|OXFORD MURDERS - On Set With Elijah, Day One Part 1
||[Feb. 15th, 2007|08:53 pm]
|||||Apples in Stereo||]|
OXFORD MURDERS…ON SET WITH ELIJAH.
Well, here it is folks.. my wonderful adventure on the set of the Oxford Murders.
Its an experience like no other on this earth. You just can’t believe that’s he’s in the room with you, doing what he does so well.. his job, and that you’re there too.. doing the same, though obviously not in the same capacity. But in principle you’re a cast member ( if only for a few days) just as he is. That is SO awesome, that’s it feels unreal.
It’s a strange feeling, being in the room with him for such a long time. Its REALLY difficult to keep your eyes off him … and yet you have to try. Its not polite to stare, and embarrassing too. So no matter how much you want to keep turning your head to look , you have to literally force yourself not to.
I know its been said a million times before, but its so true.. he is SO BEAUTIFUL, even more so when you see him up close.. his skin is like pale alabaster, his features so defined and classic.. his stature so petite and elfin-like.. his waist is so small.. his eyelashes are SO long..and those eyes..OMG, those eyes…a wonderful deep ocean blue…
He is ALWAYS pleasant and obliging.. always kind to those who speak to him, always happy and cheerful and patient, no matter how long he has to wait between takes.. always ready to be there to help his fellow co-star even if has no need to be, always so polite. Everything that Alex says about him is so true.. but we already knew that didn’t we?
I’ll post in sections, as I’m sure this will be too long for one post.. I told you, once I start talking about Lij.. you can’t shut me up.. lol … and hopefully include pictures. A lot of it will be to keep the memories for myself for future reference, so I hope you’ll all bear with me if I go on a bit.. And what I have to make clear, that although most of it will be my interpretation of the fabulous two days.. I have had lots of help with things he said and did.. things I didn’t notice but which my friends did..Carol, Pop and most of all the hero of the day.. Brian, Carols husband. HE was the one who made sure we came back the second day, even though we were on the list to do so, but it turned out to all be a matter of luck, and whether your face fitted.. AND he arranged for us to get the CD compilation that my friends and I on the A&F comments box (the boxie) had put together, to The Main Man himself.. An experience that was out of this world!!!!
As i'm new here, i don't know if i've done everything correctly..eg: posted behind the cut, pictures etc.. The pics may be a bit large..i'm not really familiar with it all yet..sorry! Please be gentle if i do it all wrong!!!
All of us that were lucky enough to experience this chance of a lifetime will see it differently. We’ll all have different stories to tell.. this is mine, I hope you like it..
If I get some details, like times and such, wrong.. PLEASE feel free to correct me. A lot of my time was spent trying to gaze at His Loveliness without making it TOO obvious, so I became oblivious to minor details like what time it was.. lol!
From the beginning…
DAY ONE.. Part one
After a very tense weekend, where we were afraid that the awful weather ( snow) was going to stop us even starting out.. Carol, Brian and I finally started off from my home about 12.15 pm on Monday afternoon of the 12th of Feb, for the adventure of a life time..
We got to London, and our hotel, at about 4 pm. There we met up with Pop, who had travelled all the way from Belgium to be a part of this great occasion. Pop and I shared a room, and over the two days, had a wonderful time talking, giggling like teenagers (goodness knows what they thought of us in the next room.. lol) and going over events of the day til the early hours of the morning.
Even though we didn’t get that much sleep, it was an early start in the morning. Up at 6am and in the taxi at 7.15am.
We were one of the first to arrive at the location, and it took quite a bit of finding. There were orange signs with arrows on the posts in the road saying. .’OM base’ and
‘OM set location’ ( I think that’s right, please someone correct me if I’m wrong.) so we found our way in the end.. Then at last we could see as we walked down the hill, the buses and trailers in a car-park at the bottom.. We had arrived!!! *
OM base camp.
We were directed across to the other side of the large football grounds and tennis courts to the Sports Hall, where we were all signed in and then went for breakfast, at the outside catering unit. We then all assembled in the gym upstairs where tables and chairs had been laid out for us.
We had arranged to meet another friend from the boxie Julia and her daughter Emma. She rang me and eventually we found each other, which was great.. She wasn’t able to come back the following day unfortunately, so we weren’t able to stay together, which was a pity.
Before long the hall was full, although it seems that although they originally wanted 400 people, 170 people failed to turn up…all I can say at this point is that they could NOT have been Elijaholics.. I would have crawled from my sick-bed for this opportunity, for sure!
Brian. .our hero, went downstairs to check that we would definitely be able to come back the following day and was told that it would depend on the director and who he wanted for filming around Elijah for the close shots.. That wasn’t good enough for Brian.. he wasn’t leaving anything to chance. We had come a long way, Overseas in Pop’s case.. for this oportunity, and the hotel was all booked, plus the fact that we had been led to believe that it was all organised.. We met Laura, the organiser who had said we were definitely on the list, and she said they had mislead her too.. there was nothing she could do. But our hero sorted it.. He told Chris..the lovely third director that we had come a long way on the understanding that it was a 2 day shoot and he promised to see what he could do...he wrote our entrance numbers on his hand, and called us up first when he came upstairs to brief us.. So thats how we found ourselves in the leading group, going on a quick march up VERY long hills to the location.. all following Chris, like the Pied Piper.. *
Chris and Carol
Once we got into the hall where the filming was being done, we were shuffled about a bit by the directors and crew, getting us into position in the large circular sectioned (vertical and horizontal) seating arrangements. Our group, those to come back the following day, was positioned in the central section, while the rest were told to fill up sections to either side.I was given a really nerdy cardigan to wear from wardrobe, as what I had on, with my blond hair, plus the light shining on where I sat, was too light. Then they moved me, out of the light, so I could have kept my own on.. but never mind.. I got to wear part of the Oms wardrobe, which was a thrill in itself, no matter how geeky!! They wouldn’t let me keep it though!!
As not enough people had turned up ( a call was put out for us to ring up anyone we thought would be interested to fill the seats) there was a lot of moving around during the day, as the different camera angles were shot, to make it look as if the hall was full. We were lucky, we could stay put. My friends and i were positioned in the front row of the upper section of the central section. We all speculated where ‘Martin’ was going to be seated..kept looking around for empty chairs.. We found out in the end that he would be about 3 rows behind us ( approx 3 meters) and to the right.. Oh how I envy those lucky lucky people who were assigned the seats immediately surrounding him,. The seats were quite close together and so they had the wonderful pleasure of being SO close..ALL day!! It was all luck at the end of the day, plus whether your face fitted or not. I knew I wouldn’t be that lucky, not young enough, but it was nice to think he was SO close! Not_alone and her husband was in the same row as us. It was really great to meet her.
Then, about 9.30am or maybe a bit before I suddenly noticed a dark-headed guy on the balcony opposite us, behind the stage, with a camera in his hand, taking pictures of the crowd.. I know that head, I thought..would recognise it anywhere..He had arrived!!!
After about 5 minutes, in which he took pictures from every angle, he stood up and took off his bag, then came down the steps to the stage..OMG..The first sight!!! It was all I dreamed of and more!! He is SO lovely. At this point he was a fair distance away from us, and he had his back to us.. He spoke with the director and crew for a while, then we could see him with his foot up, and it looked as if he had somesort of bandage on his leg.. At first we thought he’d been injured, but then we could see that he was being mic’d up. ..the wire was run down his leg, inside his jeans and kept in place with the tubogrip.. (WHAT a job to have..fitting that in place..oh boy!!) and then John Hurt arrived and Alex introduced them both..We all cheered and clapped, but whether LIJ thought he had only introduced John ( As he’s Spanish, its sometimes hard to understand him) or whether its just something he does.. he too clapped him and looked touched for his co-stars sake that there were so many calls. I thought Alex would introduce LIJ next, but he didn’t so it was the both of them the first time.. and then he jumped down the steps, cut across the hall and came up the steps right next to us, to get to his seat…oh boy, oh boy. That was the first and last time he used that direction though.. He realised after that that it was easier to cross the stage and circle around the seats on the other side, especially when there was a load of camera equipment covering the hall floor! Pity!
He flits around like a little bird.. his movements are quick and precise.. whistling as he moves around the set.. looking for all the world like part of the crew. And yet he can sit still for hours if he needs to. And no matter what he’s doing, or who he’s talking to, as soon as he hears the call ’Rolling’ he’s in character immediately!!
His costume ( which you’ve all seen,) is such that he blends in really well. There is no..’BIG STAR’ attitude from him.That would never be him.. He looks and acts like he’s the same as everyone else, which is so refreshing to see. You read that he’s like this, but its so brilliant to see for yourself.
Then it all began… Rehearsal of each shot first, and then filming!!
There followed a series of takes with cameras angled for the wide shots ( I think) where we had to react accordingly to what was being said. I couldn’t see the gorgeous guy that well from where I was sat unless I craned my neck around to the right.. ( which I was REALLY tempted to do on more than one occasion) but to hear his wonderful voice, especially for the first time, as he delivered his lines, sent shivers down my spine… “I believe in the number Pi” etc …He said them over and over, as John played his part as Professor to his audacious student character..He spoke clearly and precisely, never once forgetting where he had to come in. never once forgetting or messing up his words.. He said them over and over patiently, as John played his part, struggling sometimes, though he did have a LOT more to say! First he puts up his hand, then he stands up and speaks!! I love his voice!
later Alex wanted crowd reaction shots..we had to laugh, murmur, look ashamed etc on cue. At one point ( not sure if it was before or after lunch) we were directed to all look at ‘Martin’ as though we were shocked that he had the nerve to speak..oh my goodness..permission to gaze at His Loveliness..WHAT a thrill!!! As Pop said. .’we’re getting paid to look at him’!!!!! What a thought!!!!
This went on all day.. High shots, low shots..hand held and crane shots. I did start to take notes of it all ( It was really lucky that we had to look the part of students, I could write it all down to my hearts content, without stepping out of character) but it will take too long to go through it all. John had to walk right in front of us as part of the scene, and stop and deliver lines..so maybe in some shots we’ll be seen on screen! I don’t know whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing really..i don’t want to break the camera..lol!
During all the filming, as it takes so much time between shots to get all the cameras and equipment ready, LIJ sometimes went out for a quick fag, and sometimes he strolled over to the crew for a chat, but mostly he stayed in his seat!! Sometimes looking bored, sometimes he yawned, sometimes chatting to those around him, sometimes whistling and making funny noises, sometimes having his make-up touched up.. hair, face and lip-salve on those luscious lips ( which he put on himself) .. I only saw the make-up girls over there once, although I could be wrong.. but come on..I mean,lets face it .. our Lij doesn’t need make-up for goodness sake.. he’s lovely the way he is.. lol! or sometimes doing his crossword.. What a thrill for those around him.. lucky guys.. He had a folded section of a newspaper with him by this time which Carol later found out was the New York Times.. He likes to do the crossword.. He prefers the NY Times as it’s a bit easier.. more black squares.. lol.. and he prefers it to the ordinary Times for that reason.. But only Monday to Thursday… The rest of the week is too hard, he says.. Carol found this out on our second day, towards the end of filming, when she was lucky enough to be standing almost next to him while they filmed and he was chatting to two young girls next to her and Brian.. More about that scene later.. He asked a question of those sitting around him at one point, which Carol overheard, as to what was a ‘Midi’ skirt.. He knew what a ‘mini’ was (obviously, and
I don’t doubt he’s seen a few ha ha) but wasn’t sure about the midi and how long it was.. aw * bless* .. He also seemed to be very interested in a book which belonged to the young girl sat in front of him, which we think contained drawings that she’d done.. I would imagine if she’s a fan, her story,, and the stories of all those that were sitting around him.. will appear on the net sometime soon! So I hope she doesn’t mind my mentioning this now..
Then it was time for lunch…
We went back down the numerous hills to the sports hall again for food. At this time myself and Pop were worried that as we were sat right on the end of the line, ( Carol and Brian were ok) that we wouldn’t be included in filming the following day..it was staring to get to me, as I was SO looking forward to being able to see more of Elijah with less people on site.. Even the obliging Chris couldn’t say for sure.. So my appetite left me completely, the more I worried. It turns out that it was ok.. Chris came over later on and said that they’d decided to include ALL the 50 in the central section ( he called us his hero’s.. as a reference point..lol) the following day..I could have kissed him!!!!!
Elijah and John and John’s wife were driven to the set base in a maroon Jaguar car.It passed Carol and Brian as they walked down the hill..( Pop and I missed it) so we knew he was nearby.. As the mobile toilets over in that section had been allocated to us ( numbered as there was so many of us according to our entrance number) we decided after lunch to take a stroll over before the long walk up the hill.. When we got there we could see Brian in the crew bus.. He was arranging for someone to ask if it was possible that we could give the CD to Elijah. The Directors assistant..Dani ( you may have seen him mentioned in the blog..) went over to ask Lij, who was resting in his trailer, if he minded..He came back and said it was ok..we could see him after filming that day!!! YAY!!!!
The maroon car..Lij's trailer to the right at the back, toilets in front and wardrobe truck behind the car.
Happy then, we walked back up the hill.. As we strolled slowly up.. at a lot more leisurly pace than first thing I can tell you.. we noticed Alex (director) and Dani ( directors assistant) and Dan ( 2nd assistant director) strolling up behind us..As they caught up with us we asked Alex if we could take his picture..he’s great..really obliging and a lot of fun.. He kept blowing Lij kisses from his seat on the stage, to where Lij was sat.. I think it was to thank him for his patience, especially when things didn’t go right!! On one occasion Lij blew one back..( aw!! Sweet..) He was happy to pose for us! Dani was asking about why we were there.. were we Elijah fans or LOTRs fans.. Oh Elijah, definitely we said!
Us..Alex and Dani
After we got back on the set, it was back to our seats for more of the same.. As I mentioned earlier, our group was lucky, we didn’t move at all..although it would have been nice to have different views of our guy, but never mind..we had plenty of that the following day!
At one point they seemed to be having difficulty getting the chalk off the blackboard and everyone was hanging around for quite a while..At this point Elijah was on stage talking to John and the make-up girls and some of the crew that we’ren’t busy..One by one, cameras were coming out, even tough we were specifically told Not to film the set!! But it wasn’t the set we wanted..it was Elijah.. And the strange thing was, although more and more cameras were coming out..no-one said anything..not for a little while..than it was..” Can you put your cameras away please ladies and gents”, which we did...but it was as if they gave us some time to for pictures.. Elijah however, was a little tease( as Pop said) he knew that we were taking pictures and spent most of his time with his back to us..arms folded! I tried taking zoom shots with my camera, but its not very good and they turned out all blurred!! Only the long shots were a bit clearer really. I’ll put in the best of them so please accept my apologies for the quality..
A little later on, just after trying to induce people to join him in a ‘mexican wave’..no-one did ( I would have if we’d been nearer..) aw bless him.., he gave up and went out for another break! At the same time they were moving some of the crowd to the other side of the room.. Next thing, Brian had joined them, only he carried on and went outside.. same direction as Lij had gone.. I SO wanted to go with him , but didn’t have the nerve.. A little earlier he had done more or less the same thing and came back saying he had pictures.. but when I challenged him to show us..he was only joking! This time when he came back with a big grin on his face, I thought he was winding us up again.. he wasn’t. He had as lovely picture of John and Lij, and one of Lij on his own, smoking a cigarette…AND he had been taking to him!
They chatted about work and Brian told him what line of business he’s in. Lij asked where he was from and when Brian said Wales..he said he’d heard it was very pretty.. Brian joked then and said he had tickets for the Millenium Stadium if he wanted to see the Wales/England rugby match, he and his girlfriend could stay with them, but he said Pam was in America, and anyway they were too busy at weekends for the moment.. He said that he’s heard that his band ( Brian couldn’t remember their name) were in this country in April, and Lij was pleased that he’d heard of them. He asked who was looking after his dogs ( something that Carol has always bee curious about) now that he was so busy. .they’re with his mother.. and then he mentioned that we had a cd to give him and he said yes, he had been asked, and it was ok…ARRRGGG!!!. *
Enough for this post…More soon… PART TWO