Norfolk. Nelson’s County. There’s a sign when you come in, right by where the locals wish there was a passport check-point (it’s ok for me to say this, I’m local).
So, you’re out and about, and people ask you "what you do then?", and you tell them... "Oh, I work in Film. Film production".
There’s a pause, and a slightly puzzled look. "You work in production? What’s that about then? Do you work with anyone famous?"
How to reply? I usually cough in a deprecating manner and murmur *un-sung heroes* whilst looking askance at my feet.
Production is…well, for the feature film ‘Norfolk’ shooting this summer, it’s anything and everything. It’s where you start, with an idea, a script that someone’s taken a chance on and given you some money to go away and make the impossible happen. It’s about getting a disparate cast from as far afield as Paris and Dublin, a crew from all over the UK, and a few hardy locals into one place, at one time, and in the mood to be creative.
The place? The Norfolk Broads; full of boats, swans, chips and holiday makers; beautifully misty mornings, waving fronds of grass, open skies and mystery.
The time? Now - October 2013.
The how? Perseverance.
The logistics of moving a film crew can be tricky, especially when the heart of the industry still pumps away in London. Where will people live? Where will the actors live? Can we get him or her a taxi at 05.30 in the morning? Can we feed everyone nutritious healthy meals that don’t always involve…chips? What happens if it rains, snows, hails? This is England after-all. Is it possible to drive a lorry onto a farmers’ field without said farmer going apoplectic that we’ve ruined a precious maize crop? Can we house 25 people at £10 a head in the height of summer!? (The answer to this seems to be no, but hey, it was worth a try). But, one thing you learn in this business is that nothing is ever impossible, and that the word ‘film’ is a magical one that can inspire surprising generosity. From the chartered surveyor that let us jack into their wifi (thanks Paul) to the village hall that gave us chairs to sit on, there are people out there willing to help a bunch of dubious desperados with winsome smiles, you just have to find them and never let them go.
End of week one and we’ve an office, we’ve tables and we’re connected to the outside world. We’ve some fabulous locations, made friends with the local coffee shop and found a bed for everyone who needs one.
Next week the actors arrive, and we start shooting...
Catriona Dickie – Production Secretary - 'Norfolk'
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