|OXFORD MURDERS - Day Two, part 3
||[Feb. 22nd, 2007|12:53 pm]
|||||Elijah's cd..disc 1||]|
OXFORD MURDERS...ON SET WITH ELIJAH
Here we go again folks..next installment of my amazing adventure on set with Elijah Wood.
DAY TWO.. Part 3
VALENTINE’S DAY 2007
Most by now will have heard accounts of events on the second day of filming at Harrow School - Harrow-On-The-Hill..
So be warned..this part is going to be different from the other two... There will still be details that you all know, but mostly that's for my benefit..so that i will always remember every second of this fantastic day!
This part is mostly going to be about how it felt for me, to be in the same room for so long, with the beautiful Elijah Wood!
After not much sleep, Pop and I got ready for the second day of our wonderful adventure!!
No taxi for us today as we were travelling back to Wales straight after filming, so Brian took the car to the location. I had packed everything up the night before, so it was suitcases in boot and off to go! We set off at 7.15am.
We arrived at the OM base just after 7.30am and found that as there were not so many of us today, they had catered for us at the base. Now there were TWO grey buses instead of one.. one for the crew and one for the crowd.. We got on one of them ( can’t for the life of me remember which one.. perhaps someone can!) and there the lovely, ever smiling Chris was handing out forms that we had to fill in and sign and then get back to him by the end of the day, so that we’d get paid.( THEY paid US..i would have gladly paid THEM for this wonderful opportunity!!)
Next stop breakfast! No walk to the sports hall today, just a short step to the catering bus and food. This we ate in the 'crowd' bus before climbing aboard a coach they had laid on to take us to the location... Thank goodness there was no long walk today, especially as it had started to rain quite heavily. As the bus was so large, it had to go the long way around, through rutted lanes and past playing fields, out into the heavy traffic, before swinging around and coming back to the location. It took just as long as if we had walked, but at least we didn’t get wet. *
View from the bus
Once inside the speech room, we all scattered about, not quite sure of what we were suppose to do. My friends and I chose seats quite close to the door. John arrived first and said ‘Good Morning, ’ with Elijah close behind.. He turned around and also said ‘Good morning’ ..we responded likewise!!
As we were so close to the door, we had a MUCH better view of Lij being mic’d up again.. He had his back to us, while the crew guy fiddled about getting the wire just right..Lij hopped about and shook his leg until the wire was right down his trouser leg and then it was held into place with the tubular bandage… omg..WHAT a sight!
He strolled over to the other side of the room then with Alex, whistling tunefully as he went to his seat as first rehearsal and then filming began. We all stayed where we were, as we weren’t needed to be in shot at that point. Elijah wasn’t actually in shot either for the first part of filming, but he was always readily available to say his lines and help John to get into character. I think because there was so few of us, John was finding it difficult, he wasn’t getting the crowd reaction to his speech like he was the day before, and it all took longer than anticipated. I did notice, however, as I mentioned before, that no matter what Elijah was doing between takes. .whether he was talking to the crew, chatting to John’s wife, sitting cross legged doing his crossword, drinking coffee , or maybe taking pictures with a large professional camera ( don’t ask me what it was, I’ve no idea, no clue about cameras at all.. I do remember him asking someone to fetch it for him the day before though) he never ever failed to miss a cue.. As soon as he heard the words.. ‘Rolling’ he was up.. sitting straight, or more usually on his feet and in position, immediately in character, ready to go!! and then ‘Action’ and they were off!
As John was finding it so difficult to get into the flow.. we were asked to move closer so that we were in his eye-line, and to respond as we had the day before. No-one told us however that as there was so few of us, it would have been of more benefit to poor John, who was struggling a bit, if we could have made our responses just that little bit louder, to compensate for the fact that half the ‘students’ were missing! But he managed in the end to get through.. I moved over to a seat halfway across the hall, and got separated from Carol and Pop.. I did however have the pleasure of meeting JD, who at first I took to be a John Hurt fan...not there for Elijah at all..lol! Elijah was now standing a little way over from where I was sitting and behind me. As I looked across .. trying NOT to make it obvious that I couldn’t take my eyes off him.. he was bathed in a golden light from the sunshine pouring in through the windows.. he was positively glowing!!, All I could see as he turned his head, were his extra long eyelashes!! It was completely surreal! He looked like an angel, come down to earth to visit us humble ‘extras’.. The feeling i had was undescribable.. 'contentment' i suppose, sums it up best! Like all was ok with the world, because he is in it!
There were a lot of takes, and at one point Lij asked if they needed him to stay.. no, he could go for a break if he wanted, but he stayed anyway! ‘I’ll stay just in case he needs me’ he said.. aw ..bless.. What a lovely guy.. no complaint, no fidgeting, just perfect manners and patience!
I had moved by this time to sit with Pop and Carol and Brian. They were filming reaction shots from the ‘professors’ that were on stage behind the lectern. It was fascinating to see how exaggerated they made each reaction.. how co-ordinated they all were when asked to mutter, laugh, look shocked etc.. much as we had done, but a lot more smoothly..
Elijah is sat two rows behind just to my left.. on his own, still doing his crossword. It is SO difficult NOT to turn my head and gaze and gaze at this heavenly angel. If I look to the left, towards Pop I can see him out of the corner of my eye. I cannot turn my head. .its not polite to stare! Its worse today than yesterday.. Yesterday there were lots of people, yesterday it didn’t notice quite so much if you stole the occasional glance in his direction.. Today.. it was different.. today it was impossible! So near and yet so very far.. There was a stillness about him I found, more so than the day before, then he was surrounded for most of the day by people.. today he spent most of the time on his own. .and people respected his space.. He was at work after all.. not there to entertain his fans..
It is such a strange feeling, being in the same room for such a length of time, wanting all the while to get closer, maybe have a conversation with him... so much you’d like to say, but you can’t. You have to respect his privacy. We were there to do a job, not to pester him with attention that I don’t doubt he would have acknowledged with his usual tact and diplomacy.. but maybe all the while wishing for peace.
He didn't encourage contact either.. Except on a very few occasions, he resolutely refused to make eye contact with anyone. It was as if he was in the room completely alone. It's fascinating to see.. he switches with lightening speed from being in a world of his own, then in character, to the next minute giggling with a crew or cast member..
Next, as directed he got up and moved closer to us.. he said to Alex.. ”Any closer and I’ll be down there with you”.. ( the hall) He’s stood right behind us..right behind me..i have my left arm over the chair still facing towards the left, and as the seats are positioned on each tier around the room, my hand is touching the floor. If I reach out I can touch his leg, touch the angel himself, and believe me, the tempatation is SO great! I look up once and he’s standing right above me..oh my goodness..a breathtaking view..so close. He speaks his lines..its as if he’s saying them in my ear! His voice resonates around the room, and echoes in my head. It feels warm and comforting!
After the first take, as he stood behind me, I wasn’t really concentrating on what he was saying., not really hearing the words anymore, just feeling the warm glow that had enveloped me, so I missed the comment that he made as an aside.. Carol heard it though..” stick that in your pipe and smoke it”..*bless*
Then there’s a break.. and with a hop, skip and a jump..he's gone. The speed at which he can move is incredible..he's there one minute and gone the next!! He heads outside for another cigarette. Most of us stayed where we were.. I think we were mostly too polite to take liberties. Didn’t want to follow in case we were thought to be hassling him.. were afraid to get in the way, to annoy the crew who'd been so kind to us..at least that’s the way I felt anyway. But Dan..2nd AD as he was passing, said..” There’s coffee outside if you want to warm up a bit”.. I said to Carol and Pop.. who didn’t hear him ‘c’mon.. outside for coffee’.. We were there like a shot!
DAN 2nd AD
He’s stood at the top of the steps in the corner of the walled patio part, smoking. Other crew and John and his wife are milling around. Most of us ‘extras’ head down the steps for coffee and biscuits.. It’s the perfect opportunity for more photos. Unfortunately.. once again as I’m a fair distance away, I try to use the zoom on my camera, and only succeed in getting blurred pics.. I’ll include some of mine that weren’t too bad, and some of Pop and Carols.*
Talking to Jonny..1st AD
Two pictures taken by Brian
This is one of Pop's
Just as Pop is getting me some coffee, there’s a call that we have to go back in. As I’m walking up the steps I determine to ask him if I can take his photo.. When I arrive at the top, he’s talking to two boys about LOTRs ..My camera is ready, and I ask if he minds.. but he doesn’t hear me.. So I snap a picture anyway.. along with a few others who are doing the same..” what’s this, picture time?” He says.. so I ask him , very nicely.. ’Do you mind?’ and he turns and smiles for me!! “Thank you Elijah”..
Next up..its time for the ‘hero’ shots..we all take up our postions in the seats we had the day before.. The camera concentrates on Elijah and those immediately surrounding him. Pop and I aren’t really in shot, as we’re sat right on the end, but we take up positions anyway. They had set up huge boards across the seats, most probably to shield the cameras from the sunlight that was streaming in.. so i couldn’t see him at all at this point.. could only hear his lovely voice.. could only watch as they filmed the ending where Lij turns to run out, then bursts out laughing as John fails to stop talking as he’s really ‘into’ his speech by now..
Alex is close by and remarks that Lij looks like Jesus with the sunlight shining on him ( just as i thought earlier..) .. And he responds by singing ‘Allelulia’ ( or something like that) in a high soprano voice… oh, my goodness!!
I don’t really hear the next part, but Carol did.. she says that Alex and Lij had a minor debate on how to do the scene.. Lij didn’t want his character to back down so easily ( or something like that) but Alex was determined to have his way.. Alex won!! I did see Lij pick up his foot, and pretend to bite it..a huge bite…as if to say…grrr!! lost again!!! Quite a feat whilst standing up.. ”I’m very flexible” ( quote from ‘Ellen Degeneres Show’ Jan 2004) .. Then we have to applaud as he leaves, an alternative ending, just in case.. He thanks John and then its done.
Time for lunch!!
Back with more later....