Thursday, 14 November 2013

Outlandish day at Doune!

Well third time was the charm! I finally got to see some Outlander (Starz) filming today.

I'd agreed to meet Simone in the morning (we met for the first time 2 weeks ago on a failed attempt at catching some filming at Doune ;). On arrival I was in need of the facilities so headed down to Doune Castle as the public toilets has been open previously.  Simone waited outside and when I came back out she was rather giddy as Sam Heughan (Outlander's male lead) had just gone into the building.  As we were talking he came back out.  As he was heading to set we kept quiet but had a good gander!  Very tall, shaggy hair, auburn, and just a wee bit of stubble along the jaw line.  He was wearing the same outfit that was used in the promo shot.  Just after that one of the security men came over and asked us to move on. Simone reported the close encounter on the Heughan's Heughligan's facebook group :)

We headed up to the wooded hill (security said it was OK to stand up there) and had a great view of the filming area.  They were using the grassy ground to the left of the castle.  So glad I brought my binoculars along (a stalker is always prepared)! ;)  We'd been asked not to take photos so no pics I'm of the day I'm afraid.  It was also pretty far away for my compact anyway.  Below is a picture I took before production started on the site (the transformation is amazing).

I'm not sure how much I should describe of the filming as I don't want to upset production (even though it was publicly viewable) but it seemed to involve most of the Leoch inhabitants (Jamie included) which included approx. 40 (perhaps more) extras (children, adults, male female, house hold and military looking).  It's a 'new' scene, not in the books.  The scene was very 'active' as Graham MacTavish tweeted about.  It seemed to help keep them warm for some of the time at least. ;)

Have to say that Graham's stunt double looks very like him.  I was wondering why there were two Dougal's at one point ;)  No stunt double for Sam though ;)  Unfortunately Caitriona Balfe wasn't on set but we can't have everything! ;)  (Oooh lots of winky smiles in that, I might still be a bit excited ;)

Simone and I watched one shot of the scene being filmed then headed off to get something to eat.  We returned about an hour later.  Poor Simone's back was playing up so she was going to leave but she came for a last look ;)  While we were viewing Elaine and her sister Emma turned up.  They'd come over from Stirling for a quick look.  They appreciated a loan of my binoculars (a stalker is always prepared! ;) and got quite excited a their first glimpse of Jamie.  He isn't hard to spot in the crowd as he stands a good head and shoulders above the rest.  Does that mean he's tall or the hired everyone else short?  I'll leave you to decide! ;) 

Elaine and Emma couldn't stay long and they headed off. Simone followed suit which left me gazing over the scene below.  I really hadn't planned to stay long but ended up there until 5pm!  They were finishing off the particular scene with a final shot (it had been shot from various angles etc. throughout the day) and it was getting pretty dark.  I'd heard they'd be moving into the castle courtyard to do some pickups and then that was them finished filming at Doune until they return in the Spring.  I'd heard that overall production (or maybe just outside filming) was halting mid December until mid January.

The costumes are amazing.  Great work coming from @outlandercostum 's department. They're all muted, natural tones.  Really blending with the autumnal colours in the countryside at the moment. 

I have nothing but great admiration and appreciation for the work the cast, crew and extras are putting into this show.  It was a bitter day at Doune with an icy wind but they were out there for hours filming away.  I've heard it said before but film making includes a lot of hanging around.  They'd do one shot a few times then there would be a lot of waiting around while the camera was moved and setup and then another shot would be done multiple times with a bit of rehearsal in between.  Obviously the principals were quickly into their quilted jackets between takes but "props with a pulse" (extras) were standing in kilts and jackets.  They all seemed to be wearing smiles between takes though ;)  I was wearing multiple layers but still ended up numb by the end of the day.

Obviously a highlight of the day was getting to see Jamie in action but for me even more so was getting to see the production in full flow and getting to meet other fans (Simone, Elaine and Emma) and chat to the locals who were dropping by to have a look and the security crew who were great.

I'd like to thank the security guys, especially Gary and Kev.  They were so polite, friendly and approachable.  They appreciated the enthusiasm the fans had toward the production and managed to accommodate us as best they could while ensuring our safety in the area (there were a lot of cars etc going back and forth) and the security of the cast and crew (far more important!).  We were very much aware that if we behaved and followed their instructions we'd be allowed to stay where we were and it wouldn't ruin it for others at future locations.  If we'd pushed our luck and tried photos or creeping where we shouldn't then that just ruins for ourselves on the day and for anyone else that visits a location as they're bound to beef up security. 

I was so grateful to get to stand and watch all day from my vantage point.  At one point some ADs spotted me and called to security concerned I was press and taking photos/videoing because they'd seen my binoculars but because I'd been upfront with the security early in the day and asked if it was okay to use them etc. they were able to explain who I was and that it was okay. 

Oh and a very special thanks to Gary who gallantly gave me his pocket warmers (they look like teabags but cosy your pockets/gloves) as he could see I was a bit frozen when I went to say goodbye to him at the end of the day!  They're still toasty now! 

So my third day off work and another hours drive to Doune was very much worth it.    Where to next?  For them it's Glasgow for 3 days, for me well hmm...might have to book some time off work in the Spring for the return to Doune! ;)


  1. That was such a great description of your Doune visit! Thank you so much for giving us a bit of insight into your expedition and for being such a perfect stalker - you represent well for the Heughligans! Bravo!

  2. Thank you for sharing! It sounds great! As to Sam being heads and shoulders above everyone, people were just shorter in the 1740's and they're staying true to form. Can't wait!

  3. I am going to Scotland in two weeks time with my daughter, we are staying in Cumbernauld for a few days, we are hoping to catch a glimpse of something, I dont suppose you heard any details of where they will be around 4th Dec did you? I must say your blog is amazingly informative - thank you!

    1. Sadly I've heard that external shooting finishes this Friday (22nd Nov) however originally I'd heard they were shooting into December. I don't know if it's people not 100% sure on the details or things shifting about a bit. I can give you a list of places to visit that have been used as locations. They'll all be within 45mins of Cumbernauld as they don't like to have to travel too far from the studio (in Cumbernauld).

    2. Thank you, a list would be useful. I have made a few notes, oh well, I will just have to hang around outside the studio then :-)