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Apr 8, 2012

On the Set of The Spirit of Albion: the Movie!

In this show, we hope to bring you a wonderful gift for Ostara, or Easter, with our first ever documentary show. Starting from conception as a play performed by young actors to a film about to hit our screens, the Spirit of Albion Movie promises to bring the Celtic Gods to the World of Film for possibly the first time! We bring you the long-awaited, full story of 'the Spirit of Albion the Movie' along with interviews with all the actors.

We also include many 'Behind the Scenes' audio clips to bring you a feel of what it was like to be on the set of the film as it was being made.

Full Show-notes, with sources and credits, can be found on our main Website at http://celticmythpodshow.com/albion1

Running Order:

  • Intro 0:41
  • The Spirit of Albion by Damh the Bard 1:20
  • The Story of 'the Spirit of Albion: the Movie' 5:50
  • The Archway Theatre Production 11:30
  • The Spirit of Albion at Witchfest 23:00
  • Filming Begins 35:25
  • The final Marathon over-night shoot 55:18
  • The Cast prepare for the Final Shoot 1:18:20
  • Around the Camp-fire 1:26:00

We hope you enjoy it!

Gary & Ruthie x x x

Released: 8 Apr 2012, 1h 30m

It's always great to hear from you! Email garyandruth@celticmythpodshow.com, or leave us a message using Speakpipe


 

The Spirit of Albion

by Damh the Bard

Damh is a modern-day Bard whose spirituality, and love of folk tradition, is expressed through his music, storytelling and poetry. Drawing on the Bardic traditions his performances are both entertaining and educational, weaving a tapestry of myth, peace, and anthems that speak directly to the heart, but never without a good splash of humour. This beautiful track explores the turning of the Wheel of the year and more than any of the other tracks in the film probably sums up the inspiration behind the film and holds the message of the film.

You can find his music on iTunes, or from his website, Pagan Music. He is also the voice behind Druidcast, the official podcast of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids (OBOD, for short) - modern day Druids. You can find out more details about Damh on his Contributor Page on our website. 

 

The Story of 'the Spirit of Albion: the Movie'

As you probably know by now, we have been following the progress of the making of a new film called The Spirit Of Albion: the Movie. The name of the movie comes from the title of an Album and song by the Pagan Folk musician Damh The Bard. Filming started in April 2011 and final production of the film is taking place now ready for a Beltane release (May 1st 2012). The film revolves around the lives of three young people who are all facing personal challenges of one kind or another. Then on 31st October they find themselves drawn to a clearing in the woods, and nothing is ever quite the same again…. 

The Archway Theatre Production

As you may know the idea for the Movie came from a play that was originally written and created by a group of young people between the ages 16-24 at a Young Adults Workshop under the guidance and direction of Gary Andrews. The play was inspired by the emotive music of Damh the Bard, a famous British Pagan Folk singer. These talented young people chose ten of his songs and weaved a magical, modern day story of very real social issues and how three young Adults are struggling to deal with these challenges in their lives. 

The play became well loved by the Pagan community. At first it played at The Archway Theatre in Horley, Surrey for three nights where it was a huge success! Damh, his wife Cerri and many other people from the pagan community attended along with friends and family of the cast and crew.

People were deeply moved by the powerful play and many people were in tears by time the final curtain fell and the talented young actors bowed to a standing ovation.

After the success at The Archway Theatre, the play was revived for a performance at WitchFest International at The Fairfax Halls in Croyden.

 

The Spirit of Albion at Witchfest

By this time many of the original cast had moved on to University and “a new age-appropriate cast made up of experienced actors” was brought in for this one-off performance. 

Again the play proved to be a strong emotive performance. With the demands of its audience, it was realised that this story could have a much wider appeal if a movie was produced. 

 

Filming begins!

The Shooting script was finished by August 2010; and by April 2011, technical equipment for shooting the movie had been gathered, songs storyboarded, locations chosen, and cast, costumes and make-up were in place. It was time to record the songs for the film sung by the principal cast members and overseen by Damh the Bard. 

The first shoot was at a private woodland on a beautiful sunny day. Damh was to be filmed playing his song Pagan Ways, and it was here that the flash-back section to Damh’s songGreen and Gray was shot, with Gary Andrews playing the priest and Séan George portraying The Horned God.

When commenting on this filming, Damh, in a state of wonder, said:

“It was just as I imagined it when I wrote the song”

From this comment it sounded to us like Gary and the cast were creating something magical, and we couldn’t wait to find out more. The filming continued throughout the Spring and Summer, taking place on location at The Weald and Downland Museum in Singleton Sussex, then a trip to the West Country to Grimspound, Stonehenge, Wayland Smithy and other wonderful magical sites. Afterwards back to Surrey for some indoor filming which we were lucky enough to see.

It was quite magical to watch Damh’s songs brought to life by these talented actors and their supporting crew as well as keeping up with the production via Marq English‘s Video Production Diaries. More than once many of us felt shivers go down our spines as certain scenes were acted out.

 

The final Marathon over-night Shoot

Then came the Finale! The over-night and final shoot – at an idyllic private woodland called Morgan’s Wood owned by the lovely Darren and Siobhan Thomas. 

Well, we arrived late Saturday evening, said “Hello” to everyone, pitched our tent and went to find out what was happening. The principal characters were being made up and changing into costume in a gazebo. 

While everyone was getting prepared for shooting, it gave us an excellent opportunity for some impromptu interviews with cast and crew, which you will hopefully be hearing in upcoming shows. 

 

The Cast prepare for the Final Shoot

Now is our chance to show you how amazing the actors looked while playing their roles. 

Lucy Brennan as Arianrhod

Séan George as ‘The Horned God’

Lucy Brennan looked stunning and ethereal as the Goddess Arianrhod, the narrator of the story, and it was fascinating to watch Lucy Darkness, Makeup & Prosthetic expert, turn Séan George into the very masculine Horned God. Lucy also did the prosthetics for Redvers G. Russell to turn him into the mischievious Puck. 

Redvers G. Russell as Robin Goodfellow (Puck)

Joy Tinniswood looked almost elven dressed for her unique portrayal of Cerridwen and Jo Marriott was beautifully intimidating dressed in her armour to play The Morrighan.

Joy Tinniswood as ‘Cerridwen’

Joanne Marriott as the Morrighan

Filming took all night, with constant supplies of coffee and a welcome warm meal at about 2 a.m. Everyone was tired but in good spirits. The camaraderie between members of the cast and crew was high and it was a pleasure to feel a part of the team.

Around the Camp-fire

Most of the filming that night took place in a Grove of trees where the scene was set for the Primary human characters to meet up on the 31st October. 

The talented young actors who played the primary Human characters were Emma Doubleday as ‘Esther’, Ella Sowton as ‘Annie’ and James Abbott as ‘George’ and they played very real and believable parts, drawing us all into the story. 

The magic of a woodland fire, and the fantastic lighting gave us observers the feeling that for a while we had stepped into an otherworldly realm where the Celtic Gods and Fae walked and that something unseen but magical was happening.

As dawn started to break the last of the filming for that night took place. After the final cut at 8.30 am, a lovely warm breakfast of porridge was served (including the hidden ingredients of muscavado sugar and double cream!), after which many of us went off to our tents for a couple of hours sleep, before people started arriving for an afternoon of filming.

After four hours sleep we crawled out of our tents, and went to join the many people who had arrived to take part in the afternoon shoot. The heavens had opened and everyone was drenched, but were drinking coffee, eating pastries and still smiling. This was the final shoot of the movie and it was huge.

We would like to thank Gary, Joy and the cast and crew of the Spirit of Albion movie for welcoming us with open arms and allowing us to be included in this very special and magical journey.

 



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Special Thanks

 

Damh the Bard for permission to use his songs and constant encourgement. See his website for further details of check out his Contributor Page.

EgoTrip Media Ltd., for permission to attend the movie shoots and record as much audio as we wanted. See their website for further details.

The Spirit of Albion: the Movie, for allowing us to share in the production and allowing us to take part in the film as well! See their website for further details about the film.

Lusete, for permission to use her wonderful still photographs from the movie. See her website for more details about her and her wonderful artwork, including more photographs from the Movie.

Darren & Siobhan Thomas for permission for us to record in their wonderful woodland, Morgan's Wood.

Marq English of MEV Productions for permission to use clips from his wonderful Albion Diaries. See his website for details of all of his wonderful work including the fascinating sequel to Return to Ravenswood, called Ravenswood.

and special thanks to all of the many friends we made, who sadly we cannot fit on this page!

 

For our Theme Music:

The Skylark and Haghole, the brilliant Culann's Hounds. See their Contributor page for details.

 

Extra Special Thanks for Unrestricted Access to Wonderful Music

(in Alphabetic order)

Anne Roos Extra Special thanks go for permission to use any of her masterful music to Anne Roos. You can find out more about Anne on her website or on her Contributor page.

Caera Extra Special thanks go for permission to any of her evocative harping and Gaelic singing to Caera. You can find out more about Caera on her website or on her Contributor Page.

Celia Extra Special Thanks go for permission to use any of her wonderful music to Celia Farran. You can find out more about Celia on her website or on her Contributor Page.

Damh the Bard Extra Special thanks go to Damh the Bard for his permission to use any of his music on the Show. You can find out more about Damh (Dave) on his website or on his Contributor page.

The Dolmen Extra Special thanks also go to The Dolmen, for their permission to use any of their fantastic Celtic Folk/Rock music on the Show. You can find out more about The Dolmen on their website or on our Contributor page.

Keltoria Extra Special thanks go for permission to use any of their inspired music to Keltoria. You can find out more about Keltoria on their website or on their Contributor page.

Kevin Skinner Extra Special thanks go for permission to use any of his superb music to Kevin Skinner. You can find out more about Kevin on his website or on his Contributor page.

Phil Thornton Extra Special Thanks go for permisssion to use any of his astounding ambient music to the Sonic Sorcerer himself, Phil Thornton. You can find out more about Phil on his website or on his Contributor Page.

S.J. Tucker Extra Special thanks go to Sooj for her permission to use any of her superb music. You can find out more about Sooj on her website or on her Contributor page.

Spiral Dance Extra Special thanks go for permission to use Adrienne and the band to use any of their music in the show. You can find out more about Spiral Dance on their website or on their Contributor page.

We'd like to wish you 'Hwyl fawr!', which is Welsh for Goodbye and have fun, or more literally Wishing a Good Mood on you!

 

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