Filming the trailer for Road to London – 1

Posted on by Barbara Mitchelhill



Two weeks ago I went to the studio at Staffordshire University’s film department to watch the studio shoot for my new book Road to London.

I was amazed at the size of the studio, the amount of equipment, the high ceiling with a track around around it to carry remote controlled cameras and the huge windows which could be covered with thick blackout curtains.


We were shooting the part of the book involving the treacherous apothecary and several props were needed – a Tudor candlestick, an ancient book, a mortar for mixing potions.  All of these things had to be made to look old.

I covered a chrome candlestick with black shoe polish so that it would look like pewter when seen through a camera lens.  It took me an hour to produce melted wax to drip down the side of the candle. (I found that modern candles don’t drip wax like candles used to do.)  I made the book look ancient by rubbing the pages with tea bags.  Jay, one of the students, made his own apothecary’s spoon by adding a wooden handle fixed to an old spoon with strips of leather.


The apothecary’s hand had to be made to look old and rather grubby – so this is a photo of the apothecary’s had with the make-up artist!




It was   important to create a sinister atmosphere which meant that the lighting was very important.  It was fascinating  to see the reflectors on the lights that helped to create the mood.


In addition to this, sound was recorded.  I didn’t fully understand why, but I was told that, even is no one is speaking or making any kind of noise, there is always a ambient sound in a room. I look forward to hearing it! The voice-over has already been recorded by an actor so the next step is the outdoor shoot which was postponed last month because of the snow.  It’s all very exciting.

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