The day I have been waiting for all summer! The filming for the galloping scene in Falcyyr had finaly arrived! It was getting very late in the season (hunting season starts on Sunday!) so we were getting down to the wire. Ahura, aka "Z", (the director) needed some extra time to put together the costumes for our characters that are heading to battle. The costumes turned out beautifully and Ahura and his film crew handmade the amazing armor pieces for the head, arms and legs.
Filming a scene like this takes hours of preparation. The film crew arrived at my house around 10:30 and it took awhile before we were ready to head over to the barn around 1:00. I had bathed Rovandio in the morning while Lydia and Kaylee schooled their two horses to make sure they wouldn't be too hyper. Elisha trailered her horse Thor over to Isaac Royal Farm around 10:00. We had to try on all the costume pieces to find the armor that would work for each one of us. We did our makeup and figured out what would work for our hair. We were each playing stunt doubles for the other actresses so most of the shots would avoid close-ups of our faces. Lydia remembered some wigs that she had used in the Isaac Royal Equestrian Theater for her and Kaylee's characters that have black hair.
I was playing Sinari Diliiza's character as Brunhilda, head of the Valkyrie. She is the main character in the movie. I chose to ride Rovandio because he is more reliable and manageable than Douwe out in the open field, galloping with other horses. He also had to be the leader for the trail scenes and be the first one to pass the cameras. The only problem we encountered was the umbrella over the video camera when it started to rain. Luckily it didn't last long and they were able to put it away because the horses were not keen on cantering towards and past an umbrella!
It was damp and chilly when we took the horses out to the woods and Elisha's horse Thor was quite hyper! He is normally a very lazy horse, but today he was ready to go and not fond of the repetitive walking scenes. We started by walking down the trail past the cameras many, many times so they could film the horses from multiple angles. It was great for the other horses to start out slowly and work our way up to the galloping scene. We did some trotting shots and also cantering up our favorite trail we call "the Pines". This field is on my property and is picturesque with planted pine trees all around the slightly uphill trail. The leaves were covering the ground so it was still beautiful even though the trees were a little sparse from all the rain and wind we had last week.
When we went to the big field we ended up cantering and galloping diagonally across the field on a slight incline. The director, Ahura, had us stay side by side, starting from a halt, then a few steps walk, trot and away we went! The horses were really well behaved, Zeppelin through in a buck on the first gallop but after that they were great. They changed the camera positions a few times while we repeated the same sequence.
After the horses were done with the galloping scene he needed to get close-ups of the real actresses on the horses for their lines. Sinari rode Rovandio and Taus rode Thor. The other two actresses couldn't be there so he was focused mainly on Sinari who is the leader of the Valkyrie. Rovandio liked Sinari and was perfectly behaved. It was interesting to watch the horse's reactions...when Ahura would say, "Action" they would stand perfectly still and almost hold their breath! It only took a few tries to get the scene the way he wanted it.
Unfortunately we ran out of daylight but we were lucky to get all the shots that Ahura needed for the scene. The horses were very patient and seemed content to much on grass in between takes. It was a lot of fun and I think everyone enjoyed it!!!