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by Henry Burrows

The Chase Is On

Location: Near Alton, Hampshire
Bodies present: Ian Lindsay, Sue Element, David Randell, Henry Burrows, Mark Stalker, Mike Varty

Foil Man runs through the woods
For various technical and logistical reasons we were unable to proceed with the battle scenes we had previously planned for today. Instead we decided to make a start on the chase scenes, where Foil Man pursues Laura and Jimmy into the woods as they hunt for the only thing that can save them from the alien threat... The weather forecast for today was not good, apparently there would be thundery showers throughout the day, some of them heavy. Would this cause problems, with us a good twenty minute walk from the cars? We made the decision to go ahead anyway.

Foil Man in hot pursuit
The first shots were of Jimmy and Laura running through the trees, heading for Hangman's Ridge. An old plastic bag came in handy for the ground level shots - with the camera inside and a hole in it for the lens to poke out of, it's possible to get relatively smooth moving shots by just running alongside the actors, carrying the bag. This same technique was used back on Saturday Night Zombies. We got as many shots as we could that featured just the two students, then Dave got suited up for the shots that included Foil Man.

Foil Man charges at the unsuspecting Jimmy
The problem, as usual, with the Foil Man costume, was that Dave couldn't see much once his glowing red eyes were activated. And the ground was covered in dead branches and old tree stumps - a challenging obstacle course for running normally, let alone with limited vision. The number of times Dave collided with trees or tripped and fell meant that he was covered in bruises by the end of the day, yet still somehow cheerful. We got a couple of his falls on tape so one may end up in the final cut.

Behind the scenes, Mark was on sound duties and later in the day, when he turned up, Mike was on clapperboard. When he wasn't needed for Foil Man, Dave was either on clapperboard or running around like a madman, throwing dead branches at trees...

We had a good mixture of action and dialogue today, both of which have their separate challenges. The action takes time to plan out and the dialogue takes time to rehearse, so we didn't race through the scenes, but we made decent progress and achieved more than we had set out to do. My favourite shot was one of Jimmy smashing Foil Man over the head with a sturdy branch; Ian timed it perfectly so it looked like it genuinely was bouncing off the head, whereas in reality it was about a foot behind. When we packed up and left at 6:30pm we had been out for eight hours, with just a break for lunch. We were exhausted - but the chase scenes were almost complete.

Jimmy once again finds himself captured

Oh, and the weather forecast was wrong. It didn't rain. We had sunshine!

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