Monday, 11 May 2015

Billy Whistle and Bafta Whafta

I'm at the BAFTA's! We're sitting in a ball room surrounded by pink palms, camply-scented flowers and lots of celebrities shrieking and patting each other's backs!

We didn't win. Of course we didn't, although many people have a theory that we came second. That's what they always say though isn't it? It's like agents who tell their clients they got through to the last two. It does no harm to tell that particular white lie!

This evening's glitzy setting couldn't be any more different from where I've been all day...

We've been shooting the promo video for Billy Whistle with all but three of the original NYMT cast of Brass.

The day started at 6am. Jo Emery slept soundly in our loft whilst Nathan, Josh and I rushed about pulling clothes on and trying to swallow down bowls of Shreddies... Or Malted Wheeties as they're called in Aldi!

Rosie joined us, we piled in the car and sailed across North London to Abney Park cemetery where we spent the first part of the morning filming musicians and the girls from the cast performing their sequences in amongst the gravestones. I had to do a radio interview with BBC York which was sabotaged by ludicrously loud birdsong. They wanted to talk about the BAFTAs but I made sure the listeners knew I was filming a sequence from a musical set in Yorkshire!

I was amazed by how luminous some of the girls were on camera. I suppose it's not altogether surprising. A year in film casting, working with the adorable Shaheen Baig (whom I just met up with at the BAFTAs) taught me to identify faces which would "pop" on camera. I had very specific visual casting requirements for Brass which I've only just realised were the product of this.

We drove in convoy to a replica First World War trench in farmland around Gatwick, where it was the turn of the lads to film their sequences, which they did with considerably professionalism and aplomb. They're such a special group of lads and they looked remarkable in their costumes all crammed into the trench. I felt like a proud grandfather! A great deal of the footage we shot was somewhere between epic and wonderful. The sun shone all day, Cameraman Keith, was a joy... As ever. We've worked together three times now, on Songs From Hattersley and A Symphony for Yorkshire and I was unbelievably thrilled when he told me he was able to do this particular project.

Channel 4 had laid on a car to take me from the trench to Central London for the awards. Nathan had left earlier to make sure he was there in good time. I thought I was going to miss the ceremony (and was happy to do so for the sake of our film), but the shoot ended early and I was able to get to the BAFTAs with enough time to get royally bored with award announcement after award announcement! When I looked down, I realised my shoes were covered in mud and my hands were covered in charcoal... Ah! The life of a film director!

When we came to collect our own car, which Nathan had parked outside City Lit, we found it utterly blocked in by some turd who'd parked like a complete dick. Our only escape route involved driving completely up onto the pavement, but we managed to get ourselves wedged between a brick wall and a ten foot-high controlled parking sign, which, low and behold, fell down when I pulled at it to see if it had any give! Problem solved in terms of Nathan's car, but should street signs collapse when prodded? Um...

No comments:

Post a Comment