A couple of weeks ago we had the honour of listening in on a chat between Max Gee and Natalie Roe - The brainforce behind new, upcoming webseries Tales of Bacon. (Part 1 here)
This time, the ladies are even further on in the development process and give us an insight into getting on their feet and into production.
Max: Hello! At the end of the last interview we reached the point where we had the scripts, but now they needed to be brought to life. What was the first step towards that?
Nat: Well, we needed a cast and crew so I started asking around to see who was mad enough to try filming medieval comedy on no budget. It turns out a lot of people were interested! We confirmed Tony Hipwell for Director of Photography and Carly Brown on costumes quite early. We also got our first choice of actors for the lead roles, Adam Elms as Thaddeus Bacon and Gemma Shelton as Elfrida Deverwyk, I’d worked with both of them through Theatre Mill and thought they were both hilarious and subtle enough for the roles. Carly got to work on Gemma’s gown last year and we were away!
Max: We really mined our connections for actors from Theatre Mill, didn’t we? I think this is indicative of our process, reconnecting with friends and co-workers across cast and crew to deal with some of the more complicated issues related to creating a mammoth (or oxen sized) medieval webseries with the budget of a serf… This is where our idea of community filmmaking really came into its own, didn’t it?
Nat: Yes, I had worked with a lot of filmmakers and creative people in the last few years and it’s been great getting lots of input. I had been on huge theatre productions like Blood and Chocolate, and Theatre Mill have passionate community casts so I’d seen the benefit of getting lots of perspectives and talent together to make a stronger product. We were careful to keep a gender and age mix in the script so we could have a variety of actors. Our crew has been similarly mixed, and I’ve been pleased we could achieve our hope of promoting equal opportunities. It was a big part of our series ethos: Community is everything!
Max: That was a bit of a mantra for us, it also paid off in some spectacular ways when we came to some of the more problematic logistics. Now we had had a scene with Thaddeus talking to a lady on an ox from the first draft because of a connection with Natalie Rose of Gold Top Oxen but that was only one of the hurdles we had to overcome to recreate a medieval landscape, wasn’t it?
Nat: We had to create the world, which was the most ambitious part! However, Natalie Rose’s lovely farm in East Yorkshire provided us with a rural location. We had links with Richard Thirlwall and Murton Park for costume and props, as well as re-enactors who have loaned us amazing items like lutes and longbows! Glass Cannon have been a big help with their expertise of heritage film. Paul Toy of the Jorvik Group has been our advisor, researching for us at the Minster library and translating our script into Latin or Middle English as required. There’s a lot going on in York, so it’s a case of joining up the medieval dots.
Max: While the pre-production was underway we started to promote the webseries, initially on twitter @PardonMyBacon where we forged links with the online medievalist community and posted comical medieval art like #Awkward Medieval Nativity. We also submitted the pilot script to the lovely folks at Digital Creators UK and went to London for a writing workshop at the Raindance Cafe. That allowed us to give the script one last polish before filming, and raise awareness of the project.
Nat: Our Facebook page gets a lot of views too which bodes well. We’re currently writing our Indiegogo campaign video, which is to be released alongside the pilot. We’ve got some merchandising perks on offer like postcards, badges and DVDs, but also some fun ones like our handwritten pardons for a sin of your choice or a holy relic like a vial of holy water or a piece of the Turin Shroud -all genuine of course!
Max: Of course! So look out for our Indiegogo campaign this summer where I’ll be in the market for the Ark of the Covenant… Nat: And I’ll going for a pardon for gluttony! Thanks!To keep up to date with all things Tales of Bacon check here.