Following my previous post of 28th May regarding the making of the short film, ‘Striativus’, which deals with mental illness and loneliness, written by Chantelle Dickson, the whole crew and cast were bursting with excitement to welcome the actor who would play the male leading character, Tristan, and was scheduled to shoot all his scenes yesterday, Saturday 8th June, at our base at the Jeneses Church and Art Centre in Bognor Regis. This was no other than Alexander Vlahos, whom you may have seen on BBC’s Merlin, playing the part of Mordred (he killed King Arthur) and in Versailles, the Franco-Canadian historical fiction show in which he shone as the brother of King Louis XIV, Prince Philippe, Duke of Orléans, which he impersonated with brilliant flair and charisma and, in my opinion, the most endearing character of the whole show.
I had the great honour of meeting him at Barnham Railway Station late on Friday evening in order to drive him to his accommodation for the night at Slindon, a few hundred metres from our current location, but even better was the unexpected privilege of playing alongside him all day yesterday, which proved to be a very exciting and almost surreal day for most of us. Alex proved to be utterly charming and funny, with a gift to make us all feel relaxed and at ease, whilst having a lot of fun into the bargain. His enthusiasm and professionalism were infectious and I know we all (professional actors and amateurs) gave it our very all, heart and soul.
And for the first time in my life, I was made-up and dressed for a film set, for which I was required to age somewhat, walking stick and all! My character is called Winnifred.
And, of course, all these people need to eat and drink at some point, so we had amazing chef and friend (and PJ’s adoptive mother) Clare Ockwell on set to cook for us all and made sure we had plenty to keep us going, serving both cooked breakfast and lunch: a true unsung hero!
Even the local press was interested and the Bognor Regis Post came to write and article and take some photos!
During our lunch break, Alex was entrusted with the task of presenting a belated birthday cake to our main leading lady, Vanessa Mayfield, who plays Kacey, as it had been her birthday on the first day of shooting, which we sadly and shamefully overlooked. Vanessa is a fine actor in her own right and also completely delightful and a wonderful team player.
But, however special and magical that meeting Alex was, I was also very fortunate to meet the other members of the cast that were scheduled for filming yesterday and I ended the day having made more friends with whom I hope we will be working again in future. I fear we may all have caught the acting bug!
And just as before, it wasn’t just the acting members of the show that were vital to the film’s completion, but the crew members working behind the scenes, who are also essential on any project. So here are a few shots behind the scenes of the making of ‘Striativus’. Enjoy! We did!
And after all the excitement of the day, we celebrated with an Indian meal at Cardamon Bay in Bognor Regis and I finally got my selfie with Alex and my wonderful son, who made it all possible. Life doesn’t get any better than this.
With huge gratitude to all the cast and crew of ‘Striativus’: YOU ROCK!