10 September 2010 @ 01:38 pm
Pierrefonds ... farewell to Series 3 filming ...  
Well, as I haven't taken a proper vacation this year, I managed to persuade loreley_se and londinensa to travel to the north of France this week to spend a few days at Pierrefonds. We arrived late Monday night and spent Tuesday through Thursday at the castle. Interspersed with our time at the castle, we ate the most fabulous food and drank exquisite wine at the restaurant attached to our hotel and just thoroughly relaxed. I would recommend this combination to anybody.

However, you're probably more interested in what we saw during our stay ...

We headed to the castle on Tuesday morning and encountered a fairly quiet set. It didn't take us long to figure out they were just starting to set up the castle for filming. It was actually quite fascinating to see the castle change from a monument to a live filming site. Props kept getting trucked in, kilometres of power cables were installed, and lights were being set up everywhere. The senior production team including Johnny and Julian and cohorts did an indepth walk through of the castle and the surrounding grounds, cataloguing what they'd need for this block of filming. Their notebooks were definitely out in full force!


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This is how a throne gets delivered into the throne room ;). Why carry it up the stairs!

While this was all going on, in between watching everything, we finally had the chance to go down into the crypt (which is normally closed during filming). What an incredible place! They've got a magnificent display of funeral statuary; if you haven't made it down the stairs yet, it's well worth the visit.

Between one and two in the afternoon the castle closes down for lunch. Ergo, we headed down to one of the cafes in the heart of Pierrefonds. And once we'd settled down in our seats and ordered our lunch, what did we see? A gaggle of Merlin cast and crew abandoned in the little village square. Apparently, their "big coach" had just dropped them off at Pierrefonds with all of their luggage. They must have spent a good 40 minutes waiting for the smaller people carriers to pick them up. In the meantime ...

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Rupert looks mighty fine in that beanie of his. And the guy on the left -- keep reading my post. I call him Big Tall Guy with Arms.

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Why hello Mr. James. My you have big hair today!! And he spent a lot of time talking to the actor next to him who will also show up later in this post as part of his fighting troupe. In what capacity though, we can only speculate.

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Katie! Tony! Why, nearly the entire gang is here. No sign of Colin though ...

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Go ahead Bradley. Scratch that itch when you need to. We're not going to complain.

At the end of the day, we headed back to our hotel and the restaurant attached thereto. It has a reputation for fabulous food -- and well earned indeed! We were just starting the second of our five courses when I looked up and saw Johnny Capps walking into the restaurant, followed by Julian Murphy and five other senior members of the production team. What can I say! They obviously have good taste in food. Over the course of the balance of the evening we heard much laughter from their table and a very loud toast to their excellent team. Awwww, bless.

The next day started overcast and dreary. We grabbed our umbrellas and headed out. Once we arrived at the castle and picked up our tickets, it was clear that the "filming" vibe was in the air and sure enough, it wasn't long until the cast started to arrive.

I was also very pleased by the fact that this year, Marie -- who wrangles the extras--was also appointed as the fan wrangler. She came up to the fans each day and specifically said -- no requests for autographs or personalized pictures. Feel free to take pictures without flash, but please, don't interrupt or interfere with the actors. Essentially: stay back and observe.

On a separate note -- allow me to apologize at the outset -- I was playing with camera settings and learning how to use high speed photo burst this week so many of my pics are not as clear as they normally are. But I hope the moments I've caught on camera make up for the lack of sharp focus at times

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Bradley was the first to arrive accompanied by Julian. And I love this pose -- "I am the Prince of this Castle!".

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Shortly thereafter, Colin and Rupert arrived. I just adore the look Rupert gave Colin. Awww.

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Once Rupert headed off to join his fellow knights, Colin headed towards the main stairs with his trusty puffy coat and disappeared inside the castle. :) Colin + Puffy Coat=OTP.

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A few minutes before Colin arrived, Bradley had headed towards the "filming corner". And, based on line of sight here, it appears as though Castle Guy (he's one of the chaps who works for the castle who is responsible for ensuring that the filming venues are clear), also appreciates a certain perky behind in chain mail. ::heh:: Or if you have a different suggestion as to what he's looking at, feel free to make it! :D.

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As the actors started arriving, they all found their spots. Rupert didn't waste any time looking around. And it didn't take him long to spot the fans.

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Once the rest of Arthur's knights (and the bad guys had arrived), they started rehearsing in the courtyard for a fight scene. It was utterly fascinating to watch. Bradley had mentioned in an earlier interview how he's careful to assess the skill level of the guest actors. This is a prime example of just that as they were moving at 1/4 time, just getting a feel for the choreography.

Once they'd warmed up sufficiently individually, they got into the group fighting itself. Although ... not all of Arthur's knights are quite as ruthless as Arthur is ;).

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Doesn't Rupert/Leon just look like he's saying: "I'm sorry. I really don't want to hurt you. Really!"

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"But my Boss over there -- Arthur -- expects me to. Sorry again!!"

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But obviously, Bradley/Arthur isn't such a horrible boss. Otherwise, Rupert/Leon wouldn't be getting this smile!

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And neither would trust each other to be this close when it comes to swords and battles :D

As they continued their rehearsals, Bradley kept getting more confident (he clearly was the best swordsman of the lot). At one point, after he finished the blocking he went around and faux punched several of the actors and wrapped it up with this pirouette of victory:

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Oh Bradley. Never change. :D

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Speaking of new cast, if you ignore the gent in the black tunic, immediately next to Leon we have Big Tall Guy with Arms. And next to him we have Gawain -- assuming our information is correct. Let's hope they are regular additions to the cast! I do have to admit that I'm very amused that Big Tall Guy with Arms has a chain mail shirt which doesn't cover said bulging arms. Hmmmm ... so which demographic are we appealing to here?

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And speaking of Big Tall Guy with Arms -- look at him in comparison to Bradley. Bradley's not a wee thing; BTGwA is *huge*.

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Speaking of Gawain, he promises to be an interesting character. Here he is, stepping back from the action.

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Until his presence is required. But check out the director, Jeremy Webb, blocking the shots in the background!

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And once the filming is done ... well, I'm not quite sure what the actor is doing to his sword...

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They look to be a promising bunch of troublemakers, don't you think? :)

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I'm particularly keen to see how Gawain fits into the fold. It would appear as though Bradley and Eoin Macken get along rather nicely indeed.

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And, it looks like they know how to have fun. I suspect Arthur rather enjoys training these days with this bunch around!

Speaking of training, Andreas was around all day Wednesday.

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Here he is, motivating the boys.

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But here's Bradley, also acting as Swordmaster (deservedly so -- the boy has become *good*).

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However, Andreas was not so much impressed with Bradley's turn as SwordMaster (after all, union jobs are union jobs ;). [Obviously joking -- but the look on Andreas' face -- priceless].

As for priceless faces...

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Bradley's not quite sure what's going on here... if it's a proposal, he's already taken...

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Not a proposal. A handshake! He can deal with this!!

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And after all that stress, a man needs some quiet time...

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... and then off into the heart of the castle he goes.

And as Bradley, heads off, Colin enters the scene.

Now, they were filming in the green area between the castle gate and the castle entrance itself--it was all part of a tournament scene. Ergo, we weren't allowed close to the filming itself. However, loreley_se didn't waste too much time climbing up a nearby hill. I followed shortly and we ended up with this fabulous view.

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This is how far away we actually were. As you'll see from the rest of the photos, we thank the camera gods. :)

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Oh Colin -- you were looking particularly adorable -- even if you were cold and rubbing your hands together all the time. [And he wasn't the only one who was cold...brrrr on that hill.]

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This is my favourite picture of Colin and Richard. Oh Colin ... you really were adorable this week.

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As for favourite pics, I have no idea what Richard is doing, but just look at his hands and his face. Hee!!!

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Absent his Gauis costume, he's rocking the shades and the headband :).

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This fine young lad is the mystery figure. He's been filmed a lot -- both by himself and with others. He was wounded at time with both Gauis and Merlin clucking over him. Time will tell who this mysterious brunette turns out to be....

As for the following: just check out the sequence of photos.

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What *is* Colin looking at?!? Regardless, his expressions are fabulous.

And speaking of fabulous, when Colin is burning off excess energy right before a shoot, he and Bradley seem to share the same desire--jump.

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As for the rest of the cast, we saw Tony walk by but it was pouring buckets so the cameras stayed undercover. Emilia Fox was also there (and yes, quite obviously pregnant in real life). And we did see Katie walk by ...

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... we suspect the scene she was filming might have involved the main cast at night in their sleep clothes. But at the end of the day, 'tis all speculation.

All in all a successful couple of days :).
 
 
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
 
 
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( 75 comments — Leave a comment )
gealach rós ッ: BJ & CM in syncgealach_ros on September 10th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
Weeee, great, great pics and good to hear you had such a lovely time in Pierrefonds! ♥

BEANIE!RUPERT = LOOOOOOOOVE!!! And Gawain looks mighty fine - all the boys look like they're having the time of their life, especially Bradley! *g*

Thank you so much for sharing the pretty! :D

ETA: btw, Big Tall Guy with Arms's Tom Hopper, Bradley mentioned him in the One Show interview yesterday. He also played Jeff in the first episode of Doctor Who series 5. :D

Edited at 2010-09-10 01:03 pm (UTC)
bigtitchbigtitch on September 10th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
Snap! re the Tom Hopper info! :D
(no subject) - jhava on September 10th, 2010 01:45 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - bigtitch on September 10th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jhava on September 10th, 2010 01:43 pm (UTC) (Expand)
loreley_se: Arthur Blindfold 1loreley_se on September 10th, 2010 12:58 pm (UTC)
Heh! You beat me by 5 minutes or so ;-)
Jhava: Merlin_bradley_shadesjhava on September 10th, 2010 01:47 pm (UTC)
If that ... probably more like seconds :) What a fabulous week though.
side pocket for a toadkewen on September 10th, 2010 01:05 pm (UTC)
Great photos :D
Jhava: Merlin_colin_intense_beardjhava on September 10th, 2010 01:48 pm (UTC)
Thank you very, very much!!! I'm glad you enjoyed them!
bigtitchbigtitch on September 10th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
From Bradley's appearance on the One Show, I deduct that Big Tall Guy with Arms is Tom Hopper. And very pretty he looks too. In fact, I think he was the pretty-boy 'boyfriend' of Amy in the first DW ep.


Great pics, btw. With all the publicity that was on in the UK for the show, I was worrying that you wouldn't see any of the actors!
Jhava: TW_tosh glow happyjhava on September 10th, 2010 01:52 pm (UTC)
You are correct indeed -- from what I can tell. We haz Tom Hopper as part of the Camelot crew. No complaints with that :)

And thank you -- we were getting worried about who we might see. But it all worked out! ::does the happy fangirl dance::
Sarah: Colin/Bradleymorganmuffle on September 10th, 2010 01:10 pm (UTC)
IDK if you've worked this out already but Big Tall Guy With Arms is Tom Hopper I'm pretty sure. He was in Doctor Who (as Jeff) and in the film Tormented (with Alex Pettyfer which is more why I recognise him *coughs*)

Great pictures!
Jhava: Merlin_bradley_smilingjhava on September 10th, 2010 01:55 pm (UTC)
I've worked it out now -- thanks to my Flist :). And I had no idea. None.

At the end of the day, what a great casting choice!

And thank you for the lovely words about the pics!!

(no subject) - morganmuffle on September 10th, 2010 02:00 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jhava on September 10th, 2010 02:09 pm (UTC) (Expand)
Debris K.: Bradley by yavannaukdebris_k on September 10th, 2010 01:11 pm (UTC)
Fabulous pics! Thank you for sharing them!
Jhava: Merlin_bradley_smilingjhava on September 10th, 2010 02:12 pm (UTC)
You are very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed them!
lamardeuse: Merlin/Arthurlamardeuse on September 10th, 2010 01:12 pm (UTC)
Yay! Thanks so much for the great shots! :)
Jhava: Merlin_togetherjhava on September 10th, 2010 02:14 pm (UTC)
Thank you! I wish the boys had been together, but, you take what you can get ... :) And imagine all the rest :D.
lippy kid: [merlin] fuck yeah it's sir leonsophieisgod on September 10th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
Thanks for sharing!

As to the ~mystery guest star~ - he looks a lot like Harry Melling (AKA Dudley Dursley!). Intriguing!
Rossella: HP - best of times ♥sallyna_smile on September 10th, 2010 01:50 pm (UTC)
I think he actually is!!
(no subject) - jhava on September 10th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
(no subject) - jhava on September 10th, 2010 02:15 pm (UTC) (Expand)
mstailmstail on September 10th, 2010 01:22 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure - but mystery guy looks a lot like the actor who does Dudley in the Harry Potter movies! IMDB says nothing so far, but he really does like him.

As for the photos and set reports......

I could not BE anymore jealous of you. God. Wonderful shots, and, well, god, I want your life :(
Jhava: GEN_Marcus_wowzajhava on September 10th, 2010 03:35 pm (UTC)
In terms of mystery guy, I defer to all of you :). You know much more than I do.

As for the photos and set report, thank you!! As for my life, nah, you really don't want it. A weekend is manageable -- more than it is ....
selannia: Merlin Magicselannia on September 10th, 2010 03:09 pm (UTC)
Pretty! Sorry it was so rainy.

I keep thinking that a spy-type directional microphone would be perfect for you.
Jhava: Merlin_bradley_shadesjhava on September 11th, 2010 05:49 pm (UTC)
Thank you! As for the rain -- ::shrugs:: That's life. We've lucked out on previous visits, so I can't complain too much.

And yes, I think a microphone along the lines you've described would be perfect. Absolutely perfect :).
kinseymill on September 10th, 2010 03:31 pm (UTC)
Amazing pictures, thank you so much for sharing! :D
Jhava: Merlin_singing boysjhava on September 11th, 2010 05:50 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And my pleasure :).
Ella Baneella_bane on September 10th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
Aww, such lovely pictures! Thank you so much for sharing them. <3
Jhava: Merlin_arthur_flirtjhava on September 11th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! Watching the filming is always such an incredible experience. Well worth the visit. And the castle is utterly amazing. Utterly.
starlollie: suckstarlollie on September 10th, 2010 04:07 pm (UTC)
wow these are so cool.
Jhavajhava on September 11th, 2010 05:53 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed them :D.
brunettepetbrunettepet on September 10th, 2010 04:17 pm (UTC)
Great pics and I thoroughly enjoyed your narrative.
Jhava: Merlin_future kingjhava on September 11th, 2010 05:55 pm (UTC)
Thank you! It takes a little bit of extra time to put together the narrative, but it brings back great memories while I'm doing it. I'm glad you enjoyed it!
H. Elizabeth: blackbirdwhit_merule on September 10th, 2010 04:49 pm (UTC)
According to http://merlin.wikia.com/wiki/Season_3 rumour (and I'm not sure how official that is): Tom Hopper = Lord Percival and, indeed, Eoin Macken = Sir Gawain. I wonder why Percival is a lord?

Also - hooray for a not-dead Leon.
Jhavajhava on September 11th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC)
If Tom Hopper is Lord Percival, that would be fabulous. The Knights of the Round Table finally starting to collect!

And yes -- huge hoorays for Leon not being dead :D.
(Deleted comment)
Jhava: Merlin_boysjhava on September 11th, 2010 05:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you!!! Good camera, great subject material -- it's always a win/win situation :).
stephe09stephe09 on September 10th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
LOVE the pictures of them waiting to get picked up! It's fun to see 'real life' picturs!!

&& <333 Rupert & his beanie!! Hahaha
Jhava: Merlin_singing boysjhava on September 11th, 2010 06:00 pm (UTC)
We just lucked out when it came to the pics of them waiting around. But it's lovely to see how much fun they all have together!

And yes, Rupert and his beanie are a mighty pairing ;).
anya2112anya2112 on September 10th, 2010 05:54 pm (UTC)
Great pics! Thanks for sharing!

Gawain/Eoin Macken....YUMMO!!!!!!! Looking forward to his performance.
Jhava: Merlin_arthur_flirtjhava on September 11th, 2010 06:01 pm (UTC)
Thank you m'dear!

And yes -- I think many of us are looking forward to Gawain. Yummy indeed!!!!!
Lilondinensa on September 10th, 2010 06:36 pm (UTC)
Lovely pics, better than mine I'm sure but will attempt to find camera cable at some point over the weekend so I can check ;)
stephe09stephe09 on September 10th, 2010 07:43 pm (UTC)
yay, more pictures!! LOL
(no subject) - jhava on September 11th, 2010 06:02 pm (UTC) (Expand)
pat_sanpat_san on September 10th, 2010 07:06 pm (UTC)
Beautiful report. Thanks so much for sharing your photos ^__-
Jhavajhava on September 11th, 2010 06:04 pm (UTC)
You're very welcome! I'm glad you enjoyed the photos and the report -- it always takes a little bit of extra time but I do like to add some commentary to my images. ::beams::
Looking at the Stars: m_bradley_messyrebeccama on September 10th, 2010 07:36 pm (UTC)
Those are excellent pictures. Thank you for sharing them. It does look like Bradley is doing really well with the battle scenes.
Jhava: Merlin_bradley_shadesjhava on September 11th, 2010 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And yes -- Bradley is amazing with the fight scenes these days. Over the course of the past three years, he's acquired an incredible skill set. He's literally doing nearly all of his own fight scenes; kudos to him!!
zephyr_fuujin: Merlinzephyr_fuujin on September 10th, 2010 10:32 pm (UTC)
Awesome report! I love your pictures~
I friended you, I hope you don't mind...
Tomorrow is the big day!! I can't wait to watch the first episode!!
Jhavajhava on September 11th, 2010 06:10 pm (UTC)
Thank you! And I'm really happy you liked the pictures!! The boys in particular are just ridiculously photogenic :D.

And no -- friend away. Thank you!!

As for the airing of the first episode -- less than 15 minutes here in the UK now. Yay!!
I MUST: Merlin --> Blue Eyed Merlinsabriel75 on September 10th, 2010 10:55 pm (UTC)
Brilliant photos!

Thanks so much for sharing.
Jhava: Merlin_colin_um yes as Merlinjhava on September 11th, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
Thank you so very much!! And more than happy to share with fandom :D.
visionsbeyond: King Cendredvisionsbeyond on September 11th, 2010 04:29 am (UTC)
Wow seems like you had an amazing time in France! Thanks for sharing these lovely lovely pics !:D
Jhavajhava on September 11th, 2010 06:13 pm (UTC)
It was a great couple of days -- no question about it :). Going to see filming is always risky -- you might see nothing, or you might be treated to hours in public places where you can take photos.

But at the end of the day, the castle is stunning and I can think of far worse places to be than France in early September :).

And 'tis a pleasure to share with fandom! Thanks for the lovely words.
Babydracky: Merlin_WatchMebabydracky on September 11th, 2010 09:09 am (UTC)
Really really nice pictures!
Thank you so much for sharing!♥♥♥
(Oh... Who is that guy with short hair? He is really good looking! ;) )
Jhava: Merlin_twosidesjhava on September 11th, 2010 06:15 pm (UTC)
Thank you m'dear!!! And it's a pleasure to share--isn't that what fandom is all about?

As for the guy with the short hair, according to my flist, he's Tom Hopper. And he might be Percival. Might be. Regardless, he was good fun indeed :D.
(no subject) - babydracky on September 14th, 2010 10:12 am (UTC) (Expand)
( 75 comments — Leave a comment )
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