Roman Chronicles

 

 

National Geographic Filming

 
 

 

NEWS AND EVENTS OF THE ERMINE STREET GUARD

 
   

 

 
 

 

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Filming with National Geographic. February 2011.

The Guard was contacted in the Autumn of 2010 by film Director Rick King asking if we were able to take part in a programme about the finding of a skeleton of a child at Vindolanda in August 2010.The skeleton, which at first was thought to be a monkey, was found under the floor of a barrack room within the early third century fort. As it was against Roman law to bury anyone within a Roman fort foul play was suspected.

Filming with the Guard was to take place in Gloucestershire and on Hadrian’s Wall on two separate weekends in December 2010. Rick came to England early in December and after a visit to Gloucestershire on his way north approved the location we had found at a farm near Painswick.

The weather became very wintery in Britain with snow, ice and very low temperatures and National Geographic decided to abandon filming in 2010 and reschedule for February 2011.

In late February 35 Guard members and a variety of civilians of all ages gathered at Wick Street Farm, Painswick on a dry but rather cold weekend. Various scenes were shot in the woods, open fields and on the sets we produced in the farm buildings. The scenes included marching, Roman versus Celts battle, Blacksmith’s workshop, Roman market, tavern and burials in a barrack room.

Over the following weekend four days were spent at Vindolanda and Arbeia Roman Fort, South Shields, filming further re-enactment scenes in and around the reconstructions on both sites.

Although extremely hard work the filming was particularly significant for us as, although we had done much filming before, this was the first time that all costumes, props, transport, food, locations and participants in front of camera were organized and provided by ourselves. We were particularly pleased with the market, barrack room, blacksmith shop and tavern scenes we set up on the farm in Gloucestershire, which Director Rick King said, were of a very professional standard.

The finished programme was shown in November 2011 in North America and in January 2012 in Europe and we are very proud of our contribution.


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