Photo 1: After Tallis slays Brom, she and the Templar part ways to find Saarebas. While Tallis uses her wit and cunning, the Templar uses a magical object called the Phylactery. It contains the blood of the mage, and glows when pointed in the mage's direction. This leads the Templar to a Dalish camp.
Photo 20: The Templar is allowed into the camp under Tallis's instruction, and we get our first glimpse of the nomadic Dalish life. As travelers, the Dalish keep everything they own on wagons that are pulled by mighty steeds. The wagons have colorful sails to help them move effortlessly along. BioWare sent these game design layouts with scale and texture for us to follow.
Photo 21: John Bell constructed the wagon hulls from 1/2" ply and 1x3s. The wheels were plywood rings with dowel spokes, and luan wrapped around the outside.
Photo 22: The wagons were painted in several shades of brown, and then dozens of bright red fabric panels were laced onto them. We had a whole team of people working on the sewing and painting of the sails, as each wagon had over a dozen individual pieces, and all the yellow stripes had to line up in the end. Here, Katie Moest sorts out the finished panels for each wagon.
Photo 23: The biggest and most structural wagon belonged to THE KEEPER. This wagon required an interior, and it was scripted that no one could see what Tallis was doing once she entered it. I tried to incorporate the panels from the open wagons as sun shades, and have short pony walls on the sides to give it more solidity, since this wagon housed valuables.
Photo 24: Once the location was chosen, I sketched this quick layout of where I though everything should go, and it was sent out to production for a sign off or corrections.
Photo 25: Ultimately, we made 6 wagons in all, two of which were heavily damaged by Saarebas's clan. The wagons all had to be transported in pieces and assembled on site. I was hoping to have a few days to do this, but we only ended up with an afternoon the day before filming. Here, Frank Bonanno and Red 5 layout the sails in numbered order for each wagon at the Malibu location.
Photo 26: This differed from the game art, but I wanted to put a slightly more natural element to the Dalish wagons, so I made the masts from Yucca trees instead of milled lumber. Yucca is pretty light weight for 12 feet of tree, but even still, John Bell was the only one of us who could carry more than one at a time!!!
Photo 28:The Dalish camp was only the third day of shooting, and my team was already pretty worn out. We had survived weeks of pre-production, and now the grueling schedule of principle photography was crashing down on us. The day after we shot this scene, Felicia emailed me, stating, "I had a total trippy experience looking at that Dalish Camp, it was like it walked out of the Game. Unreal, thank you for your artistry." The team was super excited to hear how pleased she was, and that invigorated everyone to push onward for the next several weeks of filming.