The Levelling



Producer Finlay Pretsell tells us about his recent recce for 'Norfolk'

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Film Making

Our recce started off when we were welcomed at the train station by Craig our rental car chaperone who talked a lot about the local area and what delights we could expect. He bid us on our way pointing to the local KFC just down the road. We then checked into our B&B where Mike greeted us with "you did want a double room didn't you?" Martin and I hummed and hawed and while we thought it might be a good team building exercise we decided to book two rooms in the Coach House B&B.

We officially started our recce in Potter Heigham in the North Norfolk broads at 2.34pm...we wandered up and down a path from Martin's childhood holiday there - not a soul around on a grey windswept afternoon. After taking various location stills we thought we'd take the opportunity to update our iFeatures 2 team photo with a more 'heroic' stance as I'm sure you'll agree!

As producer of Norfolk, and having never been there, I have only imagined from pictures and Martin's words what the landscape Martin talks about so vividly looks and feels like. After spending a couple of days there bobbing up and down the waterways in our small rented vessel I can now really get into the mindset of the characters and of course, the director! The flatlands of the Norfolk broads are in some ways the antithesis of drama or the typically more obvious dramatic mountainous landscapes of a place I love: Sutherland in North West Scotland for example - landscapes I'm much more fond of on a personal level. But the well tread normality of the Norfolk broads suits a certain mood of this film, much more akin to Martin's previous films which were set in his hometown of Blackpool.

The waterways were super quiet on a cold but sunny autumnal day in November, the silence evoked the atmosphere in which Norfolk is set perfectly. As Martin and I took photographs and shot a little bit of film we could really start imagining the film becoming a reality. We even allowed ourselves to  start thinking of the film very practically and actually imagining making it.

All in all it was such a useful exercise for director and producer to do together before doing any serious hunting around for locations when and if the film gets greenlit.

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