In august 2013, the surrounding area of Hagenskov Gods, its buildings and farm were used as filming location for Ole Bornedal’s film and drama series on the German-Danish War in 1864.
The first episode of the drama series is broadcasted on 27 September 2014.
Please click here to watch the trailer. Link opens in a new window.
Britta Schall Holberg has written an article for publication in Kærum-Sønderby Local History and Archives Centre’s newly published annual publication on her thoughts on housing such an event. Below is her article:
The filming of “1864” at Hagenskov Gods
When the Danish broadcaster DR airs the first episode of the drama series “1864” on 27 September 2014, all of us at Hagenskov Gods will be glued to the screen, and I am sure that we are not the only ones glued to the screen. Besides the Danish population in general, hundreds of extras, actors, workmen, dressers, make-up artists and other people involved in the production will be watching the first episode with equal anticipation.
The first episode of what? – of Ole Bornedal’s drama series on the German-Danish War in 1864 which has been shot at several filming locations, but primarily in the outskirts of Prague, the old town area in the town of Odense, Plum’s barn in the town of Assens, Hvidkilde Gods, the town of Faaborg and Hagenskov Gods.
I have been asked to share with you my thoughts on how it is to house such an event that took place at Hagenskov Gods last year in September.
There is no doubt that we had to think twice before agreeing to house this event, and then again when someone asks you for permission to use your estate to portray such an important and epic event in Danish history as the German-Danish War in 1864, you just have to say yes. And so we did.
The process was quite long: the film crew approached us last year in January to see if we were interested in allowing them to use our estate as filming location for Ole Bornedal’s film and drama series “1864”, the total production cost of which was DKK 173 million which makes it the most expensive TV production in Danish history. The film crew was interested in using Hagenskov Gods as filming location as the crew had fallen in love with our estate and its beautiful surroundings, especially the large yard, the riding ground, the huge barn, the manor house, the park, the farm and the former tenant’s house.
We participated in many meetings with the film crew at which we discussed how to transform Hagenskov Gods into an 1864 style farm. The transformation implied that all electrical installations had to be removed, keyholes and door bells had to be covered, signs had to be taken down, curtains had to be hung in the rental properties, boulders and chains had to be removed, grass had to covered with fabric resembling gravel, fine shingle had to be removed, the road to Aa had to be covered with 140 tonnes of gravel, bales of straw had to be stacked at the riding ground together with a dunghill and old carriages, and a water pump and a fence for the horses had to set up. The cowshed had to be filled with cows, and tents had to be put up in the meadow to house the extras. There were vans packed with equipment everywhere….and the list goes on. We had to say no to some ideas, and we agreed to other ideas. A few of my barriers had to be broken when the entire crew making the preparations for the filming arrived and began the transformation. Suddenly, there were bundles of straw everywhere, and I cannot bear the thought of one straw lying about so I really had to pull myself together the first couple of days. But we got used to it. Actually, we kind of missed it when it was all gone.
The filming began in September. All the famous actors arrived together with Ole Bornedal. All traffic around Hagenskov Gods was forbidden much to the irritation of the immediate neighbourhood, and some even acted in aggressive manner towards the assistants trying to stop them. It resulted in many drivers driving through the premises anyway which caused problems for the sound technicians, and several shots had to be retaken. Not to mention the fact that it looks quite silly that there are wheel tracks in a film and drama series resembling the everyday life in 1864. People had all kinds of bad excuses for driving through the premises despite the sign telling them not to. The most common excuse was “I am on my way to the supermarket”, and therefore the standing joke was that most of the drivers should not have passed the road sign test.
We witnessed many spectacular actors’ performances during the weeks of filming. At six o’ clock in the morning, hundreds of extras came by bus, and a few hours later they had been transformed into looking like people from 1864; ready for shooting and the rather long waiting time. Many shots had to be retaken until the director was satisfied. Everyone had to wait patiently while instructions were given until suddenly someone shouted ACTION, and then everyone assumed their positions and acted according to the instructions given. Then someone shouted CUT which immediately brought the shooting to a standstill.
We also witnessed many great actors’ performances at the yard, at the harvest festival in the barn and the cowshed, at the hayloft and behind the smithy all of which has given us an insight into the huge work and effort put into making such a production and how professional and patient the actors are.
Being part of the filming has resulted in us assessing so many things now that we never noticed before when we watched films and theatrical performances. In all, it was an unforgettable experience, and our worst fear: “Will they ever be able to clean up the mess?” was groundless. Everything was left in perfect order. On our wall, there is a huge photo of all of the people involved in the production in front of the manor house taking at the end of the filming. There are hundreds of people. It is a magnificent photo and a wonderful memory.
Britta Schall Holberg
Photo: Tina Valbjørn