Ah, another Thursday has arrived. The title of this post is from the old English nursery rhyme that goes: "Monday's child is fair of face. Tuesday's child is full of grace. Wednesday's child is full of woe. Thursday's child has far to go..."
The rhyme was used to help young children remember the names of the days of the week, but I always thought it kinda sucked for "Wednesday's child"... who wants to be "full of woe"!? Not me!
But as for Thursday's child having far to go, here I am with the weekly Thursday Heartland Update, telling you that we don't really have that far to go, only 16 Thursdays between today and the launch of Season 4 (Again, if you're counting sleeps that makes it only a scant 115 days from today). Click through to read a bunch of cool stuff about Heartand!
Some of you may be thinking that 115 days is an eternity, but now that we're in June, summer is upon us... and as we all know, summer has an unfortunate habit of rapidly coming and then going, no? So hang in there, enjoy the many, many posts I'm going to send your way (not just on Thursdays, either!) and join the countdown to the Season 4 premiere with me!
On set there are only 2 more days of filming the first two episodes. On Tuesday filming will start on Episodes 403 and 404, and if you recall, I recently found out that Heartland would be getting a visit from someone who'd not been on the series for over a year... remember that? Well, I know this is going to only open up the speculation floodgates, but you are NOT going to believe who the series has coming back in these next two episodes!!! Seriously, even I was surprised, and it takes a lot to surprise me...
Anyway I'm sure you don't want to hear about that stuff, so let's answer some questions instead!
1) First and foremost - believe me on this - this blog is the main source for all things Heartland. When details on the production or on anything else Heartland-esque become available, it'll be found here FIRST. Always.
2) Is Heartland-esque a proper word? How about Heartlandisity or Heartlandishness? Maybe not... unless we use them enough! Then they end up being picked up by the O.E.D. or Merriam Webster... - hey, it worked for "unfriend" and "hashtag" for 2009! Let's do it!
3) A note about fan mail: If you are sending a personal letter to the one of the cast or crew, make sure you address it to that person, but always include the word "Heartland".
For example, if you want to send a letter to Amber Marshall, the best way to address the envelope is -
HEARTLAND (Attn: Amber Marshall)
P.O. Box 2640
That way I guarantee that she'll get it. Remember, the Post Office box number and postal code is important, but so is writing the word "Heartland" in the address.
4) Zoey writes, "...there might be an episode on my birthday! yeah my birthday is (ahem) on halloween, 31st october, much to my chagrin. i hate sharing my birthday with another huge event on the calendar..."
I imagine there are going to be a lot of you who may be going to Halloween parties or will be out Trick or Treating or otherwise wanting to do fun things on Sunday, October 31 - so just so you know - there will be NO conflict for you to be concerned with! The CBC will NOT be airing a new episode of Heartland on Halloween.
5) arabiangirl asks, "Can you give some more pictures/info about the horses please?"
Sometime soon I'm going to post a lot of never-before-seen photos of horses that have appeared in the series and I'll devote an entire blog post to Amy's trusty steed Spartan. Watch for it!
6) Sarah asks, "I was just wondering what IMHO stands for??"
Sorry - I meant to answer that in the comments. That would be, in texting slang: In My Humble Opinion (in the same way that LOL is "laughing out loud")
7) Twe asks, "How often do one of the camera men or other members of the production crew fall over when they're walking backwards?"
The answer is - Eeek! Absolutely NEVER! A steadicam rig is a delicate and complex piece of equipment worth a LOT of money (like, as in tens of thousands of dollars even without the camera attached.) Every step of every shot on Heartland is blocked and rehearsed. If you look at the photo from last week's blog you'll notice a crew member to the right of the steadicam operator. That person is acting as the eyes of the backwards moving camera, watching to make sure nothing gets in the path behind the operator. This way the camera operator can concentrate on getting the shot and not have to worry about tripping.
8) Sher asks, "When will the 3rd season be on DVD?
I can't tell you because I don't know. Because Seasons 1 and 2 have only recently been released as complete single season boxed sets, Season 3 won't be released for a while. But, as always, when I find out, I'll totally let you know!
9) Barb asks "What are the big white "cards" in the photo?"
She's referring to the same photo from last Thursday's post, with the steadicam shot tracking Amy and Ty walking toward the ranch house. If you look at it again, by the shadows you'll see the camera is facing the sun, so normally Amber and Graham's faces would be very dark. The white "cards" are used as (and called) bounces, to reflect the natural light of the sun on to the actors' faces, allowing them to be filmed in a better light. Simple, huh?
10) Alyssa - and a bunch of others - have asked "Is there an air date for the U.S.?"
I've answered this before, but just once, so I'll repeat that Heartland is going to begin broadcasting in syndication in the United States beginning the week of September 18, 2010. At this time I can't say which stations or at what times, but again, when I know you will know. If any of you who are American fans find out when it's airing in your area, though, don't hesitate to post it here on the blog!
11) Jasmine asks, "So when are the pictures of the characters at the top of the webpage going to be replaced?"
The images of the characters are changed every year, before the season premiere.
12) Tiishirt says: "here on the Blog you DO learn a lot about other countries, don't you?!" Yep! I love to both entertain AND educate!
Today's lesson, disguised as trivia, although not about another country, is going back in time nearly four years...
When a television broadcaster decides whether they want to commit the time, energy and money (!) necessary to launch a series, quite often they'll only greenlight (or approve) the pilot, or first episode, to see how it turns out. That was the case with Heartland. In the fall of 2006 episode 101 was scripted and filmed. Quite a lot was different, including the location of the Heartland ranch. Also there was also no Mallory! After the pilot episode was tested and screened the CBC decided to go ahead and bring the world of Heartland to Canadian television audiences. (And we are ALL glad they did!)
The pilot episode, which was directed by Dean Bennett, was then altered slightly (to make it into episode 1 of season 1) and additional scenes were added in. These scenes, directed by Ron Murphy, were filmed during the fall of 2007 when season one episodes were in production. So - for example - the scenes establishing the ranch house and the scenes of Mallory in Episode 101 - "Coming Home" were never in the original pilot but are there now. If you watch the episode you will see this additional footage added beginning at the 6'32" mark, showing the barn and the house, where Mallory (Jessica Amlee) is waiting on the porch when Jack brings Amy and Lou home.
The photo at the top of this post was taken on the first day of filming the pilot in 2006. Amber Marshall has played Amy Fleming for nearly four years and she is doing an AWESOME job of it.
Yesterday was indeed Amber's birthday and along with all of you I want to wish her a happy birthday. I had a ton of fun hanging out with her during the CBC Fall media launch event last week... in fact pictures of Amber (and a short video) are on the Official Heartland Facebook Page, and if you haven't already "liked" that and added it to your news feed... WHY NOT?!! :-)
As Amber gets a bit older so does Amy. No longer the fifteen-year-old that she was in "Coming Home," Amy will be graduating to new things this year... and the stories continue to unfold in 115 days.
Tick... tick... tick