Ok so just got back from the most amazing experience on the set of Hot Potato in Belgium. First stop was Ghent City Centre in the most beautiful building, where scenes were being filmed.
My husband and I got lost and were going to ask a group of men where we should go, but didn’t as one of them was the charming Mr Ray Winstone, so we kind of figured we were in the right place!! Then saw inspired, productive, Tim Lewiston, who gave us the warmest of welcomes, and told us that we would be left in the capable hands of the lovely Candy Pollock, who is just one of the most comical, charming, warm, yet professional ladies I have ever met. Oh I felt like such a VIP.
We had volunteered ourselves to be extras in the film and dressing up was so much fun. We were both put into the capable hands of Howard, who, being the complete genius that he is, picked the outfits without asking our sizes, in the most glamorous 60’s costumes. It was like being a child again, only this time the clothes weren’t 10 sizes too big. Felt so smart. Once we had be preened and painted (hair and make up), we were directed into the restaurant, and asked to sit down. Our brief was to mime talking. Having never tried this before, and knowing that the camera was very close by, I was very nervous but the crew made us feel so at ease. Then the Director called ‘Action’! Ray Winstone, Lois Winstone, Jack Huston and Colm Meaney were in the scene. I felt like such a superstar, especially when Jack told me I looked great. After the first couple of takes I started to relax into it. Next the Director was recording the sound of the restaurants which was great, pretending to be visiting Rome in the 60’s. What an experience!
The rest of the day was spent watching the monitors, as the scenes were being filmed, such a fascinating insight into how films are made and put together.
On Wednesday we travelled to Bruges, and met the cast again, and watched more filming. We both loved every moment, being so close to the action. We met more Investors who were dressed as extras, looking every bit as glam as we had. We had a great day laughing and chatting with everyone. Later that evening we met some of the Investors for drinks, and a chat. Everyone was on such a high, and really felt that their experience had been incredible. We had been made to feel so welcome, and treated exceptionally well. To casually chat to the Cast, and Crew, to be one of the first to watch scenes being filmed, and to be able to get so close to the ‘thick of it’, is one of life’s ‘must do’s’.
We will never forget this experience and now really can’t wait for Hot Potato to be finished, and to be present at the first screening. It will be enthralling to see the completed film and even more astonishing to say “we were there”
4th October 2010