Thursday 17 Apr 2014
Props In the early days when the hospital had a plaster room, a young props buyer had to source a stainless steel bucket plus a mixing implement. He went to a medical prop hire company and selected random items plus the mixing tool. When the episode aired, viewers pointed out that Brenda Fricker had been using infant delivery forceps to mix the plaster!
Casualty's sound editors have a library of almost 100,000 sounds; but sometimes they need to enhance a sound or create something unique. This they do using a foley artist in a sound booth.
The sound booth in the recording studio has a trap in the floor with a block of concrete. This can be used to create various footsteps, including walking on pavement and debris.
In the series 24 première, we initially think the homeless gang holed up in the abandoned shopping centre are zombies. To enhance this feeling, the sound editor slowed down animal sounds, including a turkey gobble slowed by 400 per cent. To create the sound of the giant fan that teenager Ella gets her arm stuck in, as well as maintain the spookiness, he used a recording of vulture wings which he slowed and looped.
Common sounds effects and how they're made:
The voice of "control" on the ambulance radios is not a paid actor. During filming, the 1st Assistant Director will read the part; and during post-production, the sound editor will often grab a passing colleague to record the lines.
Number of times the ED has been on fire or exploded: 3
Paul "Oscar" Anderson is possibly the longest serving extra on TV, having appeared in almost every episode of Casualty. He's played a doctor, a nurse, patients and even had a speaking part in 1996; but is most familiar to us as porter Oscar. A dancer by trade, Paul has choreographed two Casualty episodes and featured in The Real Extras.
One SA accidentally, and very audibly, smashed into a trolley during a take; but because every other take had problems, they kept the one with her accident.
The extras occasionally have joke days where they play pass-the-prop or all carry something silly across the set under the director's nose – see if you can spot the ones the directors didn't.
In addition to on-screen talent, Casualty has nurtured a host of talent behind the camera too. Writers Peter Bowker (Occupation / Monroe), Bill Gallagher (Lark Rise To Candleford) and Bryan Elsley (The Crow Road / Skins) started their careers at Casualty as did former head of BBC Drama Jane Tranter and Controller of ITV Drama Laura Mackie. And Casualty creator Jeremy Brock is now a Hollywood screen writer whose movie credits include Mrs Brown, Charlotte Gray and The Last King Of Scotland.
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