Diana on FB 😀 First a Full Day In Cape Town
Interesting days, limited time to write about them… Cell-phone roaming charges being what they are, I mostly don’t get to post stuff until I get up to work in the middle of the night. And I do actually need to work (no, really…<g>. I’m answering the copy-edit of the BESIEGED novella, so the whole SEVEN STONES book can go to press). A quick bit, though, of Our Adventures to Date:
Friday was our first full day in Cape Town, and the major activity was going to the Outlander Studio, to meet Maril and everybody, and tour the amazing new sets!
Wonderful to see Maril, Sam and Caitriona again, as well as Nick Heckstall-Smith (AD) and a few other of the Scottish crew that have come down. Also Luke Schelhaas, one of the new writers, who’s covering this block (meaning he’s the writer on set every day, responsible for the billions of on-the-spot changes and adjustments to the script that are needed; all scripts flex a _lot_ during the actual filming, no matter how many revisions they’ve been through beforehand).
We were just in time to catch David Brown, the Executive Producer for the whole show (meaning he’s the person without whom none of this could happen–he knows where to find anything and anybody, and how it all works) before he caught his flight back to Scotland (where the flock is gathering to begin prep for Season 4–this stuff takes a _LOT_ of work and thought and planning). David drove us off at high speed in his golf-cart, and we zipped out to tour the ships (I figure I’m not giving away any state secrets by telling you there are ships in this part of the show…), which are fabulous, and I don’t only mean cosmetically (my baseline for 18th century sailing ships is Disneyland’s “Columbia” and these are even better); they’re equipped with all kinds of hydraulics, gimbals, and water cannons (!!!) that make the ships nearly as expressive as the actors.
We also roared through several newly-built (and in-progress) outdoor sets, some adapted from the existing Black Sails sets (but you’ll never recognize them) and some newly built. Most striking aspects were the landscape plantings and the sand (I won’t tell you why; you’ll just have to wait and see…). Ditto several enormous tanks of water (well, we didn’t roar _through_ those; just up to the edge to have a look).
Then David had to rush to catch a plane, so Maril took over and we had a look at the indoor sets inside the (HUGE!!) studio buildings. The last one we came to was in use, and we waited a moment for the take to finish. Then Maril led us up a short flight of stairs to the door. It opened before she could reach for the door-handle, and out popped Sam and then Caitriona, both in costume and perspiring as though it was in fact July in Jamaica (film lights are Way Hot, especially in a small, confined space). Lovely to see them both again.
Short break, then back to filming. We were kindly accommodated with seats in the DOP (Director of Photography)’s tent, with headphones, so we could watch the filming. Usual mixture of fascination and boredom, with incidental entertainment (as someone said to me afterward, “How can they be giggling and poking each other, then in half a second, they’re somebody else completely and doing their lines?” To which the only reply is, “They’re actors.”)
Shared the late lunch/tea-break (they were shooting until 11 PM, so “lunch” was at 6:00 PM) with the crew, watched a bit more filming, and then bade the hard-working cast and crew a cheery farewell, and rolled back to our hotel to eat medium-rare springbok and mango sorbet. And the morning and the evening were the First Day…