1. Stephen Frears - The Husband worked with him on the Bafta/Oscar winning 'The Queen'. He is a true gentleman and a talented director. The grandest of grandees of the British Film industry. He has been at the forefront of British movie making since the 1960s when he was taken on as an upaid First Assistant Director to Karel Reisz who, along with the likes of Lindsay Anderson, founded the Free Cinema movement. This was a pivotal point in British film making, when a group of young directors decided to buck the trend for telling 'naice Middle Class stories' and instead make films about ordinary people leading ordinary lives.
From those early days he went on to direct such British classics as 'My Beautiful Launderette' and 'Sammy and Rosie Get Laid' as well as 'Grifters', 'The Commitments', 'Dangerous Liaisons', 'Mrs Henderson Presents' and 'Tamara Drewe' to name but a few of his projects. In between times he has refined his craft in TV and has developed a reputation for getting on with actors, writers and crew alike.
When The Husband had to get together over 1000 bouquets of flowers to recreate the scene outside Kensington Palace after Diana's death he even joined in with all the students that had been taken on to help by tying a few himself.
Although he lost out to Martin Scorsese in the Oscar for Best Director for 'The Queen', one of only two Oscar nominations throughout his career, he was won many awards in Europe and is a Commandeur de l'Ordre des Artes et Lettres. He frequently teaches at The National Film and Television School in Buckinghamshire where he holds the 'David Lean Chair in Fiction Direction'. Today's bit of useless trivia is that he is also name checked in the The Scaffold's song 'Lily the Pink'
|Stephen Frears - 'all round good bloke'|
Image courtesy of Wikipedia
2. Next on my list is a director that most people will never had heard of, Brian Kirk. The Husband believes him to be one of the most talented British television directors and one he would work with for free (if I'd let him..... which I wont). He worked with him on the Bafta award winning TV film, 'My Boy Jack' which tells the story of the life and untimely death of Rudyard Kipling's son Jack at the Battle of Loos. The Husband was part of the design team nominated for a Bafta but they lost out to Cranford (Boo... hiss!!!). I was hugely disappointed that a bunch of people in breeches and big dresses beat a design team that had recreated the trenches on a beach in Waterford, Ireland. I can still remember a very emotional phone call from 'The Husband' (bless!) when they had finally finished building the trenches. He was so proud of what they had achieved out of nothing and then, as if on cue, it started to rain to give that extra air of authenticity.
|The battlefield - built|
on the beach in Waterford, Ireland
|Filming in the trenches|
It will always be a memorable time for me because it was the night of the Baftas, while The Husband was luvvying it up in London and I was back home in France, enduring the third month of almost daily rain and floods, that I decided I wanted to move back to England.
|Filming the trenches from above|
If you've ever wondered what a
Best Boy and a Dolly Grip
do, that's them on the bottom
|Rain for filming has to be torrential|
or it won't show up on screen. Pity the
poor Boom Operator!
|Damon Thomas - another good|
bloke and up and coming director