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Production Diary Week 16 – Sir Ian McKellen Escapes The Village

Kerrin Kokot,’s multimedia producer, discusses the 16th week of shooting.

Sir Ian McKellen is no longer a prisoner of this complex production. He wrapped up his last scene — an emotionally intense performance with Jim Caveizel and Ruth Wilson — on Monday, then donned his debonair gentleman’s hat and whistled as he walked off set.

Quite a few cast members have been dropping off the call sheet as we spiral towards the end of production. Jeffrey R. Smith said his farewells yesterday, Lennie James and Jessica Haynes a few days prior, and Rachel Blake has long ago been released into a world beyond The Village. Of the main cast only Ruth Wilson, Hayley Atwell, Jamie Bower and of course Jim Caviezel (the biggest prisoner of them all) are left carving out a path in this story.

And quite a path it’s been. The wind has been playing havoc in Cape Town, which aside from the annoyance makes outdoor shoots requiring the use of sand a nightmare to control. To keep spirits up, our third assistant director amused the cast and crew by taking her pants off behind a semi-transparent hospital bed screen (Ooh la la!). Back at Waterfront Studios, the art department has been working around the clock to get sets built and polished in time for the last stages of filming. Everyone has been working like mad to ensure The Prisoner‘s look and feel is as authentic as possible — even Jim’s fridge was stocked Village-style beer, eggs, and milk.

As the end date looms I begin to wonder how it will feel to move back to the outside world myself: The big non-Village. It will probably all seem sadly surreal.

Image: The contents of Six’s refrigerator in The Prisoner

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