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Vikings Without Borders

The fifth season of Vikings takes its protagonists to Iceland and the Mediterranean as the sixth wheel in Ireland its arrival in Russia

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Vikings Without Borders

The studios were built in midst of green Irish countryside just over a few years ago with idea of helping to save ir audiovisual industry after departure of several English productions that returned to ir country for improvement of fiscal conditions. Since its inauguration, filming of series of channel history (in Spain TNT premieres fifth season today 6 of December at 22.30) has occupied in exclusive studies, giving work to some 700 people a year among actors, technicians, specialists, accountants, and Extras. It has three large interior studies of up to 12 meters high, largest of m of 2,787 square meters, where y are recreated in detail, mainly in wood and false stone, interiors of houses, temples and castles that appear in series.

On outside, in addition to a large swimming pool for shooting sea and storm scenes, you will find largest outdoor chroma screen (green background used to digitally insert a different décor) from Europe outside of England. Walking two minutes, visitor meets realistic recreation of a Viking village, Kattegat in fiction, a wooden wall on a hill and latest construction, which will not be seen in series until premiere of sixth installment within a year , which recreates Russian palace of Prince Oleg Prophet in Kiev. In vicinity re are many possibilities to shoot outdoors: forests, rivers, a lake that with help of visual effects can be converted into a fjord, beaches and a quarry.

In release that opens now, Vikings will visit places beyond England and France. "The season begins with beginning of disintegration of great Pagan Army and Ragnar Lodbrok family itself." It becomes much more ambitious, in a larger series, in which Vikings arrive to Mediterranean and Iceland, "explains Michael Hirst, creator of series and scriptwriter of all chapters. And to recreate se trips, Hirst has taken out production outside of Ireland. "I thought it was very important to bring series to se sites and we have filmed in Iceland and Morocco [to recreate what is now Tunisia]." I had a hard time convincing some people here that as much as we striving, we could not shoot Morocco in western Ireland, ' jokes producer. "From beginning of series I said that this is not only story of Ragnar, it is also that of his children." We know that even se became more famous than ir far. Bjorn actually came to Mediterranean and we know that re was someone named Ivar boning. "Who would have thought that one of most important and cruelest Viking leaders was an invalid, considering our idea of what Vikings were."

Gustaf Skarsgård as Floki in fifth season of ' Vikings '.

The series tries to recreate in most faithful way possible how this town was without falling into clichés. Hirst works with a historical advisor and a Icelandic novelist gives him a helping hand to better understand Nordic sagas. But producer makes it clear that it is impossible to comply with a thorough historical rigor, something that sometimes throws him in face. "One of things I seek most is those that contradict assumptions and prejudices." I started all this reading enough to believe that whole idea we had of Vikings was not correct and that our attitude towards m was established by ir enemies, by Christian monks in France and England. The Vikings left nothing in writing. And that's why we think of m as some kind of dirty hippies who were only interested in rape and looting, Hirst explains. "Without trying to be pedagogical about it, because I'm not here to teach anything to anyone, I could put things on paper that challenge easy assumptions." I felt it was a challenge to write a series in which heroes were dedicated, in ory, to looting and killing Christians and getting us to like this, producer concludes.

To speak with managers of departments of costume, effects, hairdressing or production design is to realize that Hirst is great chief and that all bases of his works are already based on script that this has written in detail. The halls of studios are full of hangers with lear clos, skin or aged fabric that use extras. Lear comes from Spain and Italy, furs, directly from Madrid. Each main character of series is assigned an exclusive dressmaker who work under orders of Joan Bergin (three Emmy winner for her work in The Tudors). "Each suit or mesh size is duplicated, because sometimes, as it is not wheeled in a linear way, has to be stained with blood or broken after a battle and so we can change actor," explains Bergin.

From Henri VIII to Bishop Guerrero

One of novelties of fifth season is signing of Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, who plays a Christian warrior bishop named Heahmund. It is not on set of filming on day of visit, but Hirst speaks with enthusiasm about it. "We wanted to find a Saxon warrior who was equivalent of Vikings in terms of charisma or reputation." "Many people have told me that I had written to Saxons very weak and that Vikings always seem fierce," explains screenwriter. "My historical adviser suggested to me figure of warrior bishops, who were forerunners of Templars a hundred years before." They were genuinely religious but also wrestlers. "There I found my Saxon warrior, I found man who could oretically confront Ivar and Bjorn and imposing Vikings," Hirst says. "Someone suggested Johnny [who had already worked on Tudors, where he embodied Henry VIII], which was brilliant, because he is unpredictable and very passionate, and this bishop too." "It was intensity I needed," producer tops.

In hairdresser's dressing rooms, hundreds of photographs of different braids, bows or beards occupy walls as examples. "We've created street trends and invented new types of braids." "Actresses love it," says Dee Corcoran, head hairdresser. When traveling to different countries in fifth and sixth seasons, style has changed somewhat. "We play now with a palette of precious colors, as opposed to what we use for Vikings, who are more earthy," says Corcoran.

Outside main building is hut where y elaborate practical special effects. There, on tables, re are off heads, supposed dead animals, and a huge plaster crocodile that are building for a crucial scene of sixth season and on which y can not tell anything else. There, Tom McInerney is dedicated to producing liters and liters of fake blood. Vikings, says specialist, is one of series that more battles wheel and in which more blood is used. "We've got a fake blood formula that can easily be removed even from clothing." "In costume department y are delighted with us," explains McInerney. They have also perfected a method to simulate tattoos on skin of Vikings which has an easy application and subsequent cleaning and that has allowed to save a lot of time in make-up. To elaborate all practical effects, as complex as y may be, team has 12 days per episode maximum.

The production design team has a room full of drawings and models of Russian buildings and Viking ships. You look at where you look you see how y work in detail. By fifth season y had to at how a rudimentary settlement would be in Iceland or a mosque of that time. and traveling both North and Morocco (y were about to go to Almeria) to develop ir work with teams from those countries. But for sixth, y're ready now, y're not going to shoot Russia. "We're not even going to World Cup, who's Danish?", football joke is head of production design Mark Geraghty with a strong Irish accent. He says it very seriously, with a Viking-looking challenger. No one dares to say anything until he laughs, with a Viking's gaze eager to celebrate whatever it is, even if it is a defeat.

The Viking Russia

Although visit in Ireland is destined for promotion of fifth season, what is being rolled at that time is first part of sixth, which will not debut until autumn of 2018. That dedication will be focused on expansion of Viking world to east. First through Russia and n through Silk Road. "I am often asked how accurate or how auntic series is, and I wish I could answer that it is as accurate or auntic as we can get." I wanted to go to Russia, because I discovered, and I didn't know it before, that Russia was founded by Vikings RUS (Varangians) and that its base was in Kiev, "explains screenwriter Michael Hirst. "And I think Russians have problems with it because y want to think that y are a race eslávica and not Western, but still Prince Oleg prophet and ors were something basically too good not to get m out in series," he concludes.

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