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The boat An archer © Christopher Doyle Photography

Film and Media Work

A Breath of the Past into the Breathing Present

The <i>Bear</i> under way  – © Jennifer Peters 2016
The Bear under way – © Jennifer Peters 2016
Making a movie or TV documentary set between the Fall of Rome in the West to the time of King John? Need some Saxons, Vikings or Normans for some film work? We can help you!

Regia Anglorum is actively interested and enthusiastic about working with film and TV Production and can offer you a much wider range of activities than you might expect.

Permanent site

We have built a twenty metre long, oak-framed Longhall at our site in Kent. The only building of its kind built in full scale in the UK, the Longhall dominates the palisaded enclosure in which it sits. It is sixty miles or so from Central London, an easy run down the M2/A2 into northern Kent.

Ships

We have no less than seven replica vessels of various sizes and can recommend a range of locations of which we have experience.

Warriors and Living History

Of course, we have the costumed personnel to bring our site alive or to take part in combatant work (we have our own Fight Director) or sailing our ship replicas for camera. We have well over a hundred pieces of work in Dramadoc over the last twenty five years and an enviable reputation for expertise, timekeeping and friendly professionalism.

Full time contact

Regia Anglorum has a full time officer who is available during normal business hours to converse by phone or email and – if necessary – attend Loc Recces and Pre Production meetings. If you make an initial enquiry, a reply will swiftly follow.

Equipment of a Warrior – © Kyle Smith 2016
Equipment of a Warrior – © Kyle Smith 2016

Props and Set Dressing

Much of our work is based around public shows and educational demonstrations. As such, we consider that authenticity is of the highest importance and are extremely cautious regarding the interpretation of styles depicted in manuscript sources. Our research is meticulous and can be relied upon to stand up to the most robust academic scrutiny – whilst bringing life to ancient things and creating images of the dead past without apparent effort.

Tending a wheatfield  – © Robert Eschle 2017
Tending a wheatfield – © Robert Eschle 2017

The Society has a very large quantity of what might loosely be referred to as "props". Constructed to the highest standards – and from the correct materials – they include large-scale tents, cooking equipment, pole lathes, wall and braid looms, coin-striking equipment, smithying and a wide range of other museum-quality artefacts too numerous to mention. Given enough lead time, we can build working kilns, charcoal clamps and smelters on location.

Erecting period tent replicas and set dressing them as real-time living spaces is a well-honed activity. Most sets on location can be erected in a working day and struck in about the same length of time. Some forty structures are currently available and most productions can be adequately propped and equipped in house. Properties and costume that are the property of the Society or its members are always transported, erected and struck by members of Regia Anglorum.

Costumed personnel are readily available and are people to whom their kit is not costume but just another form of everyday dress. So they are not self-conscious – nor are the costumes new!

Hand-to-Hand Combat

A fast-paced skirmish  – © Mike South 2016
A fast-paced skirmish – © Mike South 2016
A ferocious axeman  – © Mike South 2017
A ferocious axeman – © Mike South 2017

Regia also specialises in combat re-enactment and frequently organises battles that closely follow real action with cutting edge weapons. We understand the difference between a general master shot of a battle and the many cutaways and close ups that are required to be edited together to produce the few moments of screen time that will be both memorable and definitive.

Our experienced fighters can arrange routines and fight sequences that are repeatable for continuity and POV changes whilst not causing a professional fight director to turn their face away in horror! We think safety is important and in the many, many productions with which we've been involved, I cannot remember more than a sprained ankle from running too enthusiastically down the face of a sand dune. Damaged personnel make for expensive retakes.

An archer – Lauren Roberts 2016

Archery

Many members of the Society can shoot and own their own bows. We can arrange specialist trick shooting or SXF fire arrows that will stay alight in flight. This comes from our extensive event experience where it is customary for us to use fire arrows to fire ship burnings in circumstances where pyro back up is not feasible.

We have performed evening features of this kind in York for many years for the Jorvik Viking Centre. Additionally, we have executed them at the Gateshead Garden Festival, off the coasts of Wales, Scotland and Ireland. Operating entirely without SFX or pyro back up, we have never yet failed to set afire any of our twenty-six burnings!

An archer – © Lauren Roberts 2016
An archer – © Lauren Roberts 2016

Equine Input

Horsemen clash  – © Jennifer Peters 2016
Horsemen clash – © Jennifer Peters 2016

Many of our people can ride, trained by Janet Rogers of Film and TV Horses from whom we hire horses on a regular basis. Additionally, we normally have at least one fully equipped warrior on horseback immediately available in-house. All tack and equipment is re-created to the same high standards as all our other artefacts, including a period saddle. We can present horse from post-Roman cavalryman to the Norman knight at the time of Richard the Lionheart and we even have a Saracen horse archer….

Other Animals

By prior arrangement we can provide geese, period dogs breeds and chickens.

Filming for the BBC – © Andreas Dracocardos 2014
Filming for the BBC – © Andreas Dracocardos 2014

Maritime Activities

A viking looks out to sea  – © Mike South 2017
A viking looks out to sea – © Mike South 2017

As we set out to portray the life and times of an island community, one where the movement of goods and people was far easier by sea than by the terrible roads, we have long felt that it would be entirely inappropriate to do so without owning and operating a range of craft. We bought our first vessel in 1991 and have amassed a huge degree of expertise and experience in handling and managing these often recalcitrant open hulled craft.

In the last twenty odd years, our vessels have seen service in all British coastal waters and various lakes and rivers throughout England. They have appeared in a number of films and TV series.

As static exhibits, they have been shown at The Matthew Centre in Bristol, several times at the National Waterways Museum in Gloucester, the Chatham Historic Dockyard, the Yorkshire Museum of Farming, the Kendal Museum and other similar establishments.

We currently have seven vessels in store and we try to keep at least three in commission at all times. They are all stored at our permanent site near Canterbury in Kent. We have two wooden smallcraft, each about twenty feet long. They are visually different from each other, are capable of sailing but more frequently rowed. They often form the basis of our very popular – and award winning – fishing diorama beach scene at events. They are mounted on a double deck road trailer and easily moved around the country.

Next, our largest wooden replica in commission is The Bear, a 32′ (9-10m) generic period vessel in larch on oak. It is an impressive, workable ship replica and again, comes on its own especially-commissioned road trailer. It has appeared in Game of Thrones and Vikings, done promo work in the Pool of London and materially added to several other TV and film presentations. It can be slipped without difficulty and is in frequent use.

The Wolf, The Bear and two GRPs being prepared for filming the BBC Documentary The Last Battle of the Vikings – © Malcolm Butler 2013
The Wolf, The Bear and two GRPs being prepared for filming the BBC Documentary The Last Battle of the Vikings – © Malcolm Butler 2013
One of our GRPs being loaded onto a low-loader for transport – © Kim Siddorn
One of our GRPs being loaded onto a low-loader for transport – © Kim Siddorn

Our largest wooden vessel is The Wolf, a fifty foot hull. It is not in commission, but film-makers may be interested in it as a prop or as the basis for conversion etc. Only half of this ship is accessible, as it is in the process of becoming a permanent boat burial exhibit.

Finally, we have three 47′ (14-15m) “GRP” flotation hulls (the hull shape is based upon the Skuldelev Wreck Three find from Roskilde Fjord) which are remarkably like wooden hulls at short range. One appeared in Outlander, has been larch clad internally and was used on the Tyne in Gateshead for the September 2014 Great North Run celebration. Another is undergoing long-term renovation and alteration. The third could be pressed in to service with some work.

At nearly fifty feet long, they are the biggest vessels of their type in the UK but can only be transported by articulated lorry, something in which we are very experienced.

Therefore, we can offer a total of seven ship and boat replicas, probably the largest fleet of vessels of this kind in private hands in a thousand years!

See the specifics of the Regia fleet
Overview of boats by type
Boat Type Length Beam Suitable for Transportation
Bear Byrding 33′ (11m) 8′ (2.4m) Warship or cargo ship
(8 – 15 crew)
(6 – 10 oarsmen)
Trailer
Salmon; Valhalla; Heron Karv 47′ (14.35m) 8′10″ (2.7m) Warship or cargo ship
(9 – 18 crew)
(6 – 12 oarsmen)
Flatbed trailer, with tractor
Squirrel; Rat Færing 20′ (6m) Ferry or fishing boat
(1 – 3 crew)
Trailer
Wolf Snekkja 50′ (16m)
(part buried)
Boat burial Immobile
Further details
Boat Weight (minus crew) Draught (in ballast) Air draught Height Yard length Sail area
Bear 2t (unballasted)
≈2½t (ballasted)
2′ (0.6m)
3′ (0.96m) with steering oar
20′ (6m) with mast up
6′3″ (2m) with mast stowed
22′ (6.6m) keel to mast tip
8′3″ (2.6m) keel to top of stem/stern
20′ (6m) 290′² (27m²)
Heron 32″ (80cm)
Salmon 32″ (80cm)
Valhalla 32″ (80cm)
Squirrel
Rat
Wolf N/A N/A N/A No yard No sail
Launching requirements
Boat Transportation Slipway launch Crane launch
Bear On trailer, towed behind a suitable vehicle. Length of boat ontrailer is 36′ (12m).
Rule of thumb: if an articulated lorry can get there, so can the Bear.
4 crew required at launch. Slipway must be at least 10′ (3m) wide and have a solid roadway to at least 4′ (1.2m) to enable the boat to leave the trailer. Contact us and crane company to discuss requirements.
Heron; Salmon; Valhalla Flatbed trailer, with tractor Not usually possible Contact us and crane company to discuss requirements.
Squirrel; Rat On trailer, towed behind a suitable vehicle. N/A
Wolf Immobile. Can only be used on location.

Location

The <i>Bear</i> bears down on an archer  – © Lauren Roberts 2016
The Bear bears down on an archer – © Lauren Roberts 2016

We recommend Rutland Water, about thirty miles due east of Leicester. It is the largest man made body of water in the UK and an excellent, workable location with an uncluttered range of angles that gives the impression of being at sea and various creeks and inlets where a raiding party might come ashore.

From a practical point of view, the lake has its own power boats and safety crews, an excellent café where the staff are used to damp, cold people and serve big stews and other food. There is ample parking for the largest vehicles.

Our Permanent Site – A reconstructed Anglo-Saxon Manor

A feast by the hearthfire  – © Alison Offer 2012
A feast by the hearthfire – © Alison Offer 2012

Alone of all re-enactment societies, Regia Anglorum owns a permanent site. Situated about sixty miles from central London and in a patch of secluded woodland near Canterbury in Kent, we are constructing a fortified manor house from the Late Anglo-Saxon period. We have used our site as a filming location on several occasions.

Pictured here is the weathered mediaeval-style cottage with white rendered walls of daub. The interior works as well, the floor being boarded and we have the props to hand to readily turn it into a living space for a small family.

But the main feature is the spectacular Longhall. The only building of its kind in the UK has tremendous presence and mere words cannot honestly do it justice. At the heart of the site, this 20×10×10 metre English Oak building is exactly what one might expect to find in such a vulnerable spot in the Viking Age. It has a protective ditch and palisade, over 200m in length complete with a watchtower and impressive gates.

A track through the woods that might be an old Roman road and extensive deciduous open woodland are also available. Full 360° angles are available at the site with no modern intrusions.

This is an ongoing project and things are always changing there. For the latest, with some up-to-date pictures of the site and the work which has gone into it, feel free to visit our Wychurst pages.

The longhall – © Alan Tidy 2017
The longhall – © Alan Tidy 2017

Generally speaking, our clients find it a very good, workable location. Although within a few miles of Canterbury and Herne Bay, traffic noise is limited to the occasional emergency vehicle siren, which (it must be said) tends to set the Wolf pack off in the wildlife park next door. Noise from air traffic rarely exceeds the occasional light aircraft or helicopter.

If you want further information about Wychurst, download the short introduction to the site, which is specifically aimed at film-makers. If questions remain, feel free to get in contact.

Facilities

Within 200 metres, there is a scout hall that offers an excellent base with private catering facilities (not professional standard) and generally somewhere to sit down out of the weather. There is single-phase mains electricity and mains water supply here, but not at the site itself (yet – we're working on that).

There is a good, modern pub within a mile that has an excellent reputation for good food.

Above all, we are the land-owners and – within the bounds of common sense and the Health and Safety at Work Act – we can do what we please there.

Logistics

Research and Scripting

Researching costume, artefacts or events in our specialist period of interest could not be easier. There is no reason for you to start from scratch or to employ expensive free-lancers: we are soaked in this subject and the small doings of lesser folk and the deeds of the mighty are well known to us. We answer letters, return phone calls and turn in research on time – and if we cannot do something, we will say so!

Because we do a lot of public events, we are used to thinking on our feet and dramatic presentation is no stranger to us. We can even help with scripting and dialogue if required.

Sub-contractors

There are, of course, areas of expertise which we cannot cover and we have built up a series of reliable people whose high standards of presentation fit in well with our own. These include falconry, street performers, musicians, jesters and fire-breathers. We also have sound and developing contacts with Rare Breeds Societies.

Advantages of Experience

An ealdorman  – © Jeffrey Webb 2017
An ealdorman – © Jeffrey Webb 2017

Internal discipline

There is nothing worse than having to hound a harassed 3AD to pursue unwilling Extras to get to Make Up on time or to allow the technical crew to eat first at lunch. We arrange this kind of discipline from the inside, supplying people who know each other already and are committed to ensuring the best interests of the Production are forwarded. Being late to make up and/or on set is not something we expect of our people.

It cuts both ways and, being professionals, we expect to be treated as such. We have an expectation of three meals a day, to standard, reasonable overnight accommodation, fair expenses and a negotiable fee. But we understand that working at remote locations can make life difficult and we are always prepared to rough it to the same degree as the technical crew…

Transport

The Society regularly arranges a wide range of events throughout the UK and in Scandinavia, Poland, Germany and Ireland. We are fully capable of organising and arranging vehicle hire, props acquisition and transport, ferry tickets and similar logistics. Under normal circumstances, people will share vehicles to travel to accommodation and are perfectly prepared to get themselves to location under their own steam. This relieves the demands on unit drivers and is one less thing for the Production Manager to worry about.

Financial Matters

Winnowing the wheat from the chaff  – © Alison Offer 2016
Winnowing the wheat from the chaff – © Alison Offer 2016

Fees & Expenses

Under all normal circumstances, the Society will charge a one-time Administration Fee for its services as facilitators. This fee is assessed upon how much logistical effort will be involved in working on a particular production.

Payment of fees to our members is dealt with internally. The Society will make a per capita charge and subsequently reimburse the people involved from its own resources. This rate will include basic costume for the task in hand from lowly peasant to a fully equipped warrior. Generally speaking, we make no charge for costume changes and our people are used to being pig herds in the morning and ship-borne fighters after lunch. This does away with any possible difficulties accruing from dealing with individuals on a day-to-day basis. Regia Anglorum will issue clear and detailed invoices in relation to work performed within a few days or so of the completion of that work.

For your interest, we regularly manage single event budgets of between £250 and £28,000 and production budgets of over £50,000. We are registered for VAT and our number is 570 091 556. Any quotation is exclusive of that tax.

Some large props – such as the ship replicas – have their own sliding scale of charges dependent on use, location and the length of hire. Other smaller props can be dealt with from within a single props budget that will be agreed in advance of the work. This budget will then be dealt with internally to pay the various owners of the props for the use of their equipment.

All properties that are owned by the Society or its members will always be transported, erected and struck by members of Regia Anglorum acting upon the reasonable instructions of the production staff.

Legal Matters

A manuscript  – © Caroline Williams 2013
A manuscript – © Caroline Williams 2013

Copyright

The copyright of the performances of its members involved in film work is usually vested in the Society. As such, Regia Anglorum will issue a single Copyright Performance Agreement in respect of all the appearances by its members, which meets – and often exceeds – the needs of the most stringent legal departments. Copyright is then vested in the Production Company as "producers of the first fixation" upon completion of payment.

Insurance

The Society has its own Public Liability cover, but we would not expect this insurance to be On Risk during any work that we are doing for a production company. We would expect to be covered by the unit insurance, as is common practice.

Previous clients

A full list of previous clients is available on our CV. To repeat it here would take up a great deal of space to little purpose, however a brief selection might be of some interest.

The Jorvik Viking Centre, for whom we have worked annually for over twenty years. The Vikingr! Centre in Largs, (whose drama documentary video production almost exclusively features our members, their costume, props and equipment), the Peel Viking Centre in the Isle of Man, English Heritage, The National Trust, The Royal Armouries, Durham, Worcester, Bristol, Stafford, Rochester and other City and Borough Councils throughout the UK.

We have supplied replica artefacts for – amongst others – the new National Museum of Scotland, Liverpool Metropolitan Museum for the Silver Saga exhibition, The Museum of European History in Taiwan, Doncaster Museum and the Peel Viking Interpretation Centre in the Isle of Man. These are now open and we were heavily involved with the making of the drama documentaries shown at these centres. Having completed a £6,000 contract to re-costume the Jorvik Viking Centre's interpretation personnel, we feel quite capable of producing any weapons – or, indeed, a fine-toothed antler louse comb to a full sized ship replica!

Visit Denmark Promotion Visit Denmark promotion
London, UK
The Hollow Crown: Richard II The BBC's Richard II
Pembrokeshire, UK
Game of Thrones: Season 2 HBO's Game of Thrones
County Antrim, UK
Vikings: Season 1 History Channel's Vikings
County Wicklow, Ireland
LOVEFiLM LOVEFiLM Vikings-themed promotion
London, UK

In closing

Well, that's about it. If you've come with me through this – I hope! – interesting little article, you will have a pretty good idea of our ability to organise, arrange and perform. My principal function is to find paid work for the society and I would be very interested in discussing our possible input for your production.

Roland Williamson