Filming the Middle Ages


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The item Filming the Middle Ages, Bettina Bildhauer represents a specific, individual, material embodiment of a distinct intellectual or artistic creation found in Colby College Libraries. This item is available to borrow from 1 library branch. Creator Bildhauer, Bettina. Language eng. Publication London, Reaktion Books, Extent pages. Isbn The birth of the leader from the collective : Condottieri, Luther, Alexander Nevsky ; The nation's lost past : Nibelungen films, , , ; Animation and the human between animal and cyborg : Jester Till, Beowulf, The adventures of Prince Ahmed -- Films reliance on medievalism : a conclusion Control code Dimensions 24 cm Extent pages Isbn Media category unmediated Media MARC source rdamedia Media type code n Other physical details illustrations.

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Subject Middle Ages in motion pictures. Library Locations Map Details. Miller Library Borrow it.

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Executions and Torture. Middle Ages. Scary machine for torture. documentary

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Films Set in the Middle Ages: Between Cliché and Reality

And for further inspiration, one of its wings houses a medieval torture museum, which preserves some of the instruments of torture that were used by its medieval rulers. Hi Mr. Could you tell us a little bit about this project? It's a period that is usually glossed over in history books, if it's addressed at all, yet it contains some of the most compelling characters and events in world history. And this period, perhaps more than any other, really shaped the course of modern Europe and through it, the world.

We had a total of about actors and 70 horses that participated. Our locations were mainly medieval structures and sites in the area of the capital, Vilnius. We shot it over the course of five weeks. Were there any aspects of this project that you found particularly appealing? In terms of content, there are a couple themes that are particularly thrilling.

The increasing power of the Catholic Church, which filled the void left by the defunct Roman Empire , is one. The Empress Theodora, a burlesque dancer who essentially slept her way from poverty to the height of power, is another. This one was as bad if not worse than the Black Plague of the 14th century. The rise of the Muslims as a military power and their efforts to invade Europe.

Charlemagne as the most illuminating figure of the Dark Ages. The Viking "terrorist" attacks that left the continent in perpetual fear. There's so much "juice" here.


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On a personal level, the chance to direct a film on this scale, and to work with such a supportive and professional crew was a thrill. One of the challenges of making a film like this is the dual goal of researching the facts then showing these facts by filming realistic scenes. What kind of challenges did this blending bring up for you?

This challenge comes into play most in the art direction and casting of the film. Choosing accurate costumes, props, locations, and actors required meticulous research. I worked with a great art director, Lina Geciene, and costume designer, Rasa Taujanskiene, who consulted hundreds of paintings and drawings from the period to inspire their designs.


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They were very dedicated to accuracy. In fact, at several points when I wanted to stray from the historical record, they didn't hesitate to take me to task and keep me honest. Another challenge was that because this is a fairly "Dark" period of history, research on the "details" wasn't always available. I wanted each scene to reflect the spirit of the true events and characters, and that often required reading between the lines of our available research sources - period writings, modern scholarly accounts, etc. You cover a year period and that means a lot of different types of people, weapons, armor, and landscape.

You show us Barbarians, Vikings, Romans, Knights and many more characters from this period. What kinds of challenges did this spanning of time present to you as a director? Having such a variance of characters and ages required a very diverse set of locations that evoked different time periods and places. Luckily, Vilnius and its surroundings contain architecture spanning from medieval times to the present, and had a good diversity of both exterior and interior locations, so we could avoid repetition of settings.

Also, the weapons and armor changed across time periods and armies, and luckily we had a whole warehouse full of weapons available to us. Many had been used on prior productions, some where made exclusively for this one. Lithuania is a busy filmmaking center, and specializes in these types of historical recreations. So they had the resources and know how to supply us with the different types of weaponry we needed.

A Medieval Castle in the History Channel Dark Ages Film

Same with costumes. Many were available in Lithuania , and some others were shipped in from a studio in Prague. The film was shot in a lot of different locations. Were there any particular locations, or maybe castles, that made a real impression on you?

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Trakai Castle is the major Lithuanian landmark. When Making The Dark Ages you used a wide variety of weapons, armor costumes and all sorts of realistic things that we see in the film. How are these resources gathered?

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Filming the Middle Ages Filming the Middle Ages
Filming the Middle Ages Filming the Middle Ages
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