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uninvited guest

WE CAME, WE SHOT, WE CHOMPED.

by Sylvia Bull

Monday the 29th September 2003 had been set aside for filming our probable entry for the forthcoming North v South competition. And so it was that the production team of John Gannaway, Jack Ligertwood, Diggie, Bernie and Norman and myself assembled at the palatial home of Sheila and Ron Everitt in Ewell.
Two days before filming Cilla Conway who is the female lead in the film rang Norman to relate the sad news that her friend who had (been) volunteered to act opposite her had gone down with flu and wouldn’t be available. This left us with a serious problem because when Norman looked at the spreadsheet he had drawn up to show various members availability he found there was no other time that suited everyone. Norman and I looked at each other and scratched our heads wondering who we could persuade to help us out. I then had one of my bright ideas (they are few and far between but usually prove fruitful).

We phoned our friend John who has a son named Matt who is a very keen amateur actor who is looking to break into the professional ranks. Matt fortunately was at home and when Norman outlined the requirements Matt quite literally jumped at the opportunity(thank goodness!). He had just over 24 hours to learn his lines (an onerous task when you remember that I had three lines to speak when we filmed “The Committee” and fluffed them each and every time I attempted them). This coupled with the fact that he had never set eyes on anyone at EC&VS other than Norman and myself he did a wonderful job for us. So, like I say we arrived at Sheila and Ron’s at about 2p.m. and Matt was standing on the drive chatting to the third member of our cast Arthur Trevitt. Matt being the likeable young man he is had already introduced himself to Arthur and they appeared to be getting on like the proverbial house on fire.

John Gannaway was director and the main cameraman (and later editor) and he had also drawn the story board. Jack was on the second camera. Diggy was responsible for sound. Norman was floor manager and producer whilst I was handed the clapperboard. Bernie helped with the lighting, as did Ron who seemed to have an inexhaustible supply of light bulbs of different wattage’s and power cables. Following an appointment in London Cilla arrived a little after us lot and I introduced her to her new “husband”. The three actors then wandered off into another room at Everitt Towers to run through their lines (it was all very professional I thought).
Meanwhile the rest of us completely wrecked the Everitt living room - the only things that stayed in their original places where the t.v. and the sideboard and that is only because they were too heavy I suspect! Filming actually got underway at about 3.35p.m. We found that our little band of actors liked to have a couple of run-throughs before “action” was yelled and the cameras rolled. I am delighted to relate that everything went without a hitch.
At around 5.30p.m. we had a break - Ron had advised us to bring some food with us and Sheila very kindly made coffee and tea for us, along with some delicious cake she had baked. We had actually finished the film at around 9.00 p.m. and we were able to review the results of our labours. I think I can say quite confidently that we were all very happy with the outcome. John very kindly produced a couple of bottles of wine as he was clearing away his camera and the props he had brought along and very welcome it was too. Most of us were glad to partake of a glass and toast the success of our afternoon/evening’s work.

On the Thursday after filming John contacted Norman to say he was well in to the editing and invited him to his home to have a look. Norman came home very impressed. We are still trying to find a good name for the film so watch this space. The film has to be in for judging at the end of October so we should be on time for that and then there is the annual day out at the North v South competition in November - in a hall in Farnborough, Kent normally hosted by Orpington Film and Video Makers. You might remember that in previous years we have met at a pub en route and had lunch and then spent an enjoyable afternoon being entertained. I feel sure our little production crew and actors will be going - If you fancy a Sunday out in November get in touch.

SECOND TAKE OCTOBER 2003.

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