Neolithic-looking extras finding work for Stonehenge Empire Film

25 01 2014

It was perhaps the most bizarre request for extras issued in the West for a while – skinny men and women were required who had the look of the Neolithic about them.

Stonehenge, WiltshireThat meant “lean or athletic-framed” men and women who might have been just about fit enough to pull a huge lump of rock from west Wales to Salisbury Plain.

Filming has continued this week on a multi-national new TV series which sets out to be the definitive docu-drama about the building and use of Stonehenge ever made.

The BBC has joined forces with TV channels in the US, Canada, France, Austria, Germany and more to commission Stonehenge Empire, an epic documentary telling the story of the West’s most famous landmark.

And that means as well as discovering the latest from the so far ten-year project investigating the stones, re-enactments of the days when Neolithic people dragged the huge stones to the final spot near Amesbury are included.

So actors and jobbing extras across the West were summoned to be the Neolithic people.

And being in the background requires a certain look.

“They would have been Caucasian and fairly classic looking,” a spokesman for the extras agency said and added “Character faces are also good.”

Females had long hair with a natural tone, while males needed to be either bald, semi-bald with long hair at the back, or have longish hair.

“Beards are also beneficial,” the notice said.

Some actors went further than others in the pursuit of the perfect recreation of the world of the henge builders.  Lee Ravitz, an actor from Hertfordshire, played a “trepanning patient” in the docu-drama – which involved pretending to have a hole drilled in his skull.

The film will be screened over two, one-hour-long episodes and will change the way we look at Stonehenge, according to the creative director from film company October, Adam Bullmore.

“Stonehenge Empire will dramatically change the way we understand Stonehenge and the prehistoric culture that flourished around it,” he said. “Instead of seeing Stonehenge as an extraordinary achievement of an otherwise relatively primitive, prehistoric people, it will reveal Stonehenge as the epicentre of a truly remarkable and highly sophisticated ancient civilisation.”

The BBC are excited by the prospect of the film, which could be screened later this year, and uses CGI to recreate the vast scenes of thousands working on the stones.

Martin Davidson, BBC commissioner, said: “This is a really exciting project which will, using drama, CGI and the latest archaeological discoveries, allow us to properly understand the achievements and character of the people that built it; people who mastered deep mining and sophisticated engineering.”

Tristan Cork: tristan.cork@b-nm.co.uk
Article source from The Western Daily Press: : http://www.westerndailypress.co.uk/Neolithic-looking-extras-finding-work/story-20492638-detail/story.html#ixzz2rO9iDeQj

Stonehenge Empire Film: http://realscreen.com/2013/12/04/wcsfp-13-bbc-cbc-unite-for-stonehenge-copro/

Stonehenge Film links: http://www.stonehenge-avebury.net/Media/Stonehenge&AveburyFilms.html

The Stonehenge News Blog

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