Words: Harriet Ball
Credits: Jay Clapp Photography
Dress: Seamstress of Bloomsbury
Hat: Little Shop of Gorgeousness and Fripperies
My mother has always said I never liked being told I couldn’t do something… She was right. My tutor said to me he didn’t think I could pull off a period drama with no budget to speak of, let alone make it look and sound professional. Never tell a girl armed with a cute vintage handbag and red lipstick she can’t do something, because she will jolly well prove you wrong!
My script was written and I knew I could and indeed would pull this off! I have attempted to make a film before, and sadly it never got off the ground. It’s really not as easy as it looks. There’s so many legal documents that need to be signed, outfits needed to be pulled together, the cast needed to be found, a location needed to be booked, the crew needed to be found, and believe me I struggled and whined to my friends for hours on end, telling them I couldn’t do it. At one point my tutor asked us all how we were coming along with our films, I told him all I had was a gas mask box… he wasn’t impressed.
First, my lead actor dropped out, I was beside myself as it needed to be filmed in the next few weeks! I took to Facebook and managed to find myself a new lead actor in a week! Then…when I started to feel on top of everything, my camera man dropped out! I’m so incredibly lucky to have so many wonderful friends with such wonderful contacts. I found my new camera man and crew in a few days. Through Facebook, I accumulated my group of extras and people started coming forward with favours to help with the costuming.
So on a very rainy Saturday, which was typical of the British weather when you want to make a film, a group of thirty-five of us – including myself, descended onto the platform of Ribble Steam Railway and spent the full day filming. Smiles and laughs were in huge supply and we all felt the real Blitz spirit, from a chap bringing a box of gas mask boxes, to my dear mother and grandma making thirty five butter pies and thirty five apple pies, which I must say were gone in a flash and I nearly didn’t get one myself!
Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would ever write something that would get filmed, never mind writing, directing and starring in it. My amazing cast and crew awarded me with a little Oscar Award and a bottle of Prosecco.
For those who are wondering, I showed my tutor the photos from the day, he was very impressed and surprised I’d proved him wrong.
“A Train Ride Away” is available here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xpRc38DR3Y0