First week of shooting in studio on the Isle of Man is finishing. The sets are lovely and it’s nice to be indoors. We arrived Tuesday from London on a chartered flight that was somewhat delayed due to engine trouble. We ended up moving planes and getting in 4 hours late. The previous day was a rest day that I spent out and about searching for wet weather gear and warm boots. The spring collections are in and it turned out to be a mission to find anything in my size. I’m so glad I took the plunge and decided to invest in an outward-bound wardrobe. The Isle of Man has torrential downpours with winds that almost blew my porridge right out of its polystyrene bowl on the way to back to the trailer. The rain comes down in sideways gusts, rattling down the rows of trailers. On leaving the hotel this morning the ocean opposite was splashing down on to the footpath and parked cars. All you could see was a sea of white horses and waves the size of me. Bracing after 3 days of sunshine and calm waters. This is the side of the Isle of Man everyone warns you about.
It’s the second day at the Blue Bell railway and it’s below zero.. brr. My leather Converse are just not cutting it today, my feet have gone numb. The SFX people are still making rain for each take. Mr McGregor is soaked to the bone for this scene. I’m sure he’ll turn blue by the end of it. I love watching Ewan and Renee acting on the video split as they shoot. It’s sort of like watching the movie unfold on Tele with no crew or equipment in view. Only problem is you’re left gagging to see the next scene. Dailies of today’s work will look great on the big screen.
Just hoofed off to the nearest town to get the camera crew & Chris piping hot Starbucks coffees. They absolutely loved it; on arctic days real coffee is liquid gold. Well I’m lapping up the over heated trailer as I write this blog. My eyelids are getting heavy I could so easily nod off… and this is where the bracing cold weather comes in handy, to jolt you into a vigilant state after a big cooked lunch.
Blue Bell railway is like turning back in time. The SFX people are making the rain and steam and the extras are milling about in period costumes filling the platform with bustle. Every shot is looking so nice. The sun is out its always here when it’s not needed. The gaffers are blackening out the sunny skies to add to the atmosphere of a big down pour. The whole crew is staying in Sussex for 2 nights, should be a laugh. The countryside around here is lovely, rolling hills and lush green.
The set is looking so pretty with a layer of snow. My hands are almost frozen solid as I type, the temperature is so cold and seeing the fake snow I’m sure makes it feel even colder. Ewan looks great in his top hat and tails and Mr & Mrs Potter’s outfits for Barbara & Bill are really beautifully designed by Anthony Powell (costume designer).
It’s day three of Miss Potter’s shoot and my legs are already weary. After being in the office for most of pre-production I haven’t quite adjusted to long hours of moving around and the stamina of the rest of the film crew. I’m the director’s assistant and along with my general P.A. role I’ve been asked to write some film’s blogs of what’s happening on set when I get the chance. Chris Noonan, the director of this picture, is a friend from Australia. We met a while back when I asked to interview him for a film school assignment. Always being generous with his time he agreed and we’ve remained in contact ever since. Lucky for me I was working in London and he got me involved as his PA on this picture. It’s been an eye opener to see the crew grow to the large size it is now for production and so lovely to watch scenes be shot after several months of preparation.
Hello and welcome to the Miss Potter movie blog. In case you didn't know, Miss Potter is the biopic of the life of celebrated children's author Beatrix Potter, creator of Peter Rabbit and many other tales. The film's being directed by Chris Noonan, who also directed Babe and stars Renee Zellweger in the title role. Ewan McGregor also features, as Beatrix's publisher and love interest, Norman Warne, and Emily Watson plays the part of his sister Millie. The movie is currently shooting with a 2007 release date in mind. Be sure to check in here regularly throughout the production for more updates, images and information. Enjoy!