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EPSOM MOVIE MAKERS

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ALL HANDS ON DECK! by Sylvia Bull
The Crew
An update on “Last Night of the Titainia”. Sunday 17th June dawned bright and sunny and fortunately not too hot as we were about to be indoors for about 8 hours. As I couldn’t be sure what time we would be back home I prepared a casserole and left it inour slow-cooker so we wouldn’t go
hungry when we finally returned.Norman and I called for Bernie Dennison and his lovely wife Ella emerged from their home clutching plates of sandwiches and sausage rolls etc. which she had patiently and lovingly made for the entire cast and crew - thank you Ella and Bernie for this very generous gesture. We all arrived at Nelson House at about 9.30a.m. and piled in.
Our actors Samantha Sanns (who for the rest of this article will be referred to as “Sam”), Annie Overton and Andrew O’Brien proceeded to the very top of the building and started donning their costumes and make-up.I was present to offer the girls any help they might need - there was certainly no room for embarrassment in this room as Sam and John Storey swapped shirts - John’s being more suitable for our purpose.
Last Night of the Titainia

John then switched on his camcorder and proceeded to film most of the preparation work - so look out for his documentary on the making of the film - it might well need an “X” certificate. Annie the blond one (who plays Mr. Buss) is an extremely slight lass and it took several bulldog clips and safety pins to make her dinner jacket look anything like reasonable for the camera - it being at least six times too big for her. I’d brought along a pair of black slacks just in case and it was just as well I did as Sam needed a pair. There was rather less need for safety pins and other fasteners for Sam and she definitely looked the part in her d.j. Andrew looked absolutely immaculate and very handsome in his dark trousers and snowy white shirt. Not only had Ken brought along a selection of bow ties, but also a treasured pocket watch and monocle. Norman had spent practically all the previous day making white cardboard collar and shirt fronts for all three of them - and they stood up very well to all the pinning that had to go on when the bow ties were fitted. Annie had brought a variety of hairy bits so that Smythe, Buss and the waiter had different mustaches and eyebrows. I noticed that all the time the girls were getting ready they were bouncing their lines of each other. To their credit the girls were word-perfect and later when we were actually filming I made a couple of suggestions that very slightly changed some action or added a few words (for continuity) which they took in their stride. Where I wonder was all the petulance one is supposed to expect from the acting profession these three could not have been more accommodating. We had a few run-throughs of the opening scene and started filming at about 11.15a.m. It all went very well. Naturally there were a few fluffed lines and blank stares when one or the other “dried” (see I know all the theatrical expressions!) but as I say I asked Sam to put a few unscripted words into a particular scene and Annie to lift her brandy glass at the end of a scene so that she could be seen drinking from it at the start of the next and they simply took it all on board without a word of dissent. We broke for lunch at about 1p.m. and gratefully tucked-in to Ella’s delicious spread - someone had very kindly brought along a few bottles of very nice wine which was extremely well received. After about three-quarters-of-an-hour it was back to the filming. We were very thankful that there were no fires or major incidents in and around the Epsom area as there are Fire, Police and Ambulance stations complete with noisy sirens very close by. There were a few noisy cars and motorbikes but nothing held us up for long. The filming was completed by about 5 p.m. and we were all very weary - it’s amazing how much energy one can expend on a relatively sedentary past time. Once home our nostrils filled with the delicious smell of our casserole and very nice it was too - well if I don’t say it ...........! Norman has now finished editing the film taken by the three cameras from five angles and, in my somewhat biased, but nonetheless honest opinion, has come up with an excellent film. If you would like to have a go at editing this film Norman can supply you with the footage, you will need either a digital or Super VHS cassette of 1 hour’s length, and the shooting script. All in all this was a smashing project to work on I am so glad that Norman asked me to get involved. We had three extremely pleasant excellent actors, a secluded and private venue for filming, a delicious picnic, some great laughs and a wonderful crew where everyone did their bit. Norman has made VHS cassettes of the film - one for each of the actors - this along with their travelling expenses being their only reward. They have all agreed to take part in any other projects we might undertake - so if you have an idea for a film and would like to have as much fun as we all did let Norman or someone on the committee know. Remember, it’s time consuming, at times frustrating, and very very tiring but also great fun and most worthwhile. Thanks to everyone who took part particularly John Ellis who lugged about all the material to make the set and then went back the week after filming to dismantle it all and store it at the back of his garage.

SECOND TAKE August 2001

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