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Civil War Films

Standby Art Director

The newly opened National Civil War Centre is a source of information for any history enthusiast. It combines installations, historic artefacts, exhibitions and hosts a cinema, screening 28 short films. The shorts, created by Spool Films, are re-creations of life in the late 17th to early 18th Centuries. They detail the battles between the Parliamentary soldiers and the Royalist forces, focusing on a number of important historical figures including King Charles and Print Rupert. Many of the stories are true accounts and others depict the lifestyle of that epoch. 

Alongside the museum, a town trail has been created using augmented reality. This is the first of its kind in the country and allows the viewer to see the shorts at the historic sites themselves. The public can download the app before holding up their smart phone or tablet and the corresponding film to that location will play.

It was an intense 5 week shoot with prop making and sourcing taking place beforehand. Being a small art department, I made and sourced the props and set pieces as well as doing script breakdowns and being on standby throughout filming. Each set needed a lot of period specific preparations where I ensured correct continuity between takes, photographing all specific detail, re-setting props and jumping onto set whenever props needed adjusting. I would have to be quick thinking when it came to any last minute problems or cheating props when camera angles were changed. We put alot of time into creating castle wall debris for an action scene, where the rocks had to exactly match the colours and textures of the existing castle walls. This was challenging but extremely rewarding when the rocks are seen exploding on camera. Props tasks varied massively from creating paper execution documents to cooking and prepping food for a large banquet scene and distressing objects. 

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