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The Fitzroy – A live action, black comedy feature film set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950s on a submarine hotel.
The last hotel submarine in a post-apocalyptic 1950's Britain.
The last hotel submarine in a post-apocalyptic 1950's Britain.
846 backers pledged £72,171 to help bring this project to life.

Update #37


Thank you all for your kind messages of support over the last couple of months. It’s been very touching and greatly appreciated.

Sadly, my Mum lost her year-long battle with cancer at the end of last month. She was hugely influential to me and incredibly supportive of The Fitzroy. She will be dearly missed by so many.

She was always one for making things happen and wouldn’t have wanted me sitting around! So it’s time to crack on with The Fitzroy, repay you all for your support and make her proud by creating the best film possible.

So where is the film at?

We have the film in the can!

Be warned there might be a few minor spoilers below.

 At the beginning of last week we shot the last three days of the film. It was the hardest but most rewarding three days of filming I have ever endured.

The first two days were exteriors. On a beach! In late October! In England!

Anne-Sophie Marie as the 'Crazy Lady' photo by Angus Young
Anne-Sophie Marie as the 'Crazy Lady' photo by Angus Young

After a 5am wake-up we trundled down the motorway from London to St Mary’s Bay in Kent. From the get go we were battling the elements – wind, rain and the tide!

But we were ready, dressed in our waterproofs and excited to all be finishing the film. It was brilliant to see so many familiar smiling faces and catch up with the crew and cast.

These smiles soon disappeared though, when we discovered that the art department van was stuck in traffic and that it wouldn’t be at the location until 11am. This van contained everything: the sets, the props and all the art department crew!

We couldn’t shoot! We set up the camera, blocked the actor, rewrote the schedule and waited.

The tide was at its lowest but just starting to come in. So we grabbed a few background plates (shots we can put the submarine into later).

Director of Photography, Ciro Candia, sets up a plate shot while we wait for the set.
Director of Photography, Ciro Candia, sets up a plate shot while we wait for the set.

At 11ish the van arrived and the art department swung into action and set up in record time. We rushed the actors onto set and started turning over. But by this time the tide was creeping up the beach.

We managed to shoot a couple of wide shots before the tide started to lap at our wellies. And then began the ‘sea shuffle’. The ‘sea shuffle’ goes something like this.

Shoot a take…

…grab the set and hurry five yards higher up the beach…

…shoot another take…

For the next two hours we fought the tide as it slowly ate up our location. Most of the time we were one step ahead, now and again it caught us out and a cast or crew member ended up with a wet foot for the rest of the day.

Cerith Flinn as Bernard goes the extra yard too far. Photo by Angus Young
Cerith Flinn as Bernard goes the extra yard too far. Photo by Angus Young

By lunchtime our beach had disappeared. 150m of fresh ‘post apocalyptic’ sand became crashing waves. We had managed to shoot about a third of what we needed. I cried (inside) and we had lunch.

The good thing about low budget filming and our crew is that it’s not an option to stop and ‘come back’ tomorrow. We just have to keep shooting whatever. After lunch we headed back out… into the rain.

There was no beach left, but there was plenty of sea. So we improvised - we put the rowboat up on the sea wall, put the actors in the boat and found an angle that made it look like they were rowing (hopefully).

Ken Collard as the inspector is ‘rowed’ to the hotel
Ken Collard as the inspector is ‘rowed’ to the hotel

And as the afternoon stretched out, the beach slowly reappeared. We did the ‘sea shuffle’ in reverse.


…move the set a little bit further down the beach…

…do another take.

By the end of the day we had almossssssst caught up with the schedule.

The next day was similar, constantly fighting the sea, wind and rain. Although the second day’s weather was worse - during one hour we had bright sunshine, cloud, rain and hale. Hopefully in the edit we can make it look like one moment!

Sarah Griffin and John Wark as The Fishers. Photo by Angus Young
Sarah Griffin and John Wark as The Fishers. Photo by Angus Young

Green Screen

The last day of the shoot was in a green screen studio and we were shooting the majority of rowboat scenes – at least the ones we hadn’t cheated on the sea wall. Compared to the nightmare of the beach it was luxury to be inside.

For these scenes we had most of the cast back and it was wonderful to have nearly all the actors together in one scene. 

There were, of course, the usual dramas. The van bringing all the lighting equipment blew a tire and was two hours late! But once again the crew stepped up and by the end of the day we had everything in the can.

And that was it - we called cut on the last take and The Fitzroy was wrapped.

Producers Liam Garvo and James Heath 'test' the boat for safety.
Producers Liam Garvo and James Heath 'test' the boat for safety.

So What Next?

One stage is down. A year ago I only dreamed we would be able to shoot a film and now, thanks to you guys and a lot of hard work from a talented and dedicated cast ‘n crew, we have the film shot. A film I hope we can all be very proud of.

But as one stage finishes, the next is just beginning.

We plan to cut the new footage into the rough cut. We will then have a screening of this rough cut, sit down and figure out the best process for the postproduction, how we can finish off the film and a realistic date for when the film will be realised.

We will of course keep you up to date with how the postproduction process develops.

The good thing is… it’s all inside.





Hopefully now you have all received your posters. If you haven’t, drop us a message.

We will be sending out surveys for BSK’s very soon, followed by the t-shirts and gas masks (once we are sure there will be no pick-ups or re-shoots).

As an extra little treat, because we like you guys so much, here's a few more photos.

Meredith Thomasson, Paweł K., and 26 more people like this update.


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    1. Elaine Baker on

      Very sorry to hear about your mum; sincere condolences to you and your family. I'm sure she would've been very proud of your great achievements and I wish you the best of luck with the continuation of The Fitzroy and your future projects x

    2. mousewings

      I'm very sorry for your loss.

      Thank you for the update, and congratulations on having the film in the can.

    3. Andrew Harmer 2-time creator on

      Sonali - In regards to the animated characters. As they are part of the actual film they won't be delivered until the film is completed. Originally we hoped to have the film done by September but that plan has gone out the window.

      At this stage I don't want to give an exact date for when the film will be finished, there's a couple reasons for this. Firstly we want to make the best film possible and don't want to rush the post production for a self inflicted deadline (the flip side of that is we also don't want it to drag on indefinitely).

      Secondly, due to the weather conditions on the beach we think there will be much more post production required to get the shots to 'match' but until we have the footage cut we won't know for sure.

      Our plan is to put together the rough cut over the next few weeks and then set new, realistic deadlines for the rest of the post production; audio, grade, special effects.

      Of course we'll keep you updated and as soon as we have some more firm dates we will let you know.

      The good thing is the guys doing the titles are ahead of the rest of us and they are looking really great (the titles not the guys doing them!). We will hopefully be doing a more in depth update on their process soon.

      I hope that answers your question, sorry I can't be more definite at this time.


    4. Andrew Harmer 2-time creator on

      Thank you all for you lovely messages, it really does mean a lot.

    5. Olna Jenn Smith

      My sympathies on your loss.

      Thank you for the update. Congratulations on having the film in the can!

    6. Jennifer

      I'm sorry for your loss.

    7. Missing avatar


      Your mum was definitely very proud of what you had achieved - i heard her say so many times - and she would be even more proud to know that you're carrying on being creative. It's the greatest tribute you can give her. She lives on, in you and your creations. Well done, You!

    8. Herbert Eder

      So sorry about the bad news, but i'm sure she's proud of you.
      You and your crew obviously where real troopers out there on the beach, and the photos look great. And now comes the hard work - post production! Keep up the good work!

    9. Missing avatar

      Sonali Fenner on

      Hey Andrew, sorry to hear your news. But to echo earlier comments, I'm sure she was and is incredibly proud of what you've achieved. The shots look incredible - so exciting.

      Re: the update, I pledged for the animated title package which comes with the character print etc. Think original delivery date was September, so any news on new ETA would be fantastic.

    10. Missing avatar

      Andy Pennington on

      So very sorry to hear of your loss. I'm sure Kev is right though she would be very proud of you

    11. Missing avatar

      Helen May Watterson on

      So sorry for your loss.x
      Thank you for the update.

    12. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    13. Missing avatar

      Pedro Rodrigues on

      Sorry to hear of your loss, my mother also died after a year long battle against lung cancer, best of luck.

    14. Paul Williams on

      I lost my mum to breast cancer 10 years ago and she was always incredibly supportive of my film career. Every day since she is my inspiration to tell good stories! I'm so sorry for your loss and hope you can draw strength from it. Huge congratulations on finishing the shoot and best of luck with post production. Great photos!

    15. Nicholas Vaughan on

      My condolences.

      Thanks for the update. Can't wait to see the finished product.

    16. Missing avatar

      Kev Foster

      Yes very sad news but I'm sure she will be extremely proud of you mate :)

    17. Missing avatar

      Meredith Thomasson on

      Thanks for the update!

      So very sorry to hear of your loss, though.