Horsing Around

Musketeers on Horseback

As the main method of transport for any self respecting Musketeer, the noble horse was an important addition to The First Musketeer team.

Duke de Luynes on horseback

But it’s not quite as simple as turning up on set and asking your horses to be patient with the crew while they set up. This is why it was essential for our actors to learn how to ride before embarking on the series.

Fortunately a number of of actors were already expert riders, including Charles Barrett who can regularly be seen in the UK with the stunt riding team Atkinson Action Horses.

The Musketeers find a horse, Athos, Porthos

On our series we were assisted by the very talented team at Centre Equestre du Passe-Temps, who lent us the use of their beautiful horses for the duration of the shoot.

But of course, the horses don’t just stand around all day waiting for us to make a film, they have their own day jobs teaching people how to ride, and taking them out on adventures across the southern French countryside.

If you fancy learning to ride like a Musketeer, there are a number of packages to choose from, whether you’re a beginner who wants to enjoy the views of the Dordogne on horseback, or an expert looking for something a bit more adventurous.

If you’re interested in booking a riding holiday, or in finding out more information, you can contact the centre directly at this address: info@dupassetemps.com

And in the meantime, meet Athos’ horse:

Athos on Horseback

 

Musketeer Combat Weekend

photo

One of the most important elements of creating an action packed adventure series is to actually have some action. So last weekend we assembled our cast for their first weekend of “combat training” with the fantastic ID – Independant Drama fight team to get them trained up in the art of stabbing. Ronin Traynor and Dita Tantang were on hand to teach our actors to fight using rapier and dagger, a task they took to with great enthusiasm. To see more photos from the weekend check out our Flickr page by clicking here.

photo

photo

After a day of fighting our musketeers took to the local pub. Let’s just say that what happens on the combat weekend should stay on the combat weekend, and the following day was met with somewhat less enthusiasm. However we had cause for celebration as we were joined by our newest cast member Toby Lord, the third Scot to join our team. This was the first of many training days for our actors.

toby lord

The importance of authenticity on screen can’t be emphasized enough. When we get to France and begin to shoot the full series the actors will have an enormous task on their hands with all the riding and fighting involved, and obviously their safety is paramount. We have a way to go on the road to The First Musketeer but by September our actors will be throwing swords around without a second thought… if they last that long…

Why Web Series?

Edward Mitchell - Athos The First Musketeer

One of the questions I have been most frequently asked when discussing this project with interested parties is “Why are you making a web series?”. After all, the script is “feature length” so why don’t we just look for funding to make the project into a film?

Well for me the main reason is pretty simple. On the internet, I can do what I like.

There are of course many reasons why the internet has become such an attractive platform for movie makers worldwide, but the primary one is that I get to have complete control over the finished product. There are no producers or financiers, which  as far as the difficulties involved in getting bags of money to make the project isn’t great, but it does mean there is no one telling me when to shoot, how to shoot, what to shoot, and really, there is no better advantage for a Director than that.

Now, the second important reason is this; I live in Britain, just try to get a successful feature film made in this country. I’ve worked for a number of British film companies over the last few years, and I’ve had to sit and watch how difficult it is for a genuinely British film to get made. I’m not saying that in every other country it’s a piece of cake, but the trouble with England is that there seems to be so little available funding, and not enough support to change that fact. We have hundreds of foreign productions traveling to our shores every year, and our technicians are some of the best in the world, but the films made in England/Britain by British crews aren’t really British. And then once a film is made you have the problem with distribution. You are lucky if after all your efforts to get your film completed it all ends in a short run in some of the artier national cinemas. On the web, this is not the case. Obviously getting a bit of money together is the trickiest bit, but once it’s shot and we are ready to have the world see our work, we can quite literally let the world see our work. Once uploaded anyone anywhere with access to the internet can find our project, and viewing figures do really make a difference.

So, for me, the new frontier of the internet wins right now, and I can’t wait to see this new media platform expand throughout my web series experience.

 

Musketeers Assemble!

Pablo Olewski The First Musketeer

After a short break from fooling around with words and swords The First Musketeer is back on the tracks, the first stop being the cast read-through and interviews.

After welcoming actor Ryan Spong to our cast as Aramis we were finally able to get everyone together and hear how the script really works with the actors who now own the parts.

It all went well and after some final adjustments we have settled on a final draft which we hope will both inspire new audiences as well as do justice to fans of the original books by Dumas.

After finishing the read-through we moved onto the Actor’s interviews.

Edward Mitchell The First Musketeer

As the cast was all getting along so well, fight scenes aside, we decided to shoot a group interview and hear everyone’s opinions on the project so far, the results of which can be seen on our YouTube channel –

I hope you enjoy the video, and don’t forget to like our Facebook page for extra photos and info.

Next stop equestrian antics and fun with swords…