Stop/Eject Recce Part 2

Magpie, Matlock
Magpie, Matlock

More recces last week. (Is that how you spell it? Who knows? Looks like a misspelling of recess. Actually recesses are involved too – well, alcoves to be precise.)

This time we got into Magpie, the antiques/collectibles shop in Matlock, north Derbyshire where I can now confirm we will definitely be shooting. In just two weeks’ time. Gulp. The owner is a very kind and helpful man who is happy to let us do whatever we want with the place, so big thanks to him.

Then it was back to Belper where Sophie’s contact at the East Mill Visitor Centre happened to be around, so we were able to get a look at their basement. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting but it was very, very cool, lined with unusual, Egyptian-looking pillars. I’m only posting a photo of one corner; for the full glory of it you’ll have to wait until the film is finished… assuming we get permission to shoot in there… and assuming you’re too lazy to go visit it yourself.

Mill basement
East Mill basement

Sophie gamely hung around while I wandered back and forth between a few nearby exterior locations, pondering hard. I was trying to balance the demands of the script with the practical and logistical impositions of the locations. I had written some scenes with the locations in mind after my first quick drive through Belper, but on seeing them up close and personal it was clear that they weren’t going to work as I had intended.

For example, braking suddenly on a bicycle on the main road bridge over the river is not something we could do safely, not to mention the sound problems we would encounter in recording the subsequent dialogue beside the road. The pretty River Gardens seemed like a logical alternative, but would it make the scene less interesting? I certainly thought so until this morning when, storyboarding on a train (a major pastime of mine lately), I realised how the gardens’ bandstand could be used to reinforce the visual theme of circles. So by moving the scene to the gardens I could make it safer, easier to shoot, easier to record clean sound, and thematically stronger. Not a tough decision to take.

River Gardens
River Gardens, Belper

I’ve just sent out the final draft of the script and only one scene is left to storyboard. Sophie has started turning in concept art, Katie has started buying costume pieces and Col has built the SD Mark II, a high-tech device of which the function and awesomeness I shall leave you to imagine. I must confess to being a little worried about casting, as we are still struggling to find people interested in the smaller roles. If you want to apply, you can email your CV and headshot to

Stop/Eject Recce Part 2