The Fitzroy – A live action, black comedy feature film set in an alternative post-apocalyptic 1950s on a submarine hotel. Read more
This project was successfully funded on December 23, 2012.
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!
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).
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.
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).
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!
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.
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.