Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Dad's Army Film
This Movie started life as a filler in the "Dad's Army" Production I was recently involved in (in more ways than one!)
The scripts Mum's Army , The Godiva Affair and The Deadly Attachment were the "episodes" we performed.
Now there was a bit of a problem with the "Godiva Affair" This required the cast to have a very quick costume change. It would mean we had to get from our "Morris Dancing" gear into our "Uniforms" in the space of 20 odd seconds. now as this was impossible (the leather "leggings" take more than 30 seconds to put on alone) Myself and the Director Brian Lowe came up with an idea. we could cobble together some funny home guard footage and project it onto a screen to "cover" the costume change. all well and good. but the problem, how to get 6 odd Min's of Real 40's Home guard footage into some kind of shape to impress an audience for 6 Min's. The first hurdle was to get the films, for this I downloaded and already had some 40ish documentaries on Britain at war etc. most of these programs only had a few seconds at most of film to use. after a week of playing around with the timeline I accidentally pulled a bit of vision of gas masked dancers into a part of the song "the king was still in London" (which was used in numerous Dad's Army Episodes. the point that i had dragged the vision and inadvertently pressed play. the "cocktail piano" part had just begun and you see these dancers waltzing around in gas masks.
Well this was it. I thought it so moving and funny at the same time i worked some 50 odd edits around this song and pieced together numorus other WW2 footage that we had a sort of mini movie. Now after i had made this the director had decided that we would drop the film as most could get changed in the short scene change and has written an extra scene to cover this. So for a short time the film was shelved (about one day!) In the end we placed the film at the Start of the entire show to give the audience a feel for the era and of course the first part of the film was taken from a George Formby film showing people "joining up" to the home guard. this we felt explained what we were doing! as the scripts make no mention on why there is a home guard or why Cap Mannering is a bank clerk AND a Captain,
So there we have it.. towards the end of the "Edit" a Cast member kindly lent me a film which had more complete versions of some of the bit i already had inserted into our piece so another edit and it was done.. the next part was to make a "king Geroge" bit at the start. you know when you see an old 40's film and people "stand for the king" at the end or start of a film. well we were promised some real film of this but (as we knew at the time) the guy was all bluff and wind. and i had to "roll my own" so at the start you see a Mock "stand for the king" film which came from Pics from Google and some you tube flags!!. we had the entire audience standing for this (umm) most shows!!.
The film went down well with audiences, (I was surprised) as I had intended to make "Mock" Newsreels (like in the 1st series of Dad's Army) with our cast on location digging for victory etc and then making it look old (adobe after effects!)
The Director want to put the show on again in a year or so. and a new film will be made this time with more comedy and some "location shots' of the cast to jazz it up a bit.
Remember ALL the uniformed men you see in this film are REAL home guard men from the UK between 1940-44. that's why i needed loads of "doco's"
The first part is me advertising this blog.. this was NOT I repeat NOT shown.. Ive only added this as i intend to put this up on youtube and i wanted to plug this site.
I would post pics of the "Cast" but seeing the show is over I can't really get their permission (sorry)
The reviewer Ken Longworth was convinced we had a real 40's film and said so in his review. a week later he found out I had made it all and this Appeared in the Newspaper!!
Its In DIVX format so you will need the appropriate Codex Installed to see it.
Not only can I Restore audio I can restore film and edit it as well.. But still I'm unemployed? weird ain't it.
Not only was I pike, I "lit" the set and designed all the sound effects and musical cues.
Dad's Army Intro Film