Big Book Media

We hope you enjoy reading our blog from Big Book Media, we write from our shoots in Morocco where we are currently filming the Gospels. We have been out on three shoots already and the footage is up on our website - We are going on our next shoot shortly so Shoot Four News will be along soon.

In the meantime we have details of what we are doing in the UK between shoots, we have an office in Brighton where the blog comes from when it's not from Ouarzazate - two very different locations!

Thanks for reading.

Big Book Media

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Filming the Gospels

Filming the Gospels
The Team in Ouzarzazate, Morocco

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

Cutting Crew

Hi all, my name is Tim and I am the Editor for Big Book Media.
I have been out on the shoot since last week, I am based in Ouzarzazate and have set up an edit suite in my hotel room. I am been working on the shot footage while the rest of the crew have been down in Tamougalt filming more footage.

When I am with the crew on set my work day starts with chatting with David the Director and Ben the DOP about the best camera angles and cut point options on what we will be filming that day. I then check the grading of the film with Deane the DTI and the wild tracks with Karim our Sound Recordist. I also help hump the camera gear and other set equipment around and have also done a bit of French translation where needed!

Where I have been working on the shot film in my portable edit suite! I have spent my time assembling t
he footage, added some guide music to give an idea of what the final footage will be like once completely edited back in Brighton. The footage is looking REALLY good - the faces and locations have a real authenticity and charm and i think the feel of the cut piece is already startlingly good.
My photos below show our Moroccan Crew (and Katy) in a couple of group shots at the end of a days work. The shot in the back of the truck is 'The Grips' dancing and waving from the back of their truck! The days are so hot and heavy here and everyone is doing a great job working in thi
s intense heat into the evening.

Tomorrow we are going to shoot in the oasis where Jesus is being baptised.

Thanks for reading, Tim.

Tuesday, 28 July 2009

I'd Like a Nice Cup of Tea

Hi, it's Katy here - back from 4 days in Tamougalt shooting our Nativity scenes. Tamougalt is a town and the perfect setting for Bethlehem and Nazareth with really old buildings to shoot in and around. Before I start to describe the last couple of days I wanted to include a picture of the first thing that gets set up on set each day and in many people's minds arguably the most important thing here! It's our Mint Tea!! These urns come on set first thing, everything else gets set up around them and we have at least two cups before getting going for the day, then any breaks we get we fit another couple of cups of tea in and so on. Tea, shoot film, more tea, shoot more film, more tea, shoot more film - you get the picture!!

We have shot scenes here from John the Baptist being beheaded up to the birth of baby Jesus. The scenes with the baby had everyone cooing around the set and the monitors - the actors and baby created a really touching scene. Mary is absolutely beautiful and the scenes where she had to cry were very moving.
In case you are worrying about John's head we had a fix for this, like the fix for the locusts scene, we had a false head made from wax with hair and beard all carefully applied so it looked as realistic as possible, then we chopped that off in the scene so that our John could keep his own head, which I understand he is pretty happy about!

We have been shooting a lot of night shots here, we have a very stubborn donkey that is complaining endlessly and being very lovey - think we need to re think using him for next time and find one with less of an ego!!
Robin our Focus Puller got his bottom butted by our Head Ram - it was a great comedy moment and he took it well though of course probably didn't find it as funny as we did!!
Deane our DTI and
Red Camera guy has been humming the Christmas tune 'Little Donkey' for 4 days now and our Van Driver plays Abba on loop!

Selva our Jesu
s arrives tomorrow so a long day shooting ahead. We have an extra Runner who has arrived to help out called Gemma who is going to help coordating this and we have Amy our original Runner so plenty of hands on deck hopefully.
I have drunk so much Mint Tea, eaten so many Tagines and it is so so hot. Our hotel here has no air conditi
oning and it is over 45 degrees so am looking forward to the hotel back in Ouzarzazate. We are lucky if we have electric here!

I will write about tomorrow's shoot in the next couple of days...

Monday, 27 July 2009

Joe Le Taxi

Hi, my name is Vicky and I am the Production Accountant on the Big Book Media shoot in Morocco. The rest of the team have gone down to Tamougalt to shoot there and I have stayed behind to work on the books, have got plenty to catch up on while it's nice and quiet here.
Charlie the Production Manager rang me today with some jobs to do, It's never quiet for long! I went out with a very helpful taxi driver to run the errands, he spoke no English and very little French so my business French qualification wasn't loads of use for this!! However he was really helpful and went into all the shops with me that I had to go to and helped with the items I needed to get. The roads are really empty here, so it looks fun to drive as there aren't man
y rules! My sun visor needed adjusting at one point so my driver lent over to do it and drove straight over the other side of the road then back again!

Our first
stop on the errands run was Royal Air Maroc where we had to pay for 6 flights for actors who were travelling down for our shoot from Casablanca.

We were then going on to a computer shop to get a lead to connect a PC to a MAC. Neither my taxi driver nor the person at Air Maroc had heard of the shop that we had been told could sell us one of these so Charlie explained over the phone where the shop was to the Air Maroc assistant who translated the information to my taxi driver and we set off!! We still had some trouble finding it but my driver shouted out to all the shops we saw on our way for directions until we finally got there!
One last phone call with Charlie trying to explain to the assistant in the computer shop exactly what we needed and we set off with the lead - hoping it was the right one.
On the way back to Ouzarzazte there was a man in the road who had just dropped a huge watermelon up ahead of us, so we had a man and large red splat of fruit to swerve round which my driver did easily! Then we carried on back to my hotel.

I am staying in a truly lovely hotel called Le Berber Palace in Ouzarzazate
In these pictures you can see the pool lit up at night and the outside of the building - it really was a palace.
My room is a suite with living room so I have the Big Book Media Shoot Office set up there so that Charlie and myself can work on the production admin there.

That's all from me for today.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

The Hair's The Thing

Hi, my name is Liz and I am writing today's blog. I work in the Big Book Media head office in Brighton usually but spent the day up in London today.
I travelled up to go to Connect Hair Extensions in Chalk Farm, London. I met up with our lead actor there, his name is Selva Raslingham and he is playing the part of Jesus on our shoot.
The hair dressers we went to is one that specialises in hair extensions. They have done the hair extensions on stars in many many films including James Bond - Casino Royale, Basic Instinct 2 and Chronicles of Narnia - Prince Caspian.
In this picture you can see the two hair stylists who worked on Selva's hair, it took them 7 hours to put all of the extensions into his hair!
I took Selva some lunch in from the sushi bar next door and then went on a runner mission for the people out on the shoot in Morocco.

I got a message to say they needed an external hard drive for the Stills Photographers apple mac and a couple more SD cards. The hard drive was easy to find - I went to the huge apple store on Oxford Street and then went looking for shop to get the SD cards from, took a while of walking past clothes shop after clothes shop until it dawned on me that John Lewis would sell them. I then took the hard drive and SD cards to a courier who took them to drop off with Trevor one of our consultants on the project who is flying out tomorrow and will take them with him for us.

Once this mission was completed I headed back up the Northern Line to Chalk Farm with some decent quality coffee for Selva and I!
I took this second photo of Selva - he nearly has all of the extensions in at this point - just has 1 hour left to go before he has a full head of shoulder length extensions.
We had a chat about the filming so far on set, he flies tomorrow with a stopover at Casablanca then goes on to Ouzarzazate the day next day.

Finally I paid the bill - not cheap! and got the train home.

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Marzipan Locusts

Hi, Katy the Stills Photographer back again to blog. Today on the shoot it has been a day off for everyone. The establishing shots days are all completed and the shoot itself starts tomorrow. So it's a rare chance to catch up and get some rest in before the shooting starts. There is a really busy pace to every day here but they are great days, there is so much going on, so much to take in and so much to capture on my camera!
This photo is of Charlie our Productio
n Manager with her mobile office - which consists of a large bag, lap top and mobile phone!

The cast has all arrived here no
w and are ready to go. I will be taking photos tomorrow in the make-up department showing them all turning into their characters, transported by costume and oil paint to the first century BC! Our first scene is of John the Baptist eating locusts - this is not as bad as it sounds as we have some life like ones made out of marzipan so it's actually pretty nice!! There will be some live ones on the set too be part of the scene - they won't get eaten!

It has been fascinating working over the last few days around the make-up artists, set dressers and wardrobe team, we are all based at the Atlas Studios in Ouzarzazate. The huge amounts of work and the level of detail that goes into everything here is amazing. I can't wait to see the sets all in place. In the photo to the left you can see a couple of Mike Fowlie's team working away - he is Head of our Art Department. I also can't wait to see our cast tomorrow in costume and made-up - even the camels on the shoot have to be dressed!

As well as
shooting scenes with John the Baptist tomorrow we are also going to shoot a scene with Herod Antipas (played by our George Clooney Khalid) and Salome doing her temptress dance. Can't wait!
anks for reading and that's all for today.

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Establishing Shots

Hi my name is Katy and I am starting off Big Book Media's blog from their shoot in Morocco. I am currently out working for BBM taking the stills photos on their film shoot. The shoot is happening in and around Ouzarzazate, Skoura and Erfoud in Morocco for a production called 'The Bible Project'.

I am out here working with an great team producing beautiful high resolution film footage which is really exciting for me AND I am being driven from shoot site to shoot site by Morocco's answer to George Clooney! Whenever we stop we are treated like royalty by everyone we meet - does it get any better than this!!!!

We are staying in a city called Ouzarzazate, known as the 'door of the desert'. It is the capital of Ouzarzazate Province in the Souss-Massa-Draa of southern-central Morocco, south of the Atlas Mountains. Ouzarzazate is a popular film making location, amongst others - Star Wars (1977), Gladiator (2000) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) were all shot in the Ouzarzazate area.

At the moment it is getting on for the hottest time of the year here so we are shooting first thing in the morning and then later in the afternoon – still amazingly hot but hopefully that will stop us from actually frying out here! It is going to be a good test of the best parts of peoples personality’s to stay cool and calm in this heat!

I hope you enjoy reading this blog and that it gives you a good taste of our shoot.