Up again at 6am for a 7am start. Such is the life of those who work in film… not the actors, they get an hour’s extra sleep. I was a little late, owing to my confusion over where the council house was. I thought it was the court house near the train station, but a quick phone call cleared everything up and I went to the famous lion statues.
The council house is an impressive building of grey stone. A dome rises up from the top of the building, and as you can see from the picture on the left, it’s rather impressive. The rooms are used for various occasions, including weddings. One of the largest rooms on the second floor was set up with tables and a small stage. On it, I found an abandoned pin of green foliage. It was gently wilting, away from the jacket which should have been its home. There was something quite poetic about it, left there until time and water played their part.
Any way, back to the vicious Viking and homeless banquet/battle we were to be filming that morning. The set dressing took hours, and for good reason. See that picture on the right? Okay, now look past the two grimacing Vikings at the table. That’s our decaying homeless man, and the main attraction of the Viking feast. The actor kindly agreed to be covered in various substances and lay on a table during the filming.
Under the instructions of the Artistic Director and a highly talented make-up artist, edible gore filled the platters. Boiled bread dough, dropped into boiling water made up the large chunks of ‘meat’. The rest of the plates were filled with dog bones (not so edible), covered in golden syrup paste with colouring and flour, and finally dressed with cherry pie filling for extra lumpy bits.
The overall effect was incredible, and I was feeling rather queezy watching these Vikings gore themselves. The Culling is not one for the squeamish. The worst part for me was perhaps the moment that our heroine gets her throat cut, and the Viking King took the imitative to reach a glass down to her throat, fill it, and drink, slowly, and with a smile. I left the room. They’re just too good at what they do.
And that concludes my weekend with ‘The Culling’ crew. I can’t wait to see the edited promo. Perhaps we’ll get the go ahead to make the whole film? I’d love to see the vikings again, on the same side of the battlefield.