BUCKFIELD, Maine — Michael Miclon plans to shoot the battle finale of his movie, “Richard 3,” at his home in Buckfield. And he’s inviting everyone to come watch.
On Saturday, Sept. 14, the veteran performer hopes to lure 300 to 400 extras to the fields beside his farmhouse at 119 North Buckfield Road.
“We’re looking for mostly men, ages 18 to 118,” Miclon said. People need to be ready to look menacing, commit to a long day and die again and again.
“We’ve told people, ‘You have to be able to fall down and get up multiple times,'” Miclon said. Skills with an axe, a staff or a long bow are not necessary.
“They do have to fall down when they die, but there are no actual battle skills needed,” Miclon said. “It’s a lot of standing and a lot of walking. But we’ve told people there will be breaks.”
The battle will be created in the editing room, said Miclon, who is directing and starring in the low-budget independent film. It’s a comedic version of Shakespeare’s “Richard III.”
Most of the film was shot more than a year ago at locations including Fort Popham in Phippsburg and the former St. Patrick’s Church in Lewiston. However, fundraising, schedules and illness have delayed shooting the movie’s climax — the Battle of Bosworth Field — until now.
And Miclon, best known as the owner and operator of the former Oddfellow Theater, wants to make it a party.
He has issued an invitation for everyone to attend, whether or not they wish to be an extra.
“If you’ve never seen a real movie being shot, come and watch,” he said. Spectators can even purchase the same lunch given freely to extras or members of the cast and crew.
“To me, it’s going to feel a lot like a one-day festival,” he said.
There will be serious work to accomplish, too.
Besides those hundreds of volunteer actors, Miclon plans to add horses and armored reenactors from Biddeford.
He plans to begin working with extras around 8 a.m. He has invited a troupe of armored reenactors to be part of the crowd. And he’ll add horses around noon.
“The rest of the day should be spent getting all those beauty epic battle shots,” he said. “We’re renting a camera crane, so we should be able to get pretty high.”
Before the shoot, he is working to connect with extras, who are encouraged to email the production at firstname.lastname@example.org if they are interested.
Meanwhile, he and another cast member, Fritz Grobe, are learning to ride horses.
Miclon has ridden once or twice. Fritz never has.
“We don’t have to do much on them,” Miclon said. “But if for some reason the horse gets spooked or something, we want to know what the heck to do.”
And it’s important to the story that neither look scared in the saddle. After all, the original Shakespeare play birthed the line, “A horse! A Horse! My kingdom for a horse!”
To Grobe, the experience will be exciting.
“It’s on my bucket list,” he said. “What I love about working in theater is that you end up doing things you’ve never done before.”
A rough cut of “Richard 3” is scheduled to be the opening night attraction at the Lewiston-Auburn Film Festival in April 2014.