I was so exhausted after yesterday I couldn’t stay awake to write the daily blog even though it was the last one I would be writing while still in NZ. So now I am writing this in an airplane on my way elsewhere, my thoughts still rather discombobulated by everything that’s happened. Which is to say, I am still trying to make this all seem real.
It just won’t quite sink in, even after seeing it. I find myself watching it fade with every passing minute, as if it were all just an odd dream that momentarily seemed real but now isn’t.
But maybe writing this final day’s report will help make it real all over again.
Started the day a little earlier with faithful driver Roz, who is real life is a Producer’s Asst., coming to pick us up at 9:30 am for our daily drive to the shooting site (she was our driver the entire time and also our minder and helper, because she was seriously on top of everything). There, on site, we would watch a Troll bite the dust and see Wil and Eretria meet for the first time. They shoot dialogue scenes and action scenes at the same place and sometimes peripheral scenes in another site. But these two were to be the main ones for this day. Since we had already watched scenes with Allanon, Wil and Amberle, we were kind of eager to see how it would be with our Eretria.
The day was incredibly beautiful but very hot, too. So we spent much of our time huddled in an open-sided tent with a monitor and earphones while they filmed the action. Watching from any closer presents problems. They don’t really want a bunch of people not working on the shot crowding up close where they might disturb things, unwittingly or not. So under the tent was the safest, coolest place to be.
They shot the scene and spoke the dialogue an endless number of times. Each time, it was done just a little bit differently. It gave me some insight into how a director will get as many shots as needed to allow for editing it all later so that it comes out looking and sounding exactly right. Not so good for the dead Troll who lay out in the sun, but maybe he was tougher than I imagined.
After lunch, we said goodbye to our writers and director, to Wil, Amberle and Eretria, to just about everyone we could find and went off to tour costuming and have some still shots taken for publicity at the indoor sets.
Here is the thing about costuming. It is a factory. Literally. A huge operation that takes up half-a-dozen large rooms on the ground floor alone. Racks of clothing, material, costumes, armor, medallions, you name it, everywhere. Turns out you need multiples of almost everything, all made to fit each actor, stunt doubles, and then more extras for when the ones being worn are damaged. I watched moss being made, breastplates being shaped, jewelry being fashioned, stone being formed and magic being produced at every stop. Even caught a glimpse of Amberle being fitted with an incredible gown.
They also have a nursery filled with live plants that will be used on some of the sets. Unbelievable.
Again, as on other days, everyone was very pleasant and welcoming and eager to demonstrate their skills and wares, explaining how they made things, how their incredible imaginations would bring the Shannara story to life. I almost fell over when I was told they didn’t have nearly as many people working right then as earlier when they first ramped up. As if 20 or so wasn’t nearly enough at the beginning.
Okay, I am back in a believing state, so it is time to sign off. This will be the last blog for now. A much-needed vacation awaits along with an editing assignment on the Shannara book for 2016. But now that I am back in the saddle with blogs, so to speak, I will do my best to keep you in the loop and provide pix of how things are going as they become approved and available to me.
I’ll end with this. You are all going to be just amazed when the series airs. You really will.
No, really. You will.
Best to you all, Terry