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Friday 6 May 2016

Les Voyages d’Olivia

   What you are about to watch are two parts of a video filmed by a French film crew in Portmeirion in August 1998, the week following the Prisoner Convention that year.
    I have to apologize for the quality of the video, which was taken from a video tape by digital film camera, then transferred to the Blogspot player. In part two the film does break up a little, this is due to the quality of the video tape itself. But please keep watching, as the interference of the film lasts only for a few moments. Nonetheless for that, I trust you will find the following video to be of interest.
  I did wonder whether or not to post the video because of the playing quality. However I decided to do so, because it is possible that this video has never been seen by devotees of ‘the Prisoner’ before, outside of

    It was on the Friday after the 1998 Prisoner Convention, and the last day of the film shoot of ‘Village Day’ at Portmeiron. Early that morning I was out and about with the camera crew filming stock shots of the village before anyone else was about, giving it a deserted look. Later that morning my wife and I called into the Prisoner shop. Max Hora, then proprietor of the shop, told us a French film crew was due to arrive in Portmeiron, filming for a French television holiday programme. The French travel programme is called ‘Les Voyages d’Olivia.’ Max asked if we could look after them when they arrived, I said fine, although I speak no French, and Morag has only a smattering.
   So we waited in
Battery Square for the film crew to arrive, along with a few other people, ‘G’ was amongst them. So we waited, and waited, hung around Battery Square and the Prisoner shop, and then we waited a bit longer. Of the film crew there was no sight nor sound. Eventually I told Max that Morag and I had to go into Porthmadog to do some shopping, as we were holding a small gathering in Belvedere cottage to celebrate the completion of filming that week. The filming to be completed that afternoon.
   Morag and I returned from Porthmadog and to
Battery Square, to find ‘G’ still sat waiting, with still no sign of the film crew! It was a lovely hot summer’s day, so Morag and I went for a stroll along the beach to the lighthouse. But my mind was on the filming we still had to complete. Not all the cast members were available, as it was for them also a holiday, and the ones needed had gone pony trekking, so I had to wait until everyone was together. While we relaxed by the lighthouse a light aircraft, a de Havilland from Caernarfon flew over head. Two of the passengers were cast members of the film I was producing.
    We returned to the Belvedere cottage, and ‘G’ was now sitting all alone in
Battery square still waiting the arrival of the French film crew!!! However the film crew did arrive, and we welcomed them. Thankfully a French member of Six of One was on hand to interpret for us. We all went together to the self-catering café. ‘G’ was there, but they were uninterested in ‘G,’ as they were more interested in me, seeing my resemblance to Patrick McGoohan they wanted to film me around Portmeirion. I said that was alright, but I would be busy for the rest of the afternoon filming final location scenes for ‘Village Day,’ which they also wanted to know about. We eventually completed the location shoot at 5:10pm. Upon returning to the Prisoner shop, Max told us the French film crew were in the coffee shop waiting for us. We hurried along and joined them, together with 6of1 French member acting again as interpreter and told us what the film crew wanted to do. ‘G’ was still hanging around, with the film crew still uninterested!
   Part of the filming took place on the chess lawn, where the film crew asked if part of the human chessboard could be laid out on the lawn? I said no problem, but ‘G’ said I couldn’t, as the Convention was over, and as things stood at that time the 1998 Convention was to have been the final one ever at Portmeirion. But I said seeing as we had been filming ‘Village Day’ during the Convention, and for the whole of the following week, and no member of Portmeirion’s management had  complained about that, I said we would set out part of the chessboard. Well everyone there was in Village costume. ‘G’ finally got in on the act having been put in controlling Rover by wire, as it was sent down the cobbled path behind me, but ‘G’ was not filmed herself. The film crew then filmed me walking down the hill to the Old People’s home, and then onto the beach. I stood there describing the scene, the large expanse of sand etc. Then they wanted me to stand on the fore cabin of the stone boat and recite the speech from there as Number 6. Once was good they said, twice would be better, and the third time it will be with real feeling and conviction. It was, and I was word perfect, it was all perfect, but they filmed me twice more for good measure, that’s five times I had to go through that speech. I didn’t mind, but it didn’t feature in the finished film! But then that’s film making for you.
    After that the French film crew went their way as they continued to film around Portmeirion, whilst Morag and I went off for the evening. A 6of1 meeting was being held in the Hercules Hall and we wanted to be there.
11pm we were on our way back to Belvedere cottage, via Battery Square, when we heard voices in the Prisoner shop. It was the French film crew. Max came out and said they had been looking for us, and wanted to film us inside a cottage. Interviews were carried out and filmed, but they were never used. And there we were filming until midnight.
   It had been one hell of a day, one hell of a week, and because of the weeks filming of ‘Village Day,’ the 1998 Prisoner Convention turned out to be the longest Convention in 6of1’s history!

Be seeing you

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