NEO-DRUID TEMPLE, NORTH SWINTON, YORKSHIRE
     Sue Latham, then British Film Commissioner for Yorkshire, brought us to this inspiring Neo-Druid Temple that fit the description of the Morningstone Shrine Site. Certain we had found a perfect location for the film, we couldn’t wait to show the photos to Peter Anderson, the designated Director of Photography for Morningstone. He appreciated the photos, but ruled out the practical location on the grounds that the shooting schedule called for weeks of shooting at that location, mostly at night, and much of it at the magic hours (pre-dawn and dusk). Without taking into consideration the time of day, Peter said that by the second day of shooting, the production crew and equipment would have reduced the site to a trampled down disaster site (dry if we were lucky, muddy if we were not). The photos would be a useful guide to the set designer, but a huge greens set would have to be built on a sound stage. Not only would we then be safely out of the weather, but we could control the time of day, pre-lighting for night (which would be shot during regular daylight hours, avoiding the inevitable delays and additional costs of night shooting by rigging our lights for all day sunrises, all day days and all night nights, all shot during regular daylight hours). In spite of the cost of renting a sound stage for the build, shoot, and strike periods, it would result in significant savings to the production, and the ability to stay on schedule, no matter what the weather.

     Peter was correct, of course, and his advice invaluable. It was for just such first-hand knowledge and experience that he had been chosen to be the Director of Photography. We weren't even funded yet, and he'd already saved us a ton of money and a world of misery. The promised funding for this production never materialized, but in 1997, Peter and Travis did finally work together on Pike's World Premier Benefit Performance of Grumpuss at Blenehim Castle, where Peter's wisdom and expertise was largely responsible for the success of that production. Travis was wearing too many hats, and when anticipated funding was not forthcoming, Peter brought all his production skills to bear, freeing Travis to focus mainly on performance issues.

     The shrine site first appears on the movie screen in the Morningstone Pub and features Laurel singing "Morningstone" at sunrise. On the pony ride that takes them past the shrine site, Morgan thoughts are reflected in his voice-over song, "The Likes of You." And later that night, when all the villageers go dashing into the dark in pursuit of intimate pleasures, this is where Morgan's voice-over song "Peeping Tom" begins.

The next day, after his sojourn in The Tomb of Every Hope, "The Fool" concludes with Morgen's arrival at the top of the hill overlooking the shrine site, and at that time, the farmers wives and village ladies sing "The Mystery" as Laurel approaches, riding side-saddle on her "unicorn" but dragging one foot along the ground (thus neither riding nor on foot), neither clothed nor naked (her long golden hair held modestly in place by a fishnet), carrying a hare in her lap (a gift she releases when she arrives, thus fulfilling the convention than she arrive neither with, nor without a gift), an excellent example of a Changeling's Return, pre-Christian mystery revealed.

Click the link t learn more about the Neo-Druid Temple in Swinton, North Yorkshire.


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