On this shoot we are filming the Passion - the last week of Jesus' earthly life, from the events of Palm Sunday, through Holy Week, the Last Supper, the Crucifixion to the Resurrection. There's a lot to film and we only have 12 filming days so it's going to be a really busy couple of weeks for everyone on the shoot.
Selva Raslingham our British actor who plays the part of Jesus in our films is going to have a really demanding role this time on this shoot as he will be playing Jesus going through some of the worst experiences a human being can suffer.
I expected it to be cool in Morocco at this time of year, but I am surprised to find that it's really quite cold (especially if you compare the weather to what it was like on our first shoot where we had temperatures of 45 degrees). On this shoot we are all wearing jumpers, overcoats and hats until the sun comes up and warms the day up a bit. Mind you given that it is snowing heavily over most of the UK it is much warmer than that here!
Today we filmed Jesus dragged before Pilate by the chief priests. We started filming early and were on the set by 7.30am. We filmed this scene at the Atlas Studios. Morocco has been a film making destination since the Italians first came here in the 1920s. In Italian cinema the voices and sound effects were added after the shooting so the low costs, great weather and beautiful light made Morocco an idea place to make films. Since then all sorts of sets have been built here and several studios opened. Combine that with the fact that large areas of Morocco have no electricity pylons, satellite dishes and other accoutrements of the modern western world and you have a great place to shoot period dramas. Many Biblical films have been made here as well as films such as 'Gladiator' and 'The Mummy Returns'.
Today's scenes include lots of extras, people for crowds, soldiers, temple guards and priests. They all take quite some controlling and that is the job of the first Assistant Director (1st AD) who shouts the orders for the set to fall silent and for people to take their place.
Now I have a confession to make, I nearly halted shooting today by falling through the set! I was about 30ft above the ground on top of what seemed to be a solid wall, trying to get a good photo with my new camera when the floor gave way and I fell up to my waist in what is the cavity between two walls. I managed to get out and then looked inside the gap and there was a 30ft drop so I had a very lucky escape, I'll have to be more careful in future.
Well that's it from me for today, hope you've enjoyed hearing about our first day on set and I will write again with more shoot news soon. Trevor