin skirt, so added some colour to break up the plain wall. Again, we put foil on the window.

The final scene was a montage scene and Abi kept everyone amused with a rubber chicken. It was a great way to end the shoot. We left at 6:15 p.m., drove all the way back to Cardiff, saw our animal army then packed our stuff for Birmingham Horror Con. We picked our mate, Dave, from the valleys, played with his dog, Phreak, for a bit and drove back to West Bromwich. We got to Alex’s at 12:15 a.m., quietly dragged our sleeping bags into his bedroom and slept on the floor. Our mum had bought us new batteries for our pump, but we still couldn’t get it working, so Cat slept on cushions. The glamorous life of film making.

The hours have been long, and there were times it was frustrating and cold, but it’s been such an amazing experience. We went from being completely inexperienced, to learning lots of different roles. It was hard at times, being around so many people for so long, but we coped by eating by ourselves and reading, and fortunately, nobody seemed to mind that we needed to be alone in order to keep functioning. When we started, we only knew Mark, Jack and Laura, so found it extremely anxiety-inducing being trapped with a massive group of strangers. But they were all so lovely, that we started feeling comfortable around them. Working on Clownface has been one of our best experiences. We have so many good memories, we’ve learned a ton of new skills and made new friends. And we look forward to many more film projects. As long as we don’t have to do the washing up…

Clownface

We’ve spent six days watching a man in a clown mask kill people. No, we weren’t taking part in a brutal murder, we were working on an indie horror film, Clownface. It’s now on Kickstarter, so you can back the project here.

Watch the trailer. Facebook. Twitter

The closest we’ve ever got to a film set was filling in and sanding down screw holes in a cave set of Sherlock. So we were surprised anyone would want us anywhere near their film. We were initially hired as runners but then got promoted to costume and set dressing. Basically, there was a goth character who was our size and somebody had to provide the costume. Goth clothes aren’t cheap so hiring goths for the costume department is a great money saver. On the drive up, we happened to read the call sheet and discovered we were also down as hair and makeup. We laughed. Our hair can best be described as ‘low maintenance’ and as we’ve had short hair since we were 8 and haven’t visited a hairdresser’s since we were 10, we have no idea what to do with it other than dye it and spike it up. Our look is best described as ‘dragged through a hedge’. As for makeup…we hardly wear it and we can’t do any of that fancy shit where you use contouring, highlights and shadows to make you look like a different person. We were dreading this role.

Clownface

sheltering from the rain with Alastair, Ben, Rich, Laura and Alex

The director, Alex Bourne, kindly put us and five others up in his one bedroom flat. Jack and Laura, who you may remember from our ghost hunting/urb ex adventures, joined us. It was a bit of a squish but we all fitted. We never sleep well in new places so after a terrible night, it was a 7 a.m. start as call time was 9 a.m. If we thought eight people in a one bedroom flat was a squish, it was nothing compared to when the rest of the cast and crew arrived with the camera equipment. Our first thought was of escaping, but it wouldn’t make a great impression, and jumping out of a first floor flat window is never a good idea, so we fought our natural instinct to flee. Everyone was given a 330ml bottle of water with their names on and were told to keep hold of it and refill it, as if it got lost, it would not be replaced. We laughed. Turned out, it wasn’t a joke. We were glad we’d brought a week’s supply of Red Bull and our own water. We shared our Red Bull with Alex and Phil, who played Clownface. You have to keep killers happy. We’ve seen what he can do with a knife and some creativity.

The first scene was shot on a street. As the character we were dressing wasn’t needed until later, we had nothing to do except stand around looking creepy. That skill actually landed us a part in a play a couple of years ago. The second assistant cameraperson (AC) couldn’t get there until after lunch and the Director of Photography (DOP – cameraman), Ben, needed someone to operate the clapperboard. Our fear of getting it wrong was overwhelming, but we couldn’t say no. There was nobody else. Jack and Laura were being extras so it had to be us. Fortunately, Ben was lovely and patient as he explained what we had to do and assured us it didn’t matter if we got it wrong. There’s more to operating the clapperboard than just snapping it shut. We had to write the slate number, which changed every time the camera angle did, the take number, scene number and which camera lens was used. Then write notes on it. One such note was: “Fucked up. Ignore clapperboard.” Now we’re glad we had to do it because we learned a new skill and experience. We also learned how to hold a reflector board to help keep sun off the actors’ faces. Who knew polystyrene could do such a technical job? While Lynx filled in the role of 2nd AC, Cat cued in the actors then had to hang on to Ben as he ran down the street filming, to make sure he didn’t fall flat on his face. We are not the best people for this role – we trip over all the time. Especially when there’s cameras involved. Luckily this ended well.

After that, we reverted to our original role as runners to fetch the second AC, Suki, from Wolverhampton. We had no idea where Wolverhampton was or how far from West Bromwich it was. We hate driving new cities for fear of getting lost (panicky meltdowns aren’t as funny when you’re on your own) and this time, Lynx would be on her own without Cat navigating, as Cat was operating the clapperboard. Though to be fair, Cat doesn’t always pay attention to SatNav, so there might have been less chance of Lynx getting lost. To say she was anxious would be an understatement. But again, there was no choice. And we have to say, Wolverhampton, West Bromwich and Birmingham, sort your road systems out. They’re not easy to navigate without a co-pilot when you have to check SatNav to make sure you’re following it correctly.

Clownface

filming isn’t always glamorous

After lunch, which Lynx spent driving to Wolverhampton, it was time to meet our goth character and kit her out in our clothing and makeup. Fortunately, her makeup is supposed to look a mess. It was unintentional, but worked out well. Dear filmmakers: if you want your actors to look like drug addicts, give us a call. We have the talent. Fortunately, the actress, Leah, was lovely and it was a pleasure to work with her. And she didn’t mind the “Bollocks, it’s smeared all over your face.” The main actress, Hannah, had lovely eyeliner flicks. We took one look at her perfect makeup and hair and asked her to do her own. This scene was shot in the park. Leah asked us to sort her hair so it would stop falling in her face. We had no pins so slapped a load of wax on it and stuck it to her head. We could totally be hairstylists now! We later moved to the street and while Lynx took Leah and lead actress Hannah, back to the flat for a costume change, Laura and Cat stood in for them to trial camera angles. Having a short goth stand in for a short goth character worked well.

That evening, we caved and fled the flat. Everyone was really nice, but we spend all day on our own with our animal army, so we find being around a lot of people overwhelming. We need time to be alone to able to function. Being alone is like being able to breathe. When we worked in our mum’s school, we’d take regular trips to the art storeroom to recover from being around people for an extended period. So we spent Monday evening in Tesco with Jack and Laura until everyone had gone home. Plus we wanted vegan ice cream. Everything is better with ice cream.

On our second day, we again fulfilled the second AC role until early afternoon when Lynx fetched Suki to take over. Today, we were in woodlands, which made us happy. There were ducks, moorhens, baby moorhens, giant cygnets and dogs to keep us amused. If we can’t escape people, having animals around helps keep us sane. We again operated the reflector board, took photos and Cat had to guide Ben backwards through woods and make sure he didn’t fall over. Again, we’re not suited to this role. Cat has fallen over so many times in the woodlands where we walk our dog, that she’s damaged her scaphoid bone. We also learned how to do an ‘end board’ with the clapperboard for the scenes without sound. Basically, at the end of the scene, you hold the clapperboard upside down then flip it the right way. Lynx practised the flipping but every time Alex yelled “cut” Ben switched the camera off so none of her end boards were filmed. Cat’s one attempt was, but only because she threatened to kick Ben if he switched his camera off. As Leah wasn’t needed until 9:30 p.m, we resumed our runner roles by driving Alex to the next location with the camera equipment. Nobody believed the equipment would fit in General Pinkinton, but he proved them wrong. Lunch break was spent moving from the woods in West Bromwich to the cafe in Wolverhampton. It didn’t serve vegan food. Our lunch consisted of a bag of crisps and a tangerine. We were again glad we packed our own.

We weren’t needed for set dressing, apart from moving some tables and chairs around and tidying up, so we spent most of the rest of the day reading and standing outside in an alley of sorts. This was definitely the boring side of filmmaking. We don’t cope well with boredom. We like being busy, so being runners is the perfect role for us. We dressed Leah and did her makeup. This time it smeared all over her face and we only had wet toilet paper to get it off. This made it worse, so we covered some of it with foundation. Again, her messy look and the night time shooting saved us. Makeup is definitely a department we’d gladly give up.

Clownface

guarding the light with Nathan

As there was nothing for us to do (the location was too small for unnecessary crew to be there) we spent the next couple of hours guarding a floodlight in the alley to make sure nobody knocked it over. We were cold, bored and hungry (the chip shop next door cooked their chips in with the meat so we couldn’t eat there, and sorry Mark but hummus sandwiches?…um, no. We have it on good authority that not even lesbians eat those). Nathan, the assistant producer, kept us company on our light guarding mission. But then we got to do another job – guard the floodlight out the front of the location and make sure pedestrians didn’t fall over the cable. It’s a glamourous world. Finally, we were allowed into the warmth. For all of three minutes when we were summoned for another job. Guarding the floodlight out the back. Will, we like you, but at that moment, we were ready to lynch you.

Finally, filming finished at midnight. Our enthusiasm had been replaced by hunger headaches and we point blank refused to ferry anyone else home. It was unprofessional, we know. But we were the only ones who hadn’t eaten. We were on the verge of collapsing. That and we have a Smartcar, so one of us would’ve had to beg a lift off someone else. We loaded our car with equipment then kept trying to persuade the cafe owner to let us tidy up or wash up. He was having none of it. Then they closed the road we needed to get back to West Bromwich. Fortunately, Lynx’s daily drive to Wolverhampton meant she could direct Cat to the city centre where SatNav finally stopped trying to send us down the closed road. Damn it, Helen, we were just as tempted to drive through the cones as you were, but Wolverhampton loves its speed cameras and we can’t afford a fine.

We made it back to the flat at 1 a.m. to find we were the first to arrive. And we didn’t have a key. To say we were pissed off is like saying an erupting volcano is only a bit of ash. We’ve never been so glad to eat a bowl of cereals. Then the toilet paper ran out. It was a tense night.

Wednesday we were back in the woods for a Clownface killing scene. Lynx had to take the sound girl to the train station then fetch Suki so didn’t get to the woods until after lunch. Cat got the glamourous job of squirting water on a tree to make it look like someone pissed on it. This got dubbed ‘the piss take’. Lynx had made the realistic looking urine from water and a teabag. Cat then operated the reflector board. We didn’t have much to do that day, but we did trample down holly and bushes for Ben to stand on that patch. Part of our job as Costume was taking continuity photos so if the actors changed, we could make sure everything was put back right, including wisps of stray hair, whether their collar was up or down and even the pattern of blood on Clownface’s arm. We also took a lot of behind the scenes photos. Not our job, but considering we took 1000 photos on a five day stay in Paris, not taking photos is an alien concept to us. Clownface kept us entertained by dancing between takes. We also brushed down the victim as they kept resetting the scene.

us and Jack having fun in the playground

Then there was a 3 hour break for the victim to have prosthetics done. To our logical brains, it would’ve saved time if the prosthetics were done while other woodland scenes were shot then cleaned him up for his first scenes. But the film world is incredibly illogical, which hurts our brains. Lunch was more hummus sandwiches. We helped ourselves to some strawberries and congratulated ourselves for bringing our own crisps and chocolate. Us, Jack and Laura used the time off to escape being around people. Working 12 hour days with no lunch break to escape constant human company was starting to drain us. So we went to the awesome children’s playground that was the other side of the park. After playing on the roundabout, we spied the fireman’s pole. You know how obsessed we are with polefit. We couldn’t resist. Cat did a Kitten spin followed by a Genie spin. Lynx did a Back spin then a child’s voice on the platform above the pole said “Can I come down now?” *scowls* damn it, kid, we were being impressive! Some people have no respect for sport.

We still hd a couple of hours to kill, so we sat on a bench, refusing to rejoin the others. Alastair, the behind the scene photographer found us and interviewed us. The interview had to be paused four times for us to pat passing dogs. Well, it was paused for them to pass. We insisted on patting them. We then bumped into Ben and 1st AC, Rich, so the six of us went for a walk.

The woodland scene overran by two hours so the final scene back in Alex’s flat was cut. We were secretly pleased and paid a visit to The Veggie Chippy in Birmingham. Delicious vegan chips and a range of vegan pizzas and vegan meat. They even said if we phoned an order in, they would bring food to the set if we finished late. We can’t recommend them enough. You get so many chips for the price. We paid another visit to them the following evening.

escaping people at the dinosaur exhibition

Thursday was a day off so we went to Dinosaurs in the Wild in Birmingham’s NEC. We were the only ones without kids and were the most excited. It was fantastic. Then we sat outside in the picnic area, relishing being alone. Apart from the crying, screaming kids who were ruining our tranquility. We were about to leave when the kids left, so we stayed an extra twenty minutes to make the most of it. When we returned to the flat, we were once again, locked out. So we went to Tesco and bought some snacks and drinks for the cast and crew cos we felt sorry for them. Who knew Mini Rolls could bring such joy to people?

Friday was a much shorter day. We were back in the woods. Lynx went to Tesco to fetch cleaning supplies then we removed all the bird poo from the benches the actors needed to sit on. We were asked to be extras to walk past in the background but the scene was cut due to timing. We haven’t seen the footage but we’re positive our walking was Oscar-worthy. We wanted to steal someone’s dog for the scene to add authenticity. We hadn’t long started when torrential rain stopped the filming. We quickly put Hannah and Second Assistant Director Jess in General Pinkinton, while lead actor Richard sheltered in another car. Us, Alex, Laura, Ben, Rich and Alastair, all sheltered under the polystyrene board which was protecting Ben’s equipment. We got soaked. The rain hammered down for about half an hour. Every time it looked like it was stopping, it started again. Quitting and going home was looking very appealing. The only thing that made it bearable, was knowing we had vegan cupcakes from The May Bakery waiting for us. Eventually it stopped raining and the sun came out, but we were already wet. Everyone got to leave early today. Just as well, because we had a 10 a.m polefit lesson the next day and needed some sleep. The mood was brightened by a chocolate lab puppy called Maggie running into the set. Every film set needs a puppy to cheer up the cast and crew.

The following Tuesday, we picked Jess up and drove up to Wolverhampton for the mid-week shoot. We were all staying in Jess’s friend’s house, where filming would take place. We went to Nando’s on our own for the first time in an unfamiliar city. *Slaps bravery stickers on selves.* Helen tried to send us down a bus lane, but we were wise to her games. Unit call time the next morning was 8 a.m. This time exists for starting work? Grumbling, we went to bed at 11:30.

We were up at 6:30 and an hour later, went out to buy breakfast and lunch for everyone and ended up going to a few shops to get everything. The cast had requested Cornflakes and Mark insisted the Rice Crispies were a good substitute. Our response of “they asked for Cornflakes, they’re getting Cornflakes,” was swiftly followed by “No-one eats fucking Rice Crispies!” In fact we know of only ONE creature who eats Rice Crispies – our duck, Peking. This time there was a runner but she was two and a half hours late and then went home a few hours later. So we again took on the role. Today we were classed as ‘Art Department’, meaning we were in charge of set dressing. We’d brought ornaments and props up with us, including some of our weapons collection and dressed the set ready for filming, taking continuity photos every time something got moved. Alex had tacked newspaper articles to the wall and when we came to take them down (and later put them back up in exactly the same place), our pixie height worked against us. Part of our job also involved carrying a heavy chest of drawers in and out of the room every time they needed to change camera angle to shoot from the corner.

After lunch, we did the washing up then were about to set dress the hall, only to find it had already been done. This is what we were hired for so we were a little narked. It looked staged. With permission from Alex, we took everything away. We left a row of shoes lined up and draped a scarf and some jewellery over the bannister post. That’s what our bannister post at home looks like.

Most of our time that day was spent reading, apart from carrying furniture and tacking up scarves that kept insisting on falling off the walls. However, when filming wasn’t been done in that room, the scarves stayed up. Bloody typical. When filming was over, we packed everything up, ate our ice cream, tidied the kitchen and did some more washing up. We left an hour early and took Jess home.

Our first experience of working on a film has certainly been interesting. Cast and crew were incredibly lovely and made us feel very welcome and treated us as part of the team, not newbies. We’ve learned so much (bring your own food and drink) and have really enjoyed seeing how a film is put together, what the different departments do, how much is involved in even the shortest scene – a two minute murder scene took several hours due to all the angle and POV changes – and that we can read a Game of Thrones book in a week when things are slow on set. For people who like being alone and like working alone, we’ve learned that we’re good at following orders and doing what needs to be done when it needs to be done. We can now do the role of runners, set dressers, costumes (well, goth costumes), we can operate the clapperboard and reflector board and we’ve learned to speak up when we don’t agree with something. (No-one. Eats. Rice. Crispies). That’s a huge thing for us, especially with people we don’t know. Whilst we wouldn’t want to do this full time – the waiting around would drive us insane – we had a lot of fun and can’t wait to do the next block of filming. Just please don’t put us on makeup.

Clownface

hanging out with Laura and Jack on set