Leonardo II Extra Experiences

Over the past couple of months I have spent a few days here and there as an Extra on the set of the second BBC Children’s Series Leonardo II. It has been wonderful watching how the cast and crew do there different jobs.  I have also enjoyed meeting a whole lot of new friends from different walks of life and ultimately my most favourite time spent there besides doing the work was capturing the set and the other Extras behind the scenes. Here are just a few of the moments, costumes, sets and people that I have captured and I hope you will enjoy what you see.

The first day that I that I went to the Cape Town Film Studios was to get fitted with one of my costumes and as we left we came across a lot of goats also leaving the studios. I couldn’t resist photographing them and in particular this family of three heading for the road leading to the N2.

Here is the entrance gate to the Cape Town Film Studios.

Each day we would sign in at the studios, get dressed in our costumes, have breakfast and then walk all the way up onto this hill where the set of Leonardo has been built.  The ladies all found it rather difficult sometimes depending on the weight of the costumes as most of their costumes seem to have been made out of curtaining or upholstery materials.

My first day of filming we had one of the local visiting goats come to see what we were doing high up on our little hill.

That first day I met lovely Lola May who I eventually did a portrait shoot of in the Helderberg Nature Reserve.

I love the colours and the atmosphere of the set and found many things to photograph there.  It was a village I could easily live in.  So quaint and it reminded me of a little village that I visited in 1988 on my birthday, in Italy, called San Gimignano in Tuscany.

The statue of Cupid in the Market Square which was part of the filming for the first day.

The sign for the Restaurant on set.

Here is one of the ropes that they use for hanging the criminals.

One of the beautiful rustic door frames.

Here is a balcony on one of the upper floors of the buildings.

A beautiful antique copper jug used as one of the props on set.

There are lots of interesting little nooks and crannies on set and this is just one of them with the beautiful wraught iron bar.

A shelf in the Ristorante kitchen with various antique utensils.

I loved this bowl of fruit made out of wood (that is the fruit and the bowl were made of wood), plus this wonderful pottery water jug. It was late afternoon as we were shooting and the light was so beautiful at that time of day.

Lola May waiting for her instructions to go on set.

On day two I met Rapheal (known as Ralph to his friends) who is quite a character and has been an extra on many films and commercials.  It was interesting to hear all the stories of the different jobs he has done and the locations.  So next time you see a film or commercial look carefully and you may just recognise him.

For a smokey atmosphere in the village they use these small blocks of cardboard type material which they soak in some kind of inflammable liquid and set alight. One person in the crew has the job of keeping these things burning and placed in the correct places all through the filming. So you will see him walking around with a pair of braai tongs, cardboard blocks, inflammable liquid and a blow torch.

On the second day of filming as I got back from lunch I caught one of the filming crew catching forty winks.

On day two I met another new friend, Douglas, who has also been doing a lot of Extras work for quite a while.

I love the different textures of the costumes that were used. For me as a Freeform Fibre Artist I so enjoyed the combinations and the effect of the costumes on each person.

Here are Roxy (a very gifted singer) and Desmond posing for me in one of the entrances! I love the colours of the buildings which enhance to colours of the outfits.

I love photographing people’s hands and here I managed to capture one of the Extras who was sitting waiting for his call to the set.

Nick has his own band in his private life and was one of the ‘Medici Guards’ in Leonardo.

Nick again as a City Guard!

The interesting hairstyles that they create with one’s ordinary hair.

Pretty young Keelyn who hopes to find work overseas at the end of the year covered in ‘dirt’ as one of the village people.

A winning smile from Driaan who I met on set.  He is an artistic gymnast and studies at the University of Stellenbosch. Here is a portrait shoot I did with him recently which I am hoping he will use to get himself into some modelling.

Another interesting hairstyle of one of the Extras.

And much more interesting is some of the footwear that is used under those long medieval dresses.

One of the last days spent on set had a call time of 5am. This was the beautiful sight that greeted me as we walked towards the hill where the Leo set was.  I love the reflection of the set in the water below just before the sun rose over the mountains.

I lovely silhouette of Keelyn and a couple of the extras as they arrived on top of the hill at the set of Leo.

I loved the window boxes on set. Some were filled with artificial flowers and some were real.

An interesting little balcony on set.

One of the men’s lavish outfits.

Same as above, but just showing the lace collar.

Footwear belong to one of the young Extras on set.

A wooden wagon wheel which was part of the set.

The beautiful velvet sleeves of one of the lady Extras’s dresses.

I loved the colour of this skirt. I think it was some kind of Indian silk.

Another beautiful combination of fabrics belonging to one of the men’s outfits.

Lovely handwork in leather on this costume.

Velvet knickerbockers with green silk ties.

The spears belonging to the ‘Medici Guards’.

I loved these blinds made out of some kind of grass used for the little shops in the village.

Interesting suitcase used as one of the props.

The rope used for one of the ‘Candle’ hanging chandeliers.

Another interesting case made of embossed leather.

Part of one of the ‘City Guards’ leather helmets.

At the entrance to the village there was this little doorway which many used on the days that the wind blew very hard to get protection from the sand blasting that happened on set. The crew actually went around all day covered in scarves, hats and sunglasses to protect themselves from the sand.

One of my friends on set was given the most interesting shoes and pants to wear!

The sand caught on the tyre of one of the trailers that housed all the props for the set.

I loved the colours and textures of this costume.

One of the Extras wore this interest green silky blouse.

One of the black crates that protected our accessories such as the bags we used on set, from the elements.

This very interesting BMX bicycle was used as one of the stand in stuntmen for Leonardo. It was covered in wood and rope and cardboard so that it was made to look more authentic even though this series has a little modern twist to it.

The leather ties of one of the grass blinds.

An old wine barrel bound with sisel rope.

The beams made of what looked like railway sleeper which created the outdoor stalls in village.

Keelyn in one of her very pretty costumes.

Keelyn standing at the entrance to ‘my shop’ where I did a lot of my work selling flowers to the passersby. I love this one of her. The colours of the building the outfit and flowers just blend so well together.

One of the Extras chilling after a ‘hard day’s night’.



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