16/04/08 Falle, McCallum, Allen enjoyed roles as vikings


The Truro Daily News

It was between late October and early December, 2006 that the movie 'Outlander' was filmed in Nine Mile River, Halifax and Newfoundland. And the movie, rumoured to have a budget in the high millions, certainly provided an exciting experience for three local men. Up to the challenge were Wayne Falle, a well-known local sign painter, designer and cartoonist; Sandy McCallum, a Truro area lumberman and labourer, and the late Fred Allen of Stewiacke, who had been a successful art director, master model builder and designer with companies such as CBC and Fortress Louisburg.

It was a real enjoyment for Looking Back to hear the account of what took place as Falle and McCallum reminisced earlier this week. "Some movie people were looking for Vikings – light-complected people with beards," McCallum recalled. "Wayne advised me when he telephoned about the filming. We went down there on a lark more or less. My, it was quite a new world and quite an experience to arrive in Nine Mile River and to see the set. It was the real thing. They had built buildings and a fortress you wouldn't believe."

"Remember, we sent a picture down, that was all they needed," Falle added. "We didn't have any speaking parts but we were in a lot of fight scenes and in on a lot of hollering. We were directed to go to the weapon area and we were assigned swords, spears or axes. We were told to stay out of the way of the stunt performers who were fighting more or less inside a circle while we were the extras in the background. "They were long days, around 12 hours, and there was a day or two that Fred and Sandy were kept down there for over 18 hours. We were called on around 15 to 20 times for film shooting. We received a little over $9 an hour pay and not making that much money we split the gas expense up between the three of us," smiled McCallum.

"It was different, something we'd never dreamed of doing. It was probably the first and only time for me to be involved in a movie. They hired me because I had a beard, not for my acting, but in looking back it's something I'll never ever forget. I know if Wayne and I were ever offered the opportunity again to be in a movie we'd do it over again. One of my strong memories is of actor John Hurt. He was one of the stars as the King of the Vikings. He was a down-to-earth, real nice man."

Falle then explained: "What the movie 'Outlander' was all about, Jim Caviezel, he was the outlander and he had crash-landed his spaceship and he was the only survivor. Found by the Vikings, they took him captive and back to their village. The opening scene they were bringing the outlander into the village, he was tied to a drag and hauled by a horse with a number of Vikings guarding him. In that scene Fred and I, Vikings, we were walking out of the village with our axes as we were going to the woods to cut wood. It developed into quite a story I guess."

For close to an hour, and during smiles, laughter and serious moments, McCallum and Falle continued to team up and share accounts of their movie experience. And on occasion they would stop and take time to pay tribute to their friend Fred Allen, who had passed away in December of 2007 due to cancer.

McCallum, in making a point about the meals, was at his best as he commented: "I got used to the strange hours. We started some mornings at five o’clock in the morning. For meals sometimes they'd bring around a plate of sandwiches. A lot of pasta was served, the meals weren't much to write home about ... after a few days I carried my own lunch."

Then he spoke regarding his interest in one day watching the movie Outlander.

“We learned through the Internet that 'Outlander' had been translated into Russian and is presently being shown in Russia. We were told back in December of 2006 that it might take three years until the movie would be shown in Canada, so hopefully some day soon." Added Falle: "When it does come out Sandy, you and I, we’ll be there to see it. There’s a scene I especially would like to see where Sandy and I are together in front of the temple. We were part of a large crowd that were being told that the King had died."