Sunday, 16 January 2011

Torchwood: Week One Filming

Filming for Torchwood: Miracle Day commenced this week, filming in Los Angeles, California.

The week saw the main cast assembling together for filming, with "US lead" CIA agent Mekhi Phifer kicking off proceedings, joined on Wednesday by John Barrowman, and from Thursday Eve Myles (Gwen) and Kai Owen (Rhys). Alexa Havins (Esther Katusi) was also present.

Though fan access to shooting is very restrictive (certainly in comparison to UK filming!), tantalising filming details have slowly trickled through via various members of cast and crew on Twitter, including Director of Photography Nathaniel Goodman, Fashion Designer Alana Stone and Costume Designer Shawna Trpcic - plus a commentary of tidbits from the official production office feed, BBC Torchwood!

 
A more detailed breakdown of developments during the week follows below; times have been quoted for the local Californian timezone.


Monday

Filming kicks off without a hitch, though for some it is an early start to the shoot!
21:14 Alana Stone:   Day one of Torchwood filming starts at 4:42am Monday morning... 
                     Here we go.
21:57 Jane Espenson: I have to be up early for Torchwood shenanigans in the morning.
                     So g'night, Twitter!
07:34 Jane Espenson: we start shooting new episodes today!
09:57 BBC Torchwood: Day 1. First shot 8:01am. Coffee pots are bottomless today.
12:32 Alana Stone:   Wow day 1= crazy good team work but crazy none the less!
17:24 Nate Goodman:  Great first day of shooting Torchwood done! 
                     But the really fun stuff yet to come..
09:18 BBC Torchwood: Day 1, smooth sailing, we're so lucky to have such a great crew.

Meanwhile, Kai Owen (Rhys) confirmed he'd start shooting from Thursday, alongside on-screen wife Eve Myles (Gwen):
Well my bags are packed! I fly to LA tomorrow and am on set with Eve on Thursday!!
Torchwood - Miracle Day is coming. I'm buzzing.

Tuesday


via Twitpic
Tuesday saw a report that Mekhi Phifer (CIA agent Rex Matheson) was filming scenes in a hospital.

Meanwhile, Captain Jack himself John Barrowman arrived for his costume-fitting, something that BBC Torchwood described as "a sweet new wardrobe", with the fitting being "revealing". As one might expect, the coat is back, "a beautiful new design that we all want to own. It's stylish and absolutely brilliant."

Alana Stone also provided us with the first of what might well be the US production team's version of "WhoSpy", showing one of the chairs that are in use for the cast/crew during the shoot.
 

Wednesday

John Barrowman returns as Captain Jack Harkness, kicking off in style for a Los Angeles night shoot. As BBC Torchwood put it:
17:07 Night shoots all action packed and it's John's first day of work.
      Really exciting night.
17:21 STUNTS! STUNTS! So many STUNTS!

Thursday

It's Eve Myles and Kai Owen's turn to be welcomed to the new production, another night shoot that this time takes place in CIA Headquarters.

07:10 Kai Owen:      Good morning from LA! 
                     I start work on Torchwood - Miracle Day. Tonight!!!
20:01 BBC Torchwood: She's here tonight everyone, the Eve Myles. 
                     Tonight we've got almost a full cast.
                     John, Alexa, Kai. Bill and Russell are meeting as well.
23:58 Alana Stone:   Day four... All night in CIA headquarters.

"TW-Spy" continues with a couple of shots of office boards and cast trailers from Shawna Trpcic and Alana Stone; the trailers seem to have an iconic image for each character:


(via Plixi)

(via Twitpic)

(via Twitpic)

Meanwhile, Tom Price, the erstwhile former police colleague of Gwen, Andy Davidson, reported that he too would be joining the Torchwood crew:
Off to LA next week! That's about it really!

Friday

Filming for another night shoot took place at No 650 South Spring Street, an old bank building that has seen use in a number of film productions over the years, including Spider Man 2, Ghost, and The Mask.

20:12 BBC Torchwood: John and Alexa have an exciting scene to shoot tonight.
                     We're all taking turns to visit location. 
                     We love our Torchwood Crew!
22:08 Alana Stone:   Day/night 5... No rest for the wicked. 
                     Poor Alexa is running in 5 inch heels. Girl is a trooper!
01:26 Shawna Trpcic: Crew will shoot til 6 or 7 am time for me to sign off. Blessings.

The production vehicles were spotted by fan Timothy Cerjan:
Capt. Jack Harkness is shooting new Torchwood by my office.
The 21st Century is when it all changes. [pic]: http://4sq.com/g1Eibs
Had my first shot at running into John Barrowman this past week (to no avail) when I stopped by an on location shoot for Torchwood. They were filming at a building in downtown Los Angeles which was, as you'd expect, not open to the public. The security guards were all very nice though and they did confirm that Torchwood was filming there. I got a number of responses regarding what time they would start filming so I didn't end up seeing anyone. However, I did get a glimpse inside the building. The set up looked like a bank with a giant vault. I've heard that other films and shows have been shot there but I am unable to confirm that. It looked really great and while they wouldn't let me in to snap any pictures they were kind enough to let me shoot the backside of the vault...through a scratched up window. I know it's not much but I thought I would post it anyhow.
 
(with thanks to Dana Shukartsi from Barrowman Day - read her full reports on-site)
 




Next week sees the shoot continue in Los Angeles for another four days or so, with filming on Thursday to take place at City Hall. Directory of Photography Nate Goodman then reported that they fly out to the United Kingdom, where filming will continue in Wales the following fortnight (as reported in an interview with Eve Myles last year).