Filming 'What a Drag'
by Sarah <>

Wednesday 29th March 2000 Page 5 of 8

So yet again I sat on my log, with the very restricted view, and felt very happy but very frustrated. They spent ages preparing for the next shot. Every so often a very loud noise, that sounded like a noisy engine, would start up. The horses hated it (their ears would go back) and I was left wondering what it was. I eventually realised that it was the large wind machine that I had seen before lunch when I had been taking photos of the film site. I didn't know whether it was being used to create a wind effect or to obliterate footprints. I assume the former, as it would be much less hassle to use a large rake for the latter.

The horses, including Argo and Gabrielle's horse, were now tied behind a stationary pick-up truck. In the back of the truck was some hay that the horses were contentedly chomping on while they waited to be called on set. Every so often Argo would give me a friendly look. Maybe she remembered me taking photos of her that morning and wanted me to take some more!!?

I noticed, after about an hour, that not only was my skin burning, but also the insect population of the log was munching away at my legs. So I decided to move to a shaded area on a steep, sandy slope that was a few yards away from where I had been sitting. Although this new spot gave me a much better view of what was going on, I had to place a big stick in front of my feet to prevent myself from sliding down the slope.

It was from this spot that I first realised that there were no trailers on the dune. When ROC wasn't involved in a scene she spent much of her time under one of the two canopies.

At about 3.30pm, ROC in costume, but covered by a black cape, began to rehearse for a scene where she fights several Bedouin riders and pulls one of them from their horse. Part of the rehearsals was done in slow motion. During the slow-motion rehearsal ROC did a kick for which she raised her leg by about 135%, she is pretty flexible.

They only shot the scene twice and the action was very quick. Even though I watch the series, I was still surprised by how quick the action sequence was. ROC is quite an athlete.

The next scene was similar, but instead of Gabrielle, it was now Xena in a black cape fighting the Bedouins.

It had started to get a bit chilly, and as a result I had moved from my shaded position to a place higher on the dune which was not only warmer but gave me the best view yet.
The wind machine
The wind machine

"It's a big noise making thingamajig"

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View from the steep slope. ROC on right-hand side of vehicle nearest the camera
View from the steep slope. Argo and friends
happily chomping hay. ROC on right-hand side
of vehicle nearest the camera. Blue and white
canopies on right-hand side of picture

"A centaur and a cyclops go into a bar
and the bartender says to the cyclops"

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Xena fighting Bedouins and Argo being saddled
Xena fighting Bedouins
and Argo being saddled

"Bunch of chop-socky crap"

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