"Today is Saturday, and although the days begin to blown (?) to one another, Saturday evening on the Black Sea meant only one thing: BBC World Service Coverage of English Footie....Catching up with your team to the reassuring voice of the BBC was another of the essential escape that kept us sane..."
Jason Salkey on the Set of Sharpes Gold/Sharpes Battle

Quotation

 

 

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"Rifleman Harris Video Diary No 2" - Film, 2002-- rg/22.April 2006

 

 

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Harris No 2

(about Sharpe's Gold and Sharpe's Battle)

Die Scharfschützen - Blutiges Gold
Die Scharfschützen - Die Wolfsjagd

Richard Sharpe, Major - Sean Bean
Patrick Harper, Sergeant - Daragh O'Malley
Rifleman Harris - Jason Salkey
Rifleman Hagman - John Tams
Rifleman Perkins - Lyndon Davis
Rifleman Cooper - Michael Mears
Rifleman "Tongue" - Paul Trussell

 

 

 

 

 

Due to to its own inner logic, the "Harris Diary No. 2" covers the filming of the last sequences of "Sharpe's Gold" and the first scenes of "Sharpe's Battle".

Harris No 2 starts with saying Goodbye to Simferopol, the Capital City of the Crimea. The Cast and Crew has no idea, that it will be the last time, they had to be in that City for the Shooting of Sharpe. So far, every year since the first "Sharpe" in 1992, Simferopol waited for them.

It must have been one of these things, you look forward to with awe, and since you know you cannot avoid it, you just hope, that it will be better this time - and it is always worse.

Anyway, the city of promise and delight, they will move to, is Yalta at the Black Sea. And the best: They have been promised the end of the water problems! In Yalta, there will be water to drink, wash, shower (hot and cold) and even to flush the toilets!

 

Salkey describes with fine irony, how they handle then the situation, when they finally arrive at the city of promise, and find - all the same water problems they thought, they had left behind... It's actually a small drama, we become part of. And it shows the quality of Jason Salkeys filmmaking, that no matter how often you watch the diaries, you always feel again with the people, who so bravely endure everything, just for the sake of making one more of these d..... Sharpe-Films!

 

The Harris Diaries:

Harris No 1 - covers the filming of Sharpes Gold

Harris No 2 - End of Sharpes Gold, beginning of Sharpes Battle

Harris No 3 - Sharpes Battle - Memorial for a Chosen Man

Harris No 4 - Sharpes Sword - Rifleman Harris shows his love for books


Harris No 5 - Sharpes Regiment and a terrible accident

Harris No 6 - Sharpes Mission


(more to come!)

But no matter, how little water there might be for a few basic human needs - when it comes to filming, the importance of the illusion on the screen beats everything else: They have still to film the scene, where Sharpe and his small group come into a rainstorm and find finally shelter in an abandoned village.

In the middle of the draught, when they couldn'f find water to wash, there is suddenly enough water to create the rain for the storm - and you do need a lot of water for such a scene...

But all in all, "Sharpe's Gold", that strange episode, ins now nearly ready. There is still do be done the "...wild chicken scene", that is the one at the beginning, where the young Rifleman is captured by the Provosts and screams all the time "...but it is only a wild chicken... a wild one...a wild chicken" and he poor beast in the Provosts hands looks as trotten down as the poor Rifleman!

 

Then, we can compare nicely the "making of" of two villains: In the one scene, we see Abel Folks, the actor who plays the creepy "El Casco", and everytime I see him there, starting, like in the film, with these strange birds sounds, I want to run away! This guy gives me the shivers all the time...

In contrast to him, the actor who plays the French soldier "Loup" in "Sharpe's Battle" looks at the beginning quite ordinary, and changes only with the gradual application of his mask into the dangerous, wolf-like creature.

It is funny, then, to watch the last scenes with the deserters ("Sharpe's Gold") who look like old veterans nothing can shock anymore - they will now go home, and they are replaced by the "Real Compagnia Irlandesa", the freshly washed toy soldiers from "Sharpe's Battle". When Salkey says "...ah, new faces..." it sounds to me like "...ah fresh meat...!" and is it only me or do the regulars, that are now in their third season, do not look like Riflemen, but like hungry wolves, silently surrounding the promising prey? ;-)

 

For the filming of Battle, the Cast and Crew change to a new location, that was never before used in a Sharpe Film: The Red Stone Pass. (No wonder, "Battle" looked so fresh to me, when I watched it the first time <g>)

They are filming two scenes and it fascinates me without end, to see, how at the one moment the actors stand relaxed, make jokes, or smoke a cigarette, and in the very next, without more then the word "Action", they change into the characters - and they can repeat this miracle two, three or five times.

In these moments, all difficulties seem forgotten, nothing exists then the World of Sharpe, and suddenly you understand, why all these people endure endless hours of stress, discomfort, boredom and dangers of all kinds: They are part of the miracle, they help creating it, everytime again, and again and again...

 

How to get the Harris Diaries?

Can best be ordered directly from Jason Salkey as Video or DVD from his website www.riflemanharris.co.uk

Jason Salkey put a lot of work and effort into these self-productions, so please, only buy directly from him. He is commenting in all the Diaries with his clear and good understandable "Rifleman Harris" voice.

Actual offer here

Pictures:

Background-Picture: own picture, Picture 1: Screencapture from "Harris Diary No 2" used with friendly permission from Jason Salkey

 

  rg/22. April 2006
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