Saturday 31st March, 2001
- Shooting the vampire lair scenes -

by Henry Burrows

The climactic battle between Fluffy and the Count in our episode takes place in a vampire lair, where the Count has the advantage of having all of his vampires around him, and Fluffy has the advantage of a pointy wooden stake.  Which actually turns out not to be much of an advantage at all, but you'll have to wait for us to finish making it to find out about that!

So, our big challenge for this day's filming was to find a suitable lair to film the scenes in.  Unable to find anything for free, I eventually tracked down a local village hall which we could hire for the entire day, at a cost of one hundred pounds.  Well, we are officially no longer a no-budget production now!

The day started early; the first few of us arrived at about 8:30am, and began setting the place up.  This involved moving chairs, noticeboards, tables, and bright paintings of suns (!) out of the main area - not the sort of objects the vampires would have in their spooky lair!  By the time all our actors had turned up, we were ready to go.

Over 75 shots (and many many hours of filming) later, the lair scenes were complete.  Apart from an hour break for lunch, and another in the evening for some pasta, we had been working pretty much solidly, and the packing up didn't finish until midnight.

Overall, the day was very successful.  Originally these scenes were to be shot on two separate occasions, but because of the trouble involved in getting everyone together, we all decided we'd attempt to get both days done in one go, and the plan paid off.  The only real problem we encountered was the fuses in the lighting which kept blowing at crucial times.  Fortunately, we managed to find replacements and keep enough lights alive to make it to the end!

The following day I played a really cruel April Fool's joke on everyone by sending a message to our mailing list saying the tapes were dodgy, the footage was unusable, and we'd have to do it all again!  Not everyone found it funny...

Rachel, The Count & Lili Sarah on clapperboard
Alex and Fluffy Er, yes, very odd...!