Season 1 Episode 3: Film Shoot

Oh… where to start on this one? The film was shot at the same premises as Episode Two, but clearly in a different room: a very high loading bay with a staircase to an upper floor, lots of doors leading to corridors to other rooms, and that lovely shutter we never used. Unfortunately large loading bays aren’t easy to heat, and the whole thing might as well have been shot outside – it was mid-late February 2010, and let me tell you… it was EXTREMELY COLD. In the time since making this, many people have asked me why The Golden Hornet hasn’t been brought back. Well, I did ask her one time and I think she would have genuinely done it had our schedules not clashed – that is an amazing testament to her character and professionalism, because this shoot was brutal and if I’d been in her shoes I’d have probably planned revenge of some kind.

Close observers will note that our use of stilettos declined after this episode. Yes, they do look sexy – but on hard floors, for the work we ask people to do, they are not practical or good or fair. Ankles do not appreciate them, and this was the straw that broke the camel’s back. So far my recollections are not good! Early in the day we spent 45 minutes driving into town to get the Woman in White something to wear under her see-through white catsuit – something I should’ve probably tested, though it wasn’t in my size. Luckily the location provided somewhere warm to go when not shooting – had that not been the case, I don’t think we’d have finished it.

On the plus side, the fighting is dead slick. We’ve changed our style somewhat from this episode, mainly because it felt much more the kind you see in a martial arts film than a comic book one, but it looked really good and was well-rehearsed. I doubt we would shoot so many wide angles these days – all the takes, plus the costume malfunction, resulted in us slashing the script and the shot list rather went out of the window. There were at least two lengthy fight phrases we didn’t have time to shoot. All in all we were there for 12 hours, and I spent most of that fretting.

Another positive: I was delighted with the acting and the way the dialogue was performed. Kanira, who played Golden Hornet, was a real trooper on what was likely a horrible shoot for her. The crew and myself are actually nice people, and I would like to think that our friendly approach brings out the best in performers – but everyone has a breaking point. Amazingly, though, she was still smiling as she left. The episode has been broadly well-received, but I must tell you… any accolades were hard-fought this time.

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