Monday, 29 December 2008

Filming at Glamorgan

In June, 2008, just as things started to get going on the BtC pre-production front, Steve Volk mentioned that he was due to give a talk, partly on Ghostwatch, for the University of Glamorgan's upcoming 'Space. Time. Machine. Monster' conference. Realising this could be a great opportunity to learn more about the original film, it didn't take long for me to find my railcard and board the next train bound for Cardiff.

As I stepped out onto the platform at Treforest, I found myself amongst a towering band of verdant hillsides. The view was just spectacular. The university is only a short stroll down the road from the station… followed by just one or two ‘endurance-style’, uphill treks (but then, I was lugging some bulky camera cases...).

After meeting Steve in the lobby, we entered Theatre 2 and checked out the scene. By the very nature of the vast space that was made available to us, I had a feeling that recording the sound might be a problem.

The only microphone I had was attached to the camera, and having positioned myself a good twenty/thirty feet away from Steve on the stairwell, on later reviewing the footage, there was indeed a distinct, unwelcome echo on almost all the audio. Luckily, I was able to dial up Steve’s voice in post just enough to make his words come through clear, but for a while, I recall it was touch and go.

Interestingly, the full, unedited talk included a great deal more than Steve solely discussing Ghostwatch. Gothic, Afterlife, and the upcoming Telepathy were also brought up during the all-too brief fifty minutes - the teaser trailer for which even managed to garner a fleeting, but genuine round of applause from the captivated crowd.


 

After the audience had collectively filed out of the hall, Steve kindly recorded three takes of his Youtube trailer before I had to make a hasty dash for the last train home (determined as I was not to miss this one like I had before in Bristol...!). The footage took about four days to edit (including some additional filming of the intro which I shot using tripods back at the office). Technically, I suppose this is the first test footage that was ever shot for BtC. In terms of experience vs. quality, what I learned during filming has since proved invaluable.

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