Director Tom Harper shares his diary from the production of The Scouting Book For Boys

scouting-book-tom-harper-01

Saturday 07 June 2008

Recce to the Suffolk and Norfolk coastlines. As some of our finance is from Screen East we need to film in what they call Objective Two areas in the East of England. This drastically limits where we can film, but I think there are enough interesting locations within these areas to make the film work. Not as good as the perfect caravan park I wanted to film in Wales though. Ugh, it breaks my heart. It absolutely pisses it down the entire time and the sun only comes out when we head for home. Still, according to recce rules, this means we’ll have a sunny shoot.

Tuesday 09 June 2008

Andrea Arnold’s film has been pushed another 3 weeks which means the dates will clash and Robbie Ryan, the director of photography, is unlikely to be able to do our film. This is a real blow, as his style would be perfect for this film.

scouting-book-tom-harper-02

Sunday 15 June 2008

Keep hearing about small British films that die a death and never do any business, and keep thinking about how to overcome this. Often come up with rash ideas such as freezeframes, or playing sections backwards. Read a blog from Jurgen Wolf that says, “When you brainstorm, take your ten most radical ideas and tell yourself that they are ‘normal’ responses that you now want to get beyond by thinking even more radically. By expanding the boundaries of what you will allow yourself to think, you may hit on a better solution.”

Saturday 05 July 2008

We are pushing two weeks. It saves us cash as the caravan park is cheaper and means we can keep Robbie. Great. Had an amazingly exciting day today. Think I have cast most of the roles. Seeing Susan Lynch and Holliday Grainger read together in a room was electric and inspiring. I have been really struggling with the casting of Emily. Usually I don’t find making decisions too difficult as I always fall back on instinct and fight for it, but up until now my instinct has really been split. Today Holliday Grainger came in and just blew me away. It was brilliant to watch. And Tomo just gets better and better every time I see him. I couldn’t ask for better.

the-scouting-book-for-boys-2009-05

Thursday 24 July 2008

On a recce with Jack. Have spent time staying in a caravan. Have also realised that, when peopled, these caravan parks have an atmosphere that is much more right for the film than the caravan park in Wales. There is something about English seaside resorts that you don’t get anywhere else.

the-scouting-book-for-boys-2009-06

Wednesday 06 August 2008

“If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange those apples, then you and I will each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange those ideas, then each of us will have two ideas.” George Bernard Shaw

Monday 11 August 2008

Official preproduction has started. Wooohooo! The film has been so long coming that I’ve done loads of my prep already and am sort of twiddling my thumbs waiting for the shit to hit the fan. Which it inevitably will.

Thursday 21 August 2008

Costume tests. Makeup tests for freckles and fake sunburn.

the-scouting-book-for-boys-2009-07

Sunday 24 August 2008

We went on a preshoot this weekend to make the most of the bank holiday crowds. Got some great footage in the caravan parks. Pissed it down on the Sunday morning and thought we weren’t going to get anything of people on the beach. This would have been a real wounder as it was our only opportunity to shoot during the holiday season. At 15.00, with the weather forecast not giving us any hope of improvement, we were about to give up and go home. And then the sun came out – as did the hordes of beachgoers.