The Ark

Back in the summer of 2014, I was asked to join a BBC drama filming in the desert in Morocco, with the task of producing all the 'Specials' over the course of a couple of days.
Sounds great - yup, I'm up for that. Great cast, great location-now all I had to do was ge the panning sorted.

Arriving in the middle of the night, I dragged my bags down to my room with a porter, which was set way back from the main hotel. Keys in, I slumped into the darkened space, throwing my bag onto the floor. Now, when the local porter yelps, you can be reassured that it is ok to join in: My room was covered in ants. Covered. So, being British, I said 'thank you' to my helper and turned to make the best of it. Cut to 5 mins later and I m at the desk asking for help as ants overrun my bags, and I switch rooms.

The following day, and I am out in the searing heat. This was a great shoot all round, despite the lack of location power and the occasional 'mistral' windstorms which played havoc with my kit.

Infact, my abiding memory will be the actress Joanne Whalley looking at me anxiously and insisting that I see a medic for my eye, which has swollen like a toad now that the sun cream has drizzled into it and mixed with the sand and sweat.

They had planned to shoot the building of the Ark in reverse-start the scenes with it finished and then gradually disassemble it so it appears to be progressing. Otherwise you'd have to wait every day whilst the team added on another layer. The day I left, an enormous water truck was due to arrive to add the flood effects. In 35 degrees, I have no idea where it came from. In television, anything is possible.

The Ark BBC1 30th March 2015.





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