Production of series 2 of the Tribe entered its second week ofprincipal photography on 16th August – only another 25 weeks to go until the completion of filming, in March 2000!

A team of over 100 people are now hard at work on series 2 ranging from the main cast and supporting cast, the writing team who are writing scripts, the production crew (camera, scripts, lighting, make-up, hair, costume and wardrobe, directors, sound, technical, chaperones) who are filming the finished scripts, to music composers, teachers, chaperones, house parents, security, accounts, administrative support.

The production process on the Tribe (and most television shows and motion pictures) involves a combination of filming inside interior sets, and outside exteriors on production locations. So far, the exterior production locations have included mountains, city streets, woods, hills, farms, fields, crossroads, abandoned warehouses, and apartments. The interior sets have so far included cafes, kitchens, stairways, shops, farmhouses, farm buildings, laboratories, apartments, warehouses, and houses. And all that is just in the first week of filming series 2!

In addition to its cast of human characters, the production of series 2 also involves an assortment of animals such as dogs, doves, pigs, rats, chickens, sheep, a baby lamb, and roosters!

The cast and production crew have early start – normally, members of cast are in make-up and costume departments each morning at about 0700 to prepare to start shooting from about 0800. So all concerned are awake and out of bed very early to meet their call times. The production (excluding travel and call times) works ten hours per day re actual filming – and there is a continuous stream of forward planning outside these hours.

Approximately 9 minutes of footage is filmed every day. When members of the cast are not filming scenes, they head back to the production center where they have lessons and schooling with their tutors – when it is time to film again, the cast return to the location or studio depending on whether they will be filming interior or exterior scenes.

Each day, the previous days` footage (called `rushes`) is rushed off for the Executive Producer, Executive in Charge of Production, and Producer to monitor how the series is looking and progressing in all areas from production values to the performance of the various characters. The rushes are also catalogued and compiled so they will be ready to be edited together when all the footage for each episodes has been filmed – this is the point when each episode enters post-production and is edited, has music and sound effects added to it, the sound levels are mixed, and then the episode is sent off for technical quality control (i.e. the brightness and grading of the picture).

Throughout this entire process, the writing team are hard at work – continually – and forging ahead so that teams in pre-production can plan their production blocks. The writers are currently up to writing script 30 out of 52 episodes in series 2 and keep ahead of where the production is (at the moment filming episodes 1-4) to allow time for the scripts to be scheduled and scenes broken down into shooting days (which scenes will be filmed on which day) before they are actually filmed. Additional new music is also being composed for series2 to be ready for when episodes enter post-production.

It is now the end of winter in New Zealand – the weather is literally upside down compared to Europe and the Northern Hemisphere, where it is the end of summer. Temperatures are in the region of 50 degrees Fahrenheit at the moment – but it feels a lot colder outside due to the wind direction, especially when southerly winds hit New Zealand (they come straight from Antarctica)!

The weather in the first week of shootingseries 2 (August 9th – August 13th) was:

  • Monday – mostly fine weather with light winds
  • Tuesday – mostly fine but with frosts and light winds
  • Wednesday – fine but with northerly winds
  • Thursday – rain and showers
  • Friday – Mix of cloud and fine periods, with gusty northerlies,
  • The First Assistant Director makes a weather call and all members of the team check a weather “hotline”. If wet weather is called then a contingency schedule is implemented inside. If wet weather is not called then the exterior filming goes ahead. Sometimes the production gets rained out but overall the assistant directors have a tremendous track record on this difficult task.
    Come rain or shine, Tribe Series 2 must stay in production each day and every day in order to meet the tight production schedules so that broadcasters will be able to transmit the series – and you can enjoy it at your screens at home.
    Visitors to the website from Europe must be enjoying their sunshine and warm weather!!