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Current Status :   October 2016 ... Website has now moved to a better, faster server! ... We're still preparing the new season of shows :) ... Gary & Ruthie xxxx

Shownotes

Special Episode 29 -

The Story of the Spirit of Albion : the Movie

8th April 2012, 1h 29m 30s, 83.7Mb

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.

Hope you enjoy it,

Gary & Ruthie x x x

SP29 - The Story of the Spirit of Albion the Movie

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Damh the Bard - The Spirit of Albion

 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 fim 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 Druidcast here and find out more about OBOD here. You can find out more details about Damh on his Contributor page on this website.

 

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

 

Arianrhod
 

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….

Following on from our blog on The Spirit of Albion: The Movie on April 6th 2011, we thought we would bring you up to date on the creation of the Movie and how it came into being.

 

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.

Archway Theatre Production Poster

The play became well loved by the Pagan community. At first it played at The Archway Theater 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 Theater, the play was revived for a performance at WitchFest International at The Fairfax Halls in Croyden.

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.

   

The Spirit of Albion at Witchfest

 

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.

Witchfest Poster
 

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.

Filming 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.

A generator and a lighting tower had been set up and there was a buzz of excitement in the air.

Filming at night under the Light Tower

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
SEan George as the Horned God
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 Darkness applying make-up to James Abbott
Robin Goodfellow
Lucy Darkness – Make-up and Prosthetics Redvers G. Russell as Robin Goodfellow (Puck)

Lucy, above working on the Make-up for George (James Abbott), also did the prosthetics for Redvers G. Russell to turn him into the mischievious Puck.

   
Joy Tinniswood as Cerridwen
Joanne Marriott as the Morrighan
Joy Tinniswood as ‘Cerridwen’ Joanne Marriott as the Morrighan
   

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.

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.

   
Around the camp-fire!

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.

 

The scene was set for the story to Damh’s song Morrighan, with the dead of war singing in the woodland, and lots of battle scenes for a montage during the song.

With over 40 extras, re-enactors and stunt performers you couldn’t move for people in uniforms.

Filming was due to start at 12.00 pm, but due to the rain it was delayed an hour. So at 1.00 pm the weather had cleared a little and the filming started.

 

The Morrighan leading away the Souls of the Dead
  The Morrighan still taking the souls away from Battle

Jo Marriott looked glorious in her Raven Feather Cloak and battle armour as The Morrighan, and it was a haunting experience to see people re-enacting death scenes from the trenches of the First and Second World Wars – amongst other conflicts.

Soldiers being gassed

Many battle scenes through the ages were filmed that afternoon, and after the Final Wrap for the whole Movie was announced at 16:45, there was a strong mixture of joy and sadness because the filming had finished.

Many people had worked closely with old friends, had made new ones throughout the year, and, unsurprisingly, love had even bloomed among the make-up, wardrobe and cameras.

Now that the actors’ and supporting crews’ roles were over, it was time for the post-production team to at last put the movie together.

Death through the years  
   

The exciting bit right now is that Joy Andrews/Tinniswood and the post-production team at Egotrip Media Ltd. have worked really hard, and they tell us the film will be ready for its’ Release Date of May 1st 2012.

We hope to be bringing you Special Episodes that will include interviews and excerpts with the cast and crew over the next few weeks to help you share in this unique experience that we were lucky enough to enjoy.

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.

   
The Wrap Party celebrations!
 

We will be attending the Crawley Premiere and hope to see some of you there!!! :)

The DVD is now available for PRE ORDER from The Spirit of Albion: The Movie shop as well as
Calenders, T-shirts, Hats, Bags, Cups and posters. Why not preorder the DVD and some merchandise for a novel birthday gift?

At the time of writing there were still Premiere tickets left. The Movie will be shown at The Hawth, Theater, Crawley, Sussex, UK and should be ordered by calling 01293 553636. Tickets are £15. The event will take place on Monday 30th April, where you’ll be able to meet with the cast and crew. You should arrive from 7:00pm (bar open), the Doors will open at 7:30pm and after a Live Concert by Damh the Bard at 7:45pm, the Film will start at 8:30pm. After the film, there will be a chance to mingle/buy DVDs (!)/have a drink and so on. The bar closes at 11pm.

There will also be another Premiere Screening taking place in the North of England to coincide with the main Premiere for those who are too far away to make the Crawley Premiere. This will take place on the same day and approximately the same time, Monday 30th April, at the Mitchell and Kenyon cinema at the University of Central Lancashire. Unfortunately, we will not have Damh performing, nor the cast and crew (unless we can persuade some to come north) but we will have refreshments and a chance to mingle and chat! The cinema seats 150 so I expect they will fill up quickly. Tickets are expected to be £6. Please email Linda if you’re interested on: lsever@uclan.ac.uk

 
The DVD is available for pre-order

 

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 incidental music/transitions:

Diane Arkenstone The Secret Garden See her Contributor page for more details.

Kim Robertson, Angels in Disguise. See her Contributor page for more details.

Jigger, Time Ticks Away. See the Contributor page for more details.

 

Extra Special Thanks for Unrestricted Access

As always,

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.

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.

SJ 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.

 

Additional Sources

And, of course, the Awen - inspiration and imagination!

 

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

 
    
   

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