Ren blog

Ren at London Comic Con: Video

Ren at London Comic Con: Video

Last weekend the Kah’Nath invaded London’s Excel Centre as Ren came to the MCM Comic Con. Here’s what the team got up to at the UK’s largest pop culture convention. Director Kate Madison and costume designer Miriam Spring Davies represented Ren on the New British Web Series panel in the VidFest dome, alongside cast and crew from Year of Spies and The First Musketeer. Kate and Miriam explained Ren‘s Caxton studio set-up, and discussed the costumes, the extras and how the series is being promoted. Three videos from Ren were screened: the teaser trailer, the Daily Diaries trailer and an exclusive featurette introducing the key characters. Meanwhile volunteers Ivan Moy, Robert Myles, Edward Morley and Tindi Lewis donned outfits from the series to dish out flyers and show the trailer to as many people as possible. The team were also able to attend an interesting panel session with the makers of fantasy feature Arthur & Merlin, and Kate even got to meet YouTube icon Felicia Day, who was suitably impressed by the Ren trailer. This was the first in what we hope will be a long line of convention appearances for Ren as our audience grows. Keep an eye on our Calendar for future... read more
Ren Daily Diaries: Social Gifting Offer

Ren Daily Diaries: Social Gifting Offer

Have you checked out the Ren Daily Diaries which went on sale the other week? If not, now’s the time to do it. To celebrate Ren‘s participation in London ComicCon this weekend, until Sunday night every purchase of the Ren Daily Diaries will come with three free rental copies to give to your friends. The Daily Diaries are your chance to go beyond the glimpses in the YouTube ‘making of’ videos and witness the creation of Ren: Season One from the first day of shooting to the last. For a few days only, you can introduce three lucky friends to the world of Ren by gifting them free rentals when you buy. For $35 (about £23 or 31 Euros) you’ll get access to our series of 36 daily behind-the-scenes videos following the making of the web’s most ambitious and exciting new series. To purchase, just click the buy button in the trailer above. Please note: Since many of the videos contain spoilers, you’ll receive the first 7 when you buy, with access to the remaining 29 videos being unlocked the day after Ren: Season One is released. Free rental copies will expire after three... read more
Ren at MCM ComicCon London

Ren at MCM ComicCon London

This Friday, in amongst the thousands of COSPLAYers attending ComicCon in London, you might find yourself face to face with the Kah’Nath Commander and his men when some of the Ren team descend on London.  We’ll probably be hanging around outside the front doors for much of the day but Kate Madison and hopefully Chris Dane will also be on a VidFest 2015 panel at 1pm talking about Ren alongside some other webseries creators.  In fact our very own DoP Neil Oseman will also be on the panel talking about his time as DoP on another ambitious series, The First Musketeer, which was directed by our Associate Casting Director Harriet Sams.  Yes it’s a small world! See the full VidFest Programme here:... read more
Talking Torberry with Alan Hay

Talking Torberry with Alan Hay

He may look like a simple potato farmer, but there’s a lot more to Torberry than meets the eye. We caught up with actor Alan Hay to find out what it was like to play this intriguing character. How did you get into acting? After moving to England  (from Scotland), I needed a hobby to help settle into the new place, and joined some local community theatre companies working mainly on musicals. Some 14 years later, I’m now one of the producers of a theatre company and one of the creative directors of a comedy improv group, working on productions in Cambridge, London and Edinburgh. What attracted you to Ren and the role of Torberry? I was a huge fan of Kate’s previous work and had a short cameo as an Orc in one of the early scenes in Born Of Hope. I was hugely excited by the Ren project, and was delighted when I was approached as a potential auditionee. I was sent some script extracts for Torberry and auditioned over Youtube, whilst working on a number of theatre shows at the Edinburgh Festival during casting. From the audition material, Torberry had a wonderful mix of father-figure and intrigue about him, and I was delighted when the offer of the role arrived. What was it like to put on your costume and step onto the village set on your first day? For me, once the costume is put together, the character really finds its home. It affects how you stand, walk and move, and I always find everything comes much more alive once you look the part. Miriam did... read more
Pretty Pictures and Sound Decisions

Pretty Pictures and Sound Decisions

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the postproduction of Ren. Postproduction is a process that starts out with one person – in this case director Kate Madison and co-creator/editor Christopher Dane at different times – sat alone at a computer, wrangling the filmed material into a story. Then it expands outwards to encompass visual effects, sound editing, music and grading (a process in which the colours are corrected, balanced and pushed in certain directions to achieve a “look” for the show). With episode one near to completion, there are over a dozen people working on it all over the country, and indeed the world. One thing that many people don’t realise is how much of the sound you hear in a film or TV show wasn’t recorded at the same time as the picture. A good proportion of the dialogue – maybe over 80% on a big action movie – will have been dubbed after the fact, and everything else – from the subtlest rustling of a dress to the most bombastic explosion – will have been painstakingly recorded or sourced, matched to the picture and carefully mixed so it sounds completely natural. This process gives the filmmakers complete creative control over how everything sounds: rubber armour can clank like the real thing; a villain’s footsteps can be beefier and more resonant; the mood of a scene can be adjusted through the addition of tweeting birds or a tinkling stream. On a more mundane level, sometimes it just isn’t possible to record clear sound on set. Ren‘s Caxton studio was plagued by light aircraft passing overhead, and its warehouses echoed in a... read more
Daily Video Diaries – On Sale Now

Daily Video Diaries – On Sale Now

“Thank you so much for sharing these really humorous and informative videos. It is really cool being able to witness the camaraderie of the performers and the production staff. One usually doesn’t get to witness even a small portion of the trials and tribulations that occur when making a show. Watching these videos has really opened my eyes to all the work necessary to make these videos. I can hardly wait to watch the series!!!” – tedbade Want to immerse yourself in the world of Ren? Wish you could have been there on the shoot? Now we’re offering the chance to become a virtual crew member. Go beyond the glimpses in the YouTube ‘making of’ videos and witness the creation of Ren: Season One from the first day of shooting to the last. For $35 (about £23 or 31 Euros) you’ll get access to our series of 36 daily behind-the-scenes videos following the making of the web’s most ambitious and exciting new series. To purchase, just click the buy button in the trailer above. Each video is different. Some take a fly-on-the-wall approach, letting you sit back and watch scenes evolve from rehearsals through to shooting. Many feature candid on-set interviews with the cast and crew. Some are light-hearted, featuring bloopers and impromptu sketches shot between takes. Some are more educational, explaining, for example, how scenes are “covered” with multiple camera angles. One video even takes you on a tour of Ren Studio as the cast and crew wait for rain to pass. With a total running time of over 2 hours, the Ren Daily Diaries offer unprecedented VIP access... read more
Grace Parry on playing Dalia

Grace Parry on playing Dalia

For Grace Parry, Ren fulfilled a dream of appearing in a period fantasy piece. We asked her to tell us more about her role as Ren‘s loyal friend, Dalia. How did you get into acting? It seemed I always had the ‘bug’ for acting. I grew up near Norwich which was lucky as Norwich has a really great ARTS scene! I attended Norwich Young People’s Theatre and made sure I was in every play going at school! It was when I was doing A-level drama that I realised it was more than a hobby; that I wanted to make the move to London to train professionally and I’ve loved every moment since! What attracted you to Ren and the role of Dalia? I’ve always loved watching programmes like Merlin and Game Of Thrones and it had always been a dream of mine to play a ‘Maid Marian’ type role, so when I saw the casting for Ren, directed by the hugely talented and passionate Kate Madison – I thought it couldn’t be more perfect! Dalia’s a great role and I found it easy to find parts of myself in her. She’s incredibly loyal to Ren and it’s the strength of their friendship that drives her actions of trying to save Ren. (I really enjoyed that scene!) What was it like to put on your costume and step onto the village set on your first day? I had the privilege of seeing the set in its humble beginnings, during my initial audition, when the village was just starting to be built! Little did I know how impressive and life-like it... read more
Animals

Animals

No medieval fantasy series would be complete without livestock, and Ren Season One features dogs, fish and of course horses. Director Kate Madison and actor Duran Fulton Brown (Hunter) discuss filming with animals in our latest behind-the-scenes video. This is the last of our free BTS videos from the Ren shoot. Still craving more? Tune in next week to find out how you can become a virtual crew member and join the team on their filmmaking... read more
Epping Forest

Epping Forest

This week’s behind-the-scenes video looks at the location shoot in Epping Forest. Cast and crew including Duran Fulton Brown (Hunter) discuss the huge fight sequence that was staged amongst the trees of this ancient woodland. After scouting locations closer to Ren‘s Cambridgeshire production base, director Kate Madison made the decision to return to Epping Forest, on the edge of north-east London. The area of the forest around Debden House campsite had portrayed Middle Earth woodland in scenes from Kate’s earlier film Born of Hope, and would now become part of Alathia. The Epping shoot was pushed back by a week after poor weather was forecast; mud would create issues of costume continuity with many actors having to fall on the ground in their action scenes. Unfortunately the weather was happy to wait a week, and the cast and crew arrived on a rainy Monday morning. After a few daylight shots, lamps were set up for the big nighttime scene which opens episode one. The rain continued unabated, which made for great images but miserable working conditions. A satisfied but thoroughly soaked Ren team trooped back to their Debden House accommodation at around midnight. (Check out our earlier BTS video about shooting in and around the rain, if you missed it.) Tuesday was much drier, and work continued steadily on fight and dialogue scenes for the next three days. Many fight performers and extras joined the principal actors to portray Kah’Nath soldiers, forming a formidable rank of foes for Hunter and Lyanna. On Wednesday night, the cast and crew – who by this, their fourth week of Ren, had bonded strongly – squeezed into a cozy bedroom at Debden House... read more
Good People of Lyngarth: The Extras

Good People of Lyngarth: The Extras

It’s one thing to build a medieval village, but it would have been nothing without villagers to populate it. Fortunately, the Ren production team were able to gather together a pool of wonderful, dedicated extras to bring the square and streets of Lyngarth to life. There were up to 50 extras on set at times, and we’ve caught up with just a few of them to find out what their experience was of making Ren. Birte Mattes, a veteran of director Kate Madison’s Born of Hope, portrayed a villager as well as helping out in the costume department. Matt Unger was a volunteer helping with the set build, who later played villagers and Kah’nath soldiers. And Chloe Belcher performed the role of “Broom Lady”, shooing Hunter (Duran Fulton Brown) out of her house. What attracted you to take part in the project? Birte: I have always loved fantasy books and films so when my brother told me about Ren and what it was all about, I got really excited and wanted to join in and as it wasn’t the first time I had worked with Kate on a movie, it was great to be able to work with her again! Matt: I heard about it around Easter and was immediately quite drawn to the idea of helping with making the set of the series. Admittedly I was a bit reluctant to take part as an extra at first, since I was quite shy, but after spending time with Chris, Kate and all the other crew it became quite a fun idea; to work with them all on the set... read more

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