Tag Archives: Karen Gillan

Cinecitta, Rome, Italy – April 2015

Cinecitta entrance

Buongiorno!

This month Project Indigo went international and I travelled in my TARDIS to Italy – and now I am back and ready to tell you all about it.

In this post we are visiting Cinecitta (Cinema City) in Rome – filming location for the Doctor Who episode The Fires of Pompeii (2008). In this episode the Tenth Doctor and Donna arrive in Pompeii on 23rd August 79 AD, the day before Mount Vesuvius is set to erupt, and meet with the Pyrovile. This story is Donna’s first travel through time and also features the current Doctor, Peter Capaldi, playing Caecilius and Karen Gillan as a Sibylline Soothsayer. Both Peter and Karen have English accents  – that must have been strange for them! The cast and crew travelled to Cinecitta to use the amazing ready built sets – they had considered Wales and Malta but they felt that Cinecitta was the place to be. This was the first time that Doctor Who had been filmed abroad since the Doctor Who movie in 1996.

Venusia Cinecitta

 

When I arrived the first thing I saw was a statue of Venusia from the movie Casanova by Federico Fellini.Then I went in the Fellini Room and watched a documentary about the fims made at Cinecitta. This room tells the story of Cinecitta from 1936-1945.Cinecitta is the largest film studio in Europe and was founded by the Italian Prime Minister, Benito Mussolini, to boost the Italian film industry. It was bombed during the Second World War and afterwards was used as a refugee camp for two years.

Zoolander 2 Cinecitta

Next I took part in a guided tour of the outdoor sets. Some of the areas were closed to the public because two Hollywood movies were being filmed right then in the studios- Ben-Hur (2016) starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Huston and Zoolander 2 (2016) starring Ben Stiller! I didn’t get to see any of the filming unfortunately. Usually on the tour you can see the set of New York and Broadway created for the Martin Scorsese film Gangs of New York (2002) but that was being used for filming so I couldn’t see it.

Rome Cinecitta

 

I could see the set of Ancient Rome which covers about four hectares. It was created for the Anglo American TV epic Rome (2005) which starred Indira Varma from Torchwood who I saw last year in The Globe Theatre rehearsing Titus Andronicus. I have never watched Rome as it is a bit fruity I think! The set recreates Rome at the time of Julius Caesar and shows the buildings of The Roman Forum with the Via Sacra, Triumphant Arch and the Temples of Venus and Jupiter. Earlier in the week I had been exploring the real ruins of Ancient Rome such as the Colosseum , the Forum and Palatine Hill and I had a race in the Circus Maximus (which I won!)  so it was fantastic to wander around and see the colourful buildings as they would have looked two thousand years ago. These sets were made of fibreglass , plastic and wood and will only last 15-20 years – not 2000!

Rome Cinecitta

Doctor Who was filmed in the Subura area where people’s homes and workshops were created. I saw the streets of Pompeii where the Doctor and Donna landed in the TARDIS and where they witnessed the devastating event of Vesuvius’ eruption. Luckily for me there was no sign of the Pyrovile!

Doctor Who Cinecitta

After the Rome set I saw the set of a new film Christ the Lord (2016) which is due out next year and tells the story of Jesus as a young person. This film stars Sean Bean and Doctor Who actor David Bradley who plays Solomon in Dinosaurs on a Spaceship (2012) and William Hartnell in An Adventure in Space and Time (2013). I wasn’t allowed to take any pictures – Spoilers!

Rome Cinecitta

After a picnic I visited the Presidential Building which contained an exhibition all about the many films that have been made at Cinecitta including Roman Holiday, Ben Hur, Cleopatra The Taming of the Shrew, Quo Vadis and A Fistful of Dollars!  After the war Cinecitta became known as ‘Hollywood on the Tiber’ with lots of American movie stars coming here to film. I saw lots of old cameras and film making equipment and writing and photographs and costumes telling the story of the great films that have been made here. I also watched lots of Western film clips including Django and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, which I watched sat in a Saloon. My favourite part was the Facts and Figures room – a dark room with lights dancing round the walls and I span around until I felt sick – good thing I didn’t get sick! I left via a submarine set that was in the film U 571 – it looked just like a real submarine and it was hard to believe it was not real.

U-571 Cinecitta

I had a great time at Cinema City and enjoyed learning about all the films that have been made here. The studio was very big and it was so interesting and exciting to look around. Thank you for reading my first post about Italian Doctor Who locations – I have more to come and hope you will come back again. Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of my first international report!

Arrivederci!

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Charlestown, Cornwall – August 2013

Up the lifeboat we goAhoy mateys!

Now for a new location for ye all to see. Yet again we travel back in time to August 2013 to see the location of Charlestown, Cornwall. This was the location for the filming of The Curse of the Black Spot (2011). This episode features the Eleventh Doctor, Amy and Rory who investigate the clues to find the missing crew of the Fancy, a pirate ship.

I travelled to Charlestown by TARDIS and I had some very special companions on this journey – my grandparents! The weather was very grotty (well,that’s how I say it) and wet even though it was summer.  Charlestown is a harbour village and is where people export china clay. Our first stop was the Charlestown Shipwreck and Heritage Centre where we learnt about lots of shipwrecks including the RMS Titanic – not the interstellar cruise liner Titanic in Voyage of the Damned (2007)!  I also learnt about the history of the area  and got on a lifeboat.

We looked at the ships in the harbour which are used for films such as Great Expectations,  Apocalypto and The Scarlet Pimpernel and TV including The Curse of the Black Spot. The Phoenix (the Fancy in the episode) is open to the public and you can go on board where Matt Smith, Karen Gillan and Arthur Darvill have walked and see where they have been swash-buckling!

After all this we went in an Inn and I ate maggots in my biscuits and drank revolting rum . Just joking.

I remember it as a fun day, as it was the first day of my holiday with my grandparents who I was staying with for a week. I definitely want to go again and you can go too.

Blast with ya all, ye scally-wags!  AARRR, time to walk the plank!!