27 March 2011

Lights... Camera... Action!

On Saturday CJ’s shoot as the Stunt jump rider for the Irish production, Camelot, took place!  All the practice, anticipation and excitement finally came together! 

Josua, Heidi-Mari and Christo left by 6h00 on Saturday morning to make sure they didn’t miss out on any of the action!  But as they waited at the base camp, while CJ got dressed, some manager approached Christo and informed him that nobody approved their presence on set, so unfortunately they were not allowed on set.  Christo tried to talk to him and persuade him to ask the director if they couldn’t just be at the perimeter of the scenes, but he was adamant that the director don’t want to give permission!  
You can imagine the disappointment and heart ache of my two children and Christo too!  They called to tell me as they left the set, after dropping CJ off. All I could do was fervently call out to the Lord to intervene!  As I got into prayer I submitted our circumstances to the Lord, knowing it could be from the Lord for a reason, but I begged the Lord, if it was not from Him to prevent them from experiencing an amazing day with our son on the movie set, that He will please make a way!  An hour later I got a text message from Christo.  CJ went to the Props Manager and asked him permission to allow his Dad, brother and sister and without hesitation, he said YES!  

As I read the message I burst out in praises to the Almighty God we serve. I thank the Lord for my son’s courage who went and asked permission for his family to be on set and I thank the Lord for the kindness of the Props Manager to allow them on the set.
The enemy clearly wanted to prevent a very special day, but our God is the King of the Universe and He has power over all!!  The person that tried and prevent them to go on set, was the only unkind person the whole day.  The people were all so friendly and accommodating, also during Josua, Michael and my own presence on the set Wednesday and Thursday!

Half an hour later Christo, Heidi-Mari and Josua were on set!  CJ was scheduled right after lunch at 13h00, for the stunt horse jumping scene for the character “Kay”. 
The base camp was 1.5 km from the set.  There were wardrobe, make-up and hair trailers as well as caravans for some of the cast to stay in.  

CJ in the make-up and hair trailer, for his wig. CJ’s scene is mainly a special effect of the character “Kay” and his horse jumping over the very dooming fence.  Because they didn’t film his face, they didn’t need to put on a mustache and beard to match him with the main character “Kay”. 

For the scene, CJ and the other stunt jump rider for the character “Gawain”, along with foot soldiers, invaded the ‘village’ where “Arthur” has being held captive, to rescue him.  CJ’s jump is all about the special effect of the hose jumping over the fence.  A camera has been placed right underneath the jump where CJ’s horse landed.  

They dug a hole underneath the fence and put half of the camera in the ground, then the cameramen laid on the ground to do the filming! This automatically complicated the jump even more.  Jumping the fence was scary enough for the horse, then having all these people just behind the fence, and the jump is a total different jump than the one practiced on!  Thus the horse refused the jump for the rehearsal!

Twice the horse refused, the third time again, then slipped on the long grass and fell.  CJ didn’t fall, he only glided off the horse, but his leg got caught in the stirrup. 

After a few practices they got the horse over the jump!  CJ only needed to do the scene twice.

The special effect created was amazing.  Since the movie is originally by Irish, they needed to create the misty conditions of Ireland.  

They had smoke machines and then they waved the smoke so it created the effect of gusts of mist.

Isn’t it amazing!  We will now look at movies from a total new perspective, try to look out for the special effects created.
After CJ jumped over the fence and landed inside the village, his scene stopped.

Now the real “Kay” got on the horse.

In the mean time the other Stunt jump rider did the scene of “Gawain” jumping the fence. 

His scene asked for a some fighting with the village people too.

And there were more scenes of warriors who invaded the village with Kay and Gawain.

The real “Kay” also got involved in some fighting with the village people on the horse, after CJ jumped over the fence.  Then the real “Kay’s” scene stopped and another stunt rider got on the horse.  

Here they did some last finishing touches to the second stunt rider’s make-up.  For this scene the stunt rider had to fall from a rearing horse and his profile was filmed too, so he needed to look very much to the real “Kay”.
He got on the horse, fought with some of the village people and then fell from the horse when the horse reared!  

Michelle has a special horse just for rearing scenes!

The real actor of “Gawain” wanted no stunt for the scene of fighting on the horse and then getting pulled from his horse.

This was so exiting to see, since we saw them practicing this scene numerous times on Thursday!  

Pulling off the horse and landing on a mattress. 

He also landed on the mattress while filming.

I had no idea in how much detail they practiced every single movement.  When I say every single movement I mean every movement!  

This whole day’s filming will eventually be about 2minutes of the total movie/episode! Makes you appreciate a 50 minute MacGyver episode or 2 hour Nanny McFee movie, much, much more!   This evening we watched a MacGyver episode involving MacGyver  rescuing a horse.  We literally analyzed every frame of the episode.  So much fun!!

Michelle Mazurkiewics with her four very well trained horses, Saturday afternoon after filming stopped!  She is a true inspiration with her horses and we rejoice in her asking CJ to worked with them over these four days!  Thank you Michelle!
But most of all we rejoice in the Lord for his grace and blessings on us!  Thank you Lord for protecting my son and giving all of us such a great time!
"I will bless the Lord at all times;
His praise shall continually be in my mouth."
Ps. 34:1

With Love

PS. June 29th 2011 - Tonight Christo and I watched the episode of Camelot, in which CJ was the Stunt Rider!  A friend taped it from BBC. It is amazing to see the scenes, shot here in South Africa and the 2 seconds CJ jumped over the fence. BUT I will not recommend anyone to try and watch the movie. It is NOT for children under 18. It is VLS and full of sorcery.

24 March 2011

Day Two on Set!

This morning while Josua, Michael and myself, were on our way to the movie set, my sister from Bloemfontein called to ask how I was doing.  How great is our God!  He just blessed me and kept me close to His heart the past few days!  He knows me inside out and knew exactly what I needed to keep me going while working through the emotional pain and physical loss. He even sent entertainment across my path, more than I had in months, which moved my focus to nice things.  I still have to blog about my Andre Rieu weekend experience!
Today was the second day on the Camelot movie set at Cape point, where CJ perform as a Stunt Jump Rider for one of the main characters.  We enjoyed it even more than yesterday!  

The main focus of the day was to get the horses over the very dooming fence.

From the start the horses refused to get over the fence.

They tried several times, with no success. 

In the mean time I was quietly praying and asking Christo to pray too, to make a way and keep the riders safe!  The woman in charge of the horses, Michelle Mazurkiewics, is clearly in the supply of stunt horses for years! She sure knows her horses and how to handle them.  
They decided to strip the total fence and while building it up, piece by piece, made the horses get used to the fence. 

Within 30minutes the horses were jumping the fence, without knowing they initially refused the exact same fence!

They also need to adjust the horse costumes, to make it safer for the horses to jump the fence.  

That took about 2hours!  

CJ have to jump with a Western saddle, and it also needed some adjustments.

During the early afternoon multiple trucks arrived with filming equipment, to Josua’s excitement.  

We walked on the set while they put everything up and got to see how they assembled the tracks on which the camera man and his camera are pushed during filming.

In the meantime the crew were practicing fencing everywhere you looked!

Josua couldn’t stop admiring all the swords, bows and arrows!

Little Michael was angel. 

He enjoyed all the fresh air, attention, horses, entertainment and a nap, while in the Ergo on my back.

Tomorrow is shooting day 1!  They are not sure on if their stunt jump scenes will be filmed on day one of two, but Christo will be there to try and take video clips.

Heidi-Mari is going with tomorrow, while Danika and I will stay at home with the four little boys.  Heidi-Mari looked so well after her brothers and sister over the past two days.  Tonight she prepared us pasta and even surprised us with sago pudding!  
“The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make His face shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26

With love

23 March 2011

CJ the Stunt Rider!

Today, CJ, Josua, little Michael and I, spent the most exciting day on a Camelot/King Arthur movie set at Cape Point.  CJ was asked to be the Stunt Jump Rider for one of the main characters of the production!  What an experience to be behind the scenes.  Tomorrow we will be back on set, for another day of rehearsal. Shooting is scheduled for Friday and Saturday! 

CJ dressed in his costume and a wig.  No make-up yet!

The horse with her costume.  It turned out this costume was to heavy for the horse to jump with.

Josua had a ball. He is my people-orientated-fun child!  He loved watching the Sword-stunt-rehearsals.

One of the crew members fencing with Josua! Everyone was so helpful and friendly!

The fence CJ has to jump over!

Making movies is hard work! CJ and his fellow stunt riders.

We were amazed at the construction of the production set! 

At the home front, Heidi-Mari took care of her three brothers and Danika, stimulating them and preparing us the most delicious dinner!  

Isn't the home schooling lifestyle amazing!
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