On the set of ‘Milk and Honey: The Movie’ once again yesterday. First time around I got to blast away on a shooter, this time with my fellow ‘heavy’ (Steve) we got ‘outa the motor’ with a couple of petrol cans and walked into a four million quid gaff to torch the place! Had to wait all day to get to do it, as the cast and crew had had a bit of a slow morning with the ‘get in’ (the owners, of the said Manor, in deepest Oxfordshire, were a bit lackadaisical in vacating their lovely home). But although we only had two takes, as the light was fading, I really didn’t mind as I love being on set and watching the other actors go through their scenes and getting to watch the takes on the monitor along with the director, producers and crew. From what I could see, Matt Gambell, the young director, along with his talented crew, are making a rather good job of things and it will be fun to see the finished project on the big screen.
One memorable moment for me was when Mark Wingett added an extra bit of fission to a scene he was in by changing his delivery after the third or fourth take. To begin with he said his line, quietly and gravely but then surprised his fellow actor, on the next take, by exploding in anger with the line, which was not only more effective but drew a great, natural and surprised response. Chris Ellison was also on set, which will add a nice little twist for all those who watched ‘The Bill’ way back when, as Chris played D.I. Burnside, D.C. Jim Carver’s (i.e. Mark Wingett’s character) boss in the series.
Chatting to one of Linda Dunscombe’s co-producers he was telling me how the project had been on the boil for around four or five years, almost got greenlighted a year or two ago but fell through at the last minute. Which reminded me how tough the film business is and how well Linda and Peter (her husband) and everyone else have done to get the project up and running in the first place.
Toward the end of the day I also had a nice chat to Claire King and all I can say is that I’m now much better informed on the world of horses than I was before! I had had no idea she was previously an amateur horse jockey!
My latest audio book ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol with Humanitad’ is now locked, loaded and ready to go on Audible so should be available in the next couple of weeks. It was fascinating to record the poem in it various versions and rather than cut and paste in the alterations to the different versions I made sure I re-recorded the whole poem. This allowed me to give quite alternative readings. The first version was my more or less my impersonation of Oscar himself, the second was plainer and more in my own voice and the third was Oscar again but a little more impassioned. The great thing about recording such works is that you re-familiarize yourself with a classic and get to feel its power and attraction again. I love The Ballad’s heightened rather lush text, and it is, what my old man would have called ‘A proper poem’ with rhymes and all that!