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2024 Netflix series full of guns, drugs, crime and comedy!

featuring Bowman Traps!

 

 

Until now, we have kept a lid on working with Netflix and eagerly awaited the release date – it’s finally here!

After watching the first episode and seeing our trap in the gardens of Badminton House, with Vinnie Jones sat on the garden chair and Daniel Ings needing to “miss in front”, all of the memories came flooding back to me and I thought it was about time to tell the story of Bowman and The Gentlemen.

We were initially contacted in 2022 by Freya in the props department, to provide a trap and engineer for a scene being shot for a Netflix series called ‘The Gentlemen’. As you all know, the series is packed full of guns, drugs, crime and comedy; a direct spin-off from the 2019 Movie. Of course, we were on board!

I remember it well, it was early in November and the weather was starting to turn wintery but there were still some good days hanging about. I travelled down to Gloucestershire the night before to stay in a Premier Inn so I could be at location on time, which was around 07:00 in the morning. I felt a mixture of nerves and excitement as I passed through the layers of security and Freya met me at the entrance to Badminton house.

The Trap I had in the back of the van was a Bowman Sporting Double on a towable quad barrow – all shiny and brand spanking new!

The Double is one of our more elaborate traps, as it uses 2 motors, one to arm the trap and throw the clay and one to index the carousel around, twice, dropping two clays onto the skid plate and throwing arm so you get a simultaneous pair in a nice V shape exiting the trap. I was also loaded with enough clays and batteries that even the worlds strongest man would struggle to carry – if in doubt bring the kitchen sink!

The first job after meeting the props team was to unload the van and take the trap around the house and into the garden. There were rubber pathways which we had to walk on in order to protect the grass from getting churned up, the grounds are absolutely stunning, and, as you can imagine the owners and crew were keen to minimise the damage.

Once the trap was in position (it started out on the opposite side to what you see on TV) I met an assistant direction and fired a few clays, so they could see the flight path. They were happy with everything except for the trap was too new! So, in the next half an hour, a couple of guys from the props team mixed up a bucket of mud and leaves and rubbed some dirt on it – good call – i mean when do you ever see a clean clay trap!

All good so far! So, I thought.

Later on, (there was a bit of waiting involved) I was at the van, prepping a ‘go’ bag of tools and spares, and an assistant director approached me…the conversation went a bit like this..

AD – “Would you like to be in the scene?”

ME – “Err…not really, I don’t really want to be in the scene”

AD – “Unfortunately, we don’t have any one to operate the trap and we need someone”

ME – “Are you sure there isn’t anyone else who can do that?”

AD – “Yes, but we want the professional”

ME – “I was afraid you were going to say that!”

They had twisted my arm! I passed over my measurements, (size 9, 34 short, 42 regular) just in case anyone in Harkila wants to hook me up 😉 and with that, I was given a radio and told to stay close by! Holy Hell! A few frantic texts to the wife and it wasn’t long before I was inside Badminton House walking through halls full of cameras, cables and lighting and on my way to wardrobe!

I was fitted with custom ‘The Gentlemen’ Harkila tweed as worn by their brand ambassador Vinnie Jones – a blend of practicality and sophistication! It really is lovely kit! 

I hinted to the lady in wardrobe about keeping the clothes but, was informed, if I tried to leave with them, I would be tackled to the ground haha!

I had my hair done and was assigned a person from make-up to be with me on-set, but, to my relief, this was short lived – as cool as it would have been, I’m not sure I am cut out for the spotlight (even if it’s only as an extra).

I was lucky enough though, to be involved in a practice scene, with Danny Ings missing the targets and Vinnie offering his comic advice on how to hit it, however after the run through, the directors decided Vinnie should press the remote – a wise choice!

I did however get to keep my Harkila outfit on for the remainder of the day, as there was no time to go back inside and change. This was amusing at times, as every now and then I would get the odd funny look and I could tell people were trying to figure out if I was an actor or not. One person asked if I had been on the set of Divergent!

My role for the day involved assisting in moving the trap, making sure everyone remained safe in between takes, including disarming and re-arming regularly and giving advice where needed. And, as I’m sure your all keen to know, the Trap performed faultlessly, throwing pair after pair after pair.

To be fair, the extra drama made the experience, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time and met some amazing people. I was introduced to some of the actors including Theo James and Daniel Ings and actually spent a fair bit of time talking to Vinnie Jones. We had a chat about the traps and shooting in general and he actually made me feel quite relaxed in a bit of a nervy situation – so hats off to Vinnie – he’s a top guy.

Seeing behind the scenes and how it all works was very cool. The dedication and patience of the actors and crew was incredible, repeating the scenes over and over, to get all the angles and shots.

I spent time off set with two guys from Alamo Arms who provided the side by sides for the scene. Unfortunately I cant be certain, but I think one was an AYA and the other British made; they both had lovely engraving. It was really interesting hearing all of the films which they done including futuristic looking guns for Sci-Fi films as well!

The other highlight, was the access to the food hall at lunch time – Netflix knows how to cater! The food truck and catering hall had a great choice of food and I was well looked after.

I went back to Badminton house in February 2023, for a second scene. This is where you get to see the trap in action again at the end of episode 3. The second visit was a lot more relaxed compared to the first and armed with the phrase “no, I 100% don’t want to be in the scene” I felt a lot more confident!

Once this scene was completed, there was a bit of time to kill before they completed some drone shots following the clay as it left the trap. While waiting, eating and keeping warm I did manage to catch a glimpse of the drone following the cars into the estate and doing wide angle shots of the house – it was all very cool!

So, as you can see, we have been waiting for a while for ‘The Gentlemen’ to start, and it hasn’t disappointed! Hopefully there will be a second series and if we get the call the trap is ready to!

I hope you enjoyed reading this and thanks again to everyone at Netflix for making me feel welcome.

If you’d like any more information about the Sporting Double or any of our other British made clay pigeon traps please give us a call.

All the best.

Nick.

Bowman Traps.