Sunday, 7 August 2011

Then came the flying machine...

The Flyer is an important character in the film, and it's been fascinating to see John Merry's original designs transform into the 20ft beast currently being dressed on the Main Stage. The designs have also played a crucial role in visualising the film, we have shown them to Manuel Puro, our Casting Director to pass onto potential cast, to Pinewood and Shepperton when we were pitching for a stage, and to our SFX providers, so that they can see we mean business!

Here are John's original designs:
Copyright John Merry 2011
John's original image for the flyer - way back when the film was called 'The Fraud and the Flying Machine'
Copyright John Merry 2011 
Copyright John Merry 2011
Copyright John Merry 2011
Copyright John Merry 2011
Copyright John Merry 2011
Copyright John Merry 2011

John Moolenschot, Construction Manager and Director of Cineco, very kindly took on the responsibility of realising John Merry's designs. 

Since the Flyer will have to endure some fairly heavy handling during the shoot, John felt that a metal frame was crucial in making sure it survived! It'll be dragged across rocky outcrops, crashed upside-down in hawthorn bushes and waggled around with poles against a green screen to simulate flying. It is meant to look like it's been assembled from found objects that Gideon, our main character, has found over it's lifetime. Gideon has then added to his original 'design' over the years after various flight attempts.

Here are the images of the Flyer's construction in the Cineco workshop:

John proudly adds the front speedboat seat and bamboo tail to his steel structure.

John Moolenschot at work on the wings

The two John's test the Flyer's comfort!
Not sure about those wheels yet...

Foraging throws up an old Mini seat, perfect for the back seat!
The first glimpse of the new wings!


After 6 weeks at the Cineco Studio, the Flyer was finally ready to be transported, (in pieces via Luton) to the NFTS on 26th July! It was a greeted by a team of extremely excitable NFTS students and crew! 

Louisa Thomas, our long suffering Costume Designer, had been roped into sew carrier bags together to make the wings, and we couldn't wait to offer them up to see how they look!

Jamie, Esteban, Cat, John and Louisa brace the wings and move them into position!

John is super chuffed that the first piece in his design is ready! I told him not to get too complacent before he's built the cottage...
Jamie inspects Louisa's craftsmanship

Ian Seller, NFTS Directing Tutor, is coerced into having a go in Gideon's seat
Louisa and John debate over the translucency of the wing coverings 
The Flyer :)

Catherine Harris, our SFX supervisor has the unenviable task of building an exact miniature replica of the Flyer for the miniatures, so she was busy taking measurements and photographs in order to amend her structure. She has used the same techniques for her miniature for the most part, and can be found welding annoyingly small bits of brass together at the back of school most days!

More Flyer news to come!