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Midlands Spotlight - The Fort - A New Leicester Feature by Doug Cubin

By midlandsmovies, Mar 14 2014 07:56PM

Midlands Movies Mike returns to the first project Midlands Movies ever featured on the Spotlight page and gets an update from Leicester-based movie The Fort and its director Doug Cubin. With another 14 months or so in passing I speak to Doug who gives the site a snapshot from the backstage crew who are currently undertaking on location shooting for the movie.

The Fort continues on its journey to the screen with a recent location shoot at the world famous Shuttleworth Collection which is home to over fifty unique and mostly original airworthy antique aeroplanes. Many of the aircraft are the only surviving airworthy examples of their marque in the world and the collection includes a "Sea Hurricane" which you can see in the picture as the crew set up lights for the shoot (below right).

Doug explains that they are very lucky to have the support from Shuttleworth which has enabled them to shoot what was going to be an optional scene. Doug adds, “Originally in the script I had written the words ".....and if we get a plane, this is what happens.... and if we don’t have a plane then this happens....!" It was great to do this bit of shooting and there is more of it to come. But I don’t want to give any spoilers at this point”.

The Fort’s crew for this scene was made up of G Sian (DoP), Geoff Gilson (Lighting/Special Effects) and Bipin Anand (Camera/Lighting Assist) and Doug told me how it was a very tight location as they were filming with the museum being open. This made for careful and controlled filming and required the smallest crew possible and a very concise shot list. Doug says “There were no extra shots and the filming required some detailed knowledge about the aircraft but fortunately several engineers (who work on the Spitfire and Hurricane) were available to us”. In addition, there was a volunteer who had a great deal of aviation knowledge and Doug explained that the crew came away with quite an education!

Doug and the team had visited the site once before, and in the process took 100s of photos of the plane to help plan that concise shot list and indeed work out exactly what equipment they needed to bring.

All this planning helped the team as they completed filming exactly on schedule - packing up around 3pm with the museum closing at 4pm but not before the crew went to look around some of the other exhibits.

The Fort team show how even a local project can get access to limited locations with a bit of hard work and plenty of planning and the incredible location left them feeling privileged to be there. They stand alongside such Hollywood productions as “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” and Michael Bay’s “Pearl Harbour” as previous productions who have shot there.

So what’s up next for The Fort I ask Doug? “Well, studio shoots are expected next with several major scenes to be shot early next year. A long weekend of filming will also be required in early summer at the actual fort itself near Dover”, reminding me that indeed The Fort is a real place!

Although some way to go yet Doug believes they are moving forwards on schedule and he and his editor have started looking through and contstructing their first cut in the editing suite already.

Follow more updates for The Fort at their Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/FortMovie or contact Doug Cubin direct here cubins@tesco.net

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