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Natacha's trip to Pinewood
22 October 2010

It wasn't exactly a busy day today, lots of sitting around and waiting, but it was well worth it.

The lovely Natacha is over for a few days and today we went to see Marty & Thelma at Pinewood. Most of the day was spent watching them filming (we're not allowed to give any details) and wandering around Pinewood seeing all the sights Micky & Emeric would have seen while they were working there.

Natacha & I stopped for a few photos at the old entrance (no longer in use) with the mock Tudor style rooms over the gatehouse which we see people driving out of in Peeping Tom and we see Micky driving in through in Return to the Edge.

We saw that the main Admin block (as opposed to the offices in the old house) still have the big wooden surround around their doors which is actually a fireplace rescued from a stately home. There are also plaques to John Mills & many of the directors that worked there - although not to P&P. They do however have a Powell Theatre and a Pressburger Theatre where people can do post-production work.

The gardens are lovely and the bridge over the lake is still there. That's been used as a romantic assignation in countless British films of the 1930s & 40s

Marty came over a few times during the day to see that we were OK and to explain what they were doing, but it was a lot of "hurry up and wait" all day. Without giving any details of the film they were working on I can say it's interesting to see films being made. But you have to be prepared to sit around for a long time while nothing much seems to be happening.

We also met Moira's grand-daughter Eleanor who is working for them. We met her at Cannes with her mother, Rachel. But this time we had a longer chat. We reminded her that these were the studios where her grandmother made The Red Shoes, The Tales of Hoffmann & Peeping Tom.

Of course everybody who has worked with Marty for longer than 5 minutes is aware of P&P so we found quite a few people interested in the reasons why we were there and what we had been doing recently.

But then, as they finished for the day, Thelma came over from Shepperton which is their main base and while Marty chatted to Natacha for about half an hour about her book and all the good work she's doing to promote P&P in France I chatted with Thelma and we caught up about a few things and planned a few things for the future.

Gosh, there's a lot going on. Where will we find time to fit it all in?

Colonel Blimp has proved to be difficult to restore but they hope to have it ready by Cannes (May) next year. Then they start on The Tales of Hoffmann.

They're all looking forward to the Peeping Tom session at the Curzon in November

We expect Marty's to see documentary about Elia Kazan "A Letter to Elia" on the BBC soon

Look out for interviews in The Culture Show on BBC2

Part of the Peeping Tom session at the Curzon will be broadcast in The Film Programme on Radio 4

And much else which I must keep under wraps for now.

A very interesting day.

See also, our trip around London and our trip to Canterbury

Other P&P trips