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Filming for Whiteblade

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Whiteblade is a new film which is currently in Production and was originally meant to be a short but is now looking to be a full length feature which will be submitted to the likes of Cannes and similar next year. It is a series of stories based on the life of the C7th Anglo-Saxon King, (Saint) Oswald. The pilot episode starts as he comes out of exile to claim the kingdom of Northumbria, culminating in the famous battle of Heavenfield, following the defeat of his cousin, Edwine, by the British king of Gwynedd, Cadwallon. Following on, the series will chart Oswald’s expansion of Northumbria and the many battles ahead of him, facing many enemies as well as his own inner demons along the way. Friends, enemies, loves and losses will test his strength and his being, not least his long standing feud with king Penda of Mercia and the battle for his soul between Pagan and Christian values.

I had the pleasure of being one of the lead females in the film and my character is called Hild who is actually a love interest of Oswald played by Mark Hindman – Smith who is also the Director, Producer and writer of the film (he’s a busy guy!). I wear mainly all white/light colours and I am meant to be like a kind of Princess as I am the Theign’s Daughter, making me royalty. My character is quite head strong and fairly stubborn from what I can tell and I have been turning down men until I come across Oswald who I deem worthy. I have some rather tough scenes and I actually have a pretty complex fight scene and get to use a Sword which was exciting and terrifying at the same time.
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Whiteblade really threw me in the deep end as someone who had only just began acting. It was actually my first proper speaking part and to say I was nervous was an understatement. It was also the first time I had ever held a sword, the first time I had ever learned or done any combat/fighting and also the first time I’d had to learn a proper script. I didn’t even know at the point of taking on the role if I could actually act. I hadn’t had training or attended a drama group or class so I was just completely stepping out of my comfort zone and pushed myself to do something I had never done before. Mark who chose me for the role, took a huge risk, but my God it paid off!! I have had role after role and job after job since first filming for Whiteblade last year. It essentially started my love for acting and launched my career and sent me on a new journey.

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I found the combat/fighting scene scary at first and it was the first scene I had to film also. The person I had helping me choreograph it was brilliant and totally put me at ease. It wasn’t that I was scared of actually doing the fighting or getting hurt at all, it was the thought of hurting the other person. hitting towards someone with a sword just doesn’t feel natural at all. In fact it feels completely un-natural and every part of your body is saying no and holds you back. That was my biggest problem to begin with. But the problem with holding back is this is when someone can get hurt. If you don’t do it properly then the person who is fighting back could miss or I could aim too low or high and hit somewhere. It took a lot of time to relax and fight my instinct of not wanting to hurt someone, especially someone who was actually very nice to me but in the end it worked really well. I actually really enjoyed it too, even if I got absolutely covered in bruises from the amount of times I had to drop to the ground. My arm took the brunt of it and as I bruise very easily I had a very colourful arm for weeks!

The fight scene I did was filmed in Bishop Auckland, Durham which was only 10 minutes from my house but the other scenes with majority of the speaking parts were actually filmed at the Yorkshire Museum of Farming. It was a great location for filming but wasn’t the warmest and was quite a long day. I didn’t actually get home until early hours of the morning! One of the scenes I did there I had some absolutely amazing feedback from which was really nice and was probably the moment that I thought, I might be quite good at this. Which is something I never say about anything I do, like a lot of people I love putting myself down more than praising myself, so to feel so confident about something I was doing and enjoyed doing was a great feeling.

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We then more recently filmed some more scenes to develop our characters and add a bit more to the story. I was back in York again, this time in a Wooded area, which thankfully stopped absolutely pouring it with rain the moment I stepped out of the car to film. To the cast and crew’s amusement I set up my son’s Jake and The Neverland Pirate’s pop up tent which I brought with me to keep my stuff dry from the rain. They were all laughing at me sat eating my food in there, quite comfortable, whilst they all stood there, so really I had the last laugh! We had to snap a photo of me in there obviously and had a lot of people walking by looking rather confused as to what we were filming with me dressed like that sat in a children’s tent.

This time around for filming my scenes were a lot more love than hate. So instead of fighting scenes it was love scenes which of course involved kissing and it was actually only my second time doing an on-screen kiss (good job I have a very understanding partner). You can’t imagine what it is like doing an on-screen kiss until you actually do it. It is especially weird if you have been with the same person for quite some time and not kissed another person for years. An on-screen kiss however is not like the kind you would have with your partner however and you are actually acting when doing the kiss. Unless it is specifically required, you don’t use tongues. It is a prolonged kiss on the lips whilst moving your head a bit or a French kiss without the tongues. If you are thinking, it must be quite an intimate thing kissing someone else on-screen, well, it’s not. You have cameras pointed at you, people stood watching you, you have to concentrate on how you angle your head and where you are positioned, whilst thinking about your next line you have to say after the kiss. So if you are thinking how lucky Amy Adams is for getting to snog Henry Cavill in Superman, then I can guarantee it won’t have been as dreamy as you have imagined. The important thing is that the other actor involved is professional and that you both feel at ease with each other and luckily my on-screen kiss partner was just that.

Every time I have filmed for Whiteblade it has just been constant laughs and I always look forward to filming with the cast and crew. It’s not often that you have that many laughs when on set filming for something but even when it is a really long day or a tough day, we still get through it laughing and having fun. Although we do all get on really well, we all work together really well too and having chemistry with the people you are working with, means the scenes turn out amazing. Mark is great as an actor but is also a great director and he really knows his stuff.

It will be some time before you get to see the finished product as they won’t be able to release anything until after it has been to the festivals next year but there is still a bit to film and then it will be in the editing stages. I have already seen some of my scenes which is very exciting and I wish I could share them with you all but unfortunately I am understandably not allowed yet. It is difficult to watch yourself on screen though, especially when the things you aren’t  a big fan of about yourself seems to stick out more! When I watch things back, all I can think is NOSE! But I think that is normal and I can understand why lots of actors don’t even watch stuff they are in.

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