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This is-england-production-notes

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This is-england-production-notes

  1. 1. A Warp Films Production in association with Big Arty Productions and Ingenious Film Partners for FilmFour, the UK Film Council, EM Media and Screen Yorkshire This is England A SHANE MEADOWS FILM Running time: 100 Minutes Audio: Dolby SRD Ratio: 1.1:85 Shot on Super 16 Screening format: 35 mm
  2. 2. This is England Short synopsis This Is England, is the story of a summertime school holiday, those long weeks between terms where life changing events can take place. It's 1983 and school is out. 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) is an isolated lad growing up in a grim coastal town, whose father has died fighting in the Falklands war. Over the course of the summer holiday he finds fresh male role models when those in the local skinhead scene take him in. With his new friends Shaun discovers a world of parties, first love and the joys of Dr Martin boots. Here he meets Combo (Stephen Graham), an older, racist skinhead who has recently got out of prison. As Combo's gang harass the local ethnic minorities, the course is set for a rite of passage that will hurl Shaun from innocence to experience. Long synopsis July 1983. It's the last day of term and that means 'no uniform day'. In a down-beat coastal town 12-year-old Shaun (Thomas Turgoose) sets out to school in the flares his dad gave him. En route, he is banned from his corner shop for being cheeky, and while everyone gives him jip for his fashion sense ("you look like Keith Chegwin's son!") he gives back twice as hard. On the way home he meets Woody (Joe Gilgun), and his gang of skinheads. Contrary to their startling appearance they are friendly and fair-minded. Admittedly a day out with the gang means trashing the new, unoccupied, housing development, whilst dressing up in outlandish costumes, but they are welcoming and they are fun. The skinheads offer Shaun two things he has been missing, friendship and male role models. Shaun's own father has been killed fighting in the Falklands war. If he's going to be a skinhead like them, he has to get the look. There is a trip with his mum Cynthia (Jo Hartley) to the local shoe-shop. Unfortunately cherry red Dr Martins don't come in size fours, but he gets the next best thing. Later that day Lol (Vicky McClure), Woody's girlfriend, shaves his head. He's only missing one thing, a Ben Sherman shirt, Woody comes to the rescue and welcomes him to the gang. While Cynthia is less than happy about the new haircut, she is grateful that Shaun has found some friends to spend the summer with while she is out at work. At a house party Shaun meets Smell (Rosamund Hanson), a kooky punk who takes him to the garden shed for his first kiss. Meanwhile, the party is interrupted by Combo (Stephen Graham) who Woody is initially thrilled to see. Fresh from prison where he has just served a three and a half year sentence, Combo soon upsets the younger gang. To the great discomfort of Milky (Andrew Shim), the sole black member of the gang, he embarks on a vicious racist anecdote about his time inside. The next day Combo summons the gang and lectures them about ethnic
  3. 3. minorities taking their jobs and the Falklands. Lol is worried, particularly when she sees Shaun kick off against Combo for bringing up the Falklands, the war where his father died. Combo manipulates this, and draws a line asking those with him to cross it. Disgusted, Woody makes to leave. He doesn't want to be brainwashed. Shaun however, decides to stay and Combo tells him that looking at him is like looking in the mirror; they have both lost people. Combo takes his new gang to a local National Front meeting. On the way back to town, Shaun is given special privileges when he is allowed to sit on the front seat, while the four fully grown men have to make do in the back. Shaun further gains Combo's admiration by revealing that he has stolen an England flag from the meeting. The gang terrorise the local neighbourhood, scaring off Indian kids who are playing football, and attempting to spray racist graffiti, though they struggle with the spelling. They trash the corner shop that Shaun has been barred from, robbing the owner, and defecating on the floor. To mark his affiliation with the gang, Combo tattoos a cross onto Shaun's finger. They take their booty to Smell's birthday party, and Woody leaves with Lol saying he has a documentary on Aardvarks that he must watch. The following morning, Combo stops Lol on her way to work. For the first time he seems twitchy and unsure of himself. He tells her that all he has thought of since he went to prison is how much he loves her, and the one night they shared. He gives her a box he made inside, but Lol rejects him straight, the best night of his life, was the worst night of her life. She walks away incensed and Combo bursts into tears. Milky is walking a girl home when Combo approaches him to buy an ounce of hash. With Shaun, Smell, and Combo's thuggish friends they all get stoned. Combo and Milky initially bond - Combo talks about the original '69 skinheads and their shared love of reggae music. For his part Milky talks about the beauty of his family life, and extends an open welcome to Combo. While Milky is describing his close, happy family however, a look of pure hatred creeps across Combo's face. In a fit of anger he beats Milky and then turns on his friends. Shaun is left outside crying hysterically. Back at home, Shaun looks through old pictures of his dad with his Mum. He takes the once cherished flag to the beach where he hurls it into the sea. The production story The genesis This Is England is set in early eighties England; a world of Roland Rat, aerobics, Blockbusters, Margaret Thatcher, the Falklands crisis, racial unease, and skinheads. Drawing heavily from his own experiences growing up, Shane Meadows has created a portrait of an often-overlooked moment in cultural history. Against the backdrop of the skinhead scene in a deadbeat coastal town, we witness this traumatic rite of passage, both on a cultural and personal level,
  4. 4. through the eyes of a 12-year-old boy. Shane first hit on the idea for This Is England whilst working on his preceding film, Dead Man's Shoes, a story of victimisation, abuse of power and revenge, in rural England. It was a project that made the director reflect on the nature of bullying and violence. Specifically there was an incident from his own life, when he was about 12-years-old and had become a skinhead, when as he explains, "I thought the be all and end all in life was that kind of hard masculinity in men. I craved to be like a Jimmy Boyle, or a John McVicar, or a Kray. It's like kids who are into Beckham, I was into Jimmy Boyle in the same way. I wanted to see men fight, and there was an act of violence that I almost prompted, and that was something that became very difficult to live with." Ironically it was this experience, alongside the example set by a figure like Jimmy Boyle, a criminal who became an artist, which ultimately became very influential for Shane in a positive way. Of his childhood in Uttoxeter in the eighties, then a small Midlands town with a population of around 10 000, high unemployment, and the epitome of Thatcher's rural dispossessed, the director reflects: "Coming from a town like Uttoxeter, nobody expects you to leave and become a filmmaker. In a way my reaction to that act of violence was the first stepping stone to getting out of that way of life." As Shane sees it, making This Is England has become a way of exorcising the demons of that night of violence, yet the impact of those early experiences can be felt across the body of his work. Indeed all of his films deal with issues of masculinity, from the boys' boxing club of TwentyFourSeven to the compromised boyhood friendship in A Room For Romeo Brass, the question of male power structures and revenge in Dead Man's Shoes, through to the teen tribes and father figures of This Is England. "In film terms it's almost like the Star Wars series," he jokes. "Now I'm into my prequel series. This Is England is made before all of my other films. The others are based on a certain period of time, from 15-years-old onwards when, though I abhorred violence, I was a bit of a small time crook. I think This Is England has gone as far back as I could probably go and found the root of what got me making films to begin with." The search for Shaun Casting is an essential part of every Shane Meadows film: working chiefly with non-professionals, he is an extraordinarily intuitive director who allows story to take shape through workshops. A film's structure will be organically developed around the personality of his actors, often young people who have come to acting through far from traditional paths. For This Is England, he had the jumping off point: skinhead culture, growing up in the eighties, and childhood interrupted by violence. Yet the substance of the movie depended on finding the perfect lead, a task that would not only involve hard work, it hinged on luck and something close to magic. In the search for Shaun, Shane and his long-term collaborator and partner, Louise Meadows who had found the rest of the cast single-handed, held
  5. 5. many auditions with children in inner city workshops all over the country. They realised that what was needed was "a real kid of the street" as Louise puts it, and decided to enlist the help of casting genius Des Hamilton. Having worked with directors such as Lynne Ramsay whose film Ratcatcher used a cast of non- professional child actors, Des has a special approach and is a renowned expert in street casting. A strong sense of the character he was looking for was established through discussions with Shane. Des then targeted those areas in which he believed the real Shaun to exist. Invites to casting sessions were given out at holiday camps around the east coast, and Des particularly focussed on the town of Grimsby. It was at The Space Project, a scheme run for disadvantaged kids, many of whom have been excluded from school, that Des found the quality they had been searching for: a canny combination of innocence and hardness that set these children apart. Thomas 'Tommo' Turgoose Here the team chanced upon Thomas 'Tommo' Turgoose, a 13-year-old boy who had grown up with the odds stacked heavily against him. Small in stature, he looked far younger than his years, yet more than made up for it in gumption. All the children Shaun and Louise met were naturally very eager to be in the film, yet Tommo was different. He actually charged for every audition he went to, at once wheeler-dealing and street savvy, and at the same time sadly unable to grasp any other kind of exchange. Producer Mark Herbert recalls the startling impression he made at his first audition: "He was, you know, 'one of them', he had such cheekiness and spirit! Yet he threw things in that were so unobvious... he was much more subtle." "I just got that feeling that directors probably get when they see something that has this magic, Simon Cowell's X Factor," says Shane, for whom the young lad's impact went even deeper. "I could see myself in him. I remember there were teachers at school who'd said I was going to end up in prison, there were only bad things out there for me, yet somehow some people believed in me and I actually made something of myself." At the time of casting Tommo, two other boys were on the shortlist, actors from the Carlton Workshop in Nottingham, with suitable experience that had prepared them for a larger role. Tommo on the other hand had little structure in his life, had been diagnosed with an Attention Deficit Disorder, was in school for one hour only a week as Shane recalls, and had recently been rejected from playing an extra in the school play. For Shane though, the choice was not just obvious, it was a matter of artistic truth: "I thought I'd much rather take a chance on a kid like Tommo and risk failure. If you turn your back on the person that's meant to play the part you shouldn't make the film anyway. It had become this beautiful full circle thing: that you go out there to make a film about yourself, and you end up finding yourself. It's kind of crazy!" Accordingly, This Is England became as much Tommo's story as Shane's. The focus on the loss of a father figure was emphasised, and Tommo was able to bring a wholly new aspect to the character of Shaun, a boy who, unlike Shane, is often happiest alone.
  6. 6. It almost goes without saying that the risks of casting Tommo were going to be high - he is after all in every scene, an exhausting challenge for any actor. The experience was not without its bumps. At the end of the first week, when Tommo fully comprehended the depth of how hard he'd have to work, there came an afternoon where he said he didn't think he could do it. Momentarily floored, Shane remembers how he even considered pretending the pint-sized tearaway was contractually obligated. Instead, a serious heart to heart was called for: "I chose to say, 'if you turn your back on this now I honestly believe you'll regret it for the rest of your life, because if you don't work your way through this, you'll never work your way through anything. I got my chance a bit later than you, and to be honest Tommo, I couldn't have done it if I was your age...' I knew it was the difference between him having a life and never having a life." These strong words hit home, and as with Andrew Shim, the young star of A Room For Romeo Brass, as soon as Tommo decided to dig in, his appetite for filmmaking became insatiable. From the camera work through to the editing, he wanted to learn about it all. "We even changed his diet," laughs Shane of the stunning transformation. "The chips and Coca-Cola went, and by the end me and him were drinking Purdeys, all we needed was a fitness instructor on set!" Tommo particularly bonded not just with Shane, but with his co-stars Andrew Shim who plays Milky and Stephen Graham who stars as Combo. Of working with Tommo Stephen says, "you're looking at Robert De Niro. He's the finest actor I've ever worked with, he's completely in the moment." For Tommo's part he says the way he watches films has definitely changed since working with Shane: "I'm looking in the corners [of the screen] for the boom mike!" Andrew could most easily understand what Tommo was going through, having been given his first opportunity by the director seven years ago: "He reminded me of myself," he says. "I'd never prepare for a scene I'd be the one laughing and talking right up until they shout 'action!' Just like he was! Every time he has Coca- Cola he goes really hyper and could drive everyone insane and as soon as they said 'action' his face dropped and he was straight into it." Stephen the hard-man character actor from such films as Gangs Of New York, and Snatch, was someone Tommo especially looked up to. As they do on screen, the duo became great buddies behind the scenes, even performing a variety act for the cast and crew during the shoot. Yet working with a lad like Tommo carries a certain weight of responsibility. It would not be a simple matter of becoming best friends for six weeks over the course of a shoot, as so often happens with filmmaking, and then never seeing each other again. Shane states, "I felt if I was going to say all those things to him to get him to actually do the film, I couldn't just turn my back on him at the end of it. As an adult you can't do that to a child, because ultimately they would feel so used at the end of it, and as if it was all a trick." The three men, Andrew, Shane and Stephen, made a gentlemen's agreement that they would be there for Tommo. Tommo regularly goes to stay with the director and Stephen's families. He is currently filming a BBC drama with Stephen, and the older actor is putting him forward for other roles.
  7. 7. Casting the gang Shane and Louise have a very special and longstanding relationship with The Carlton Television Junior Workshop, run by Ian Smith in Nottingham. It was here that they cast TwentyFourSeven, discovered both Andrew Shim and Vicky McClure who starred in A Room For Romeo Brass firm friends who are all working together here for the first time since that film, plus Toby Kebbell who played the defenceless younger brother opposite Paddy Considine's avenging angel in Dead Man's Shoes. Continuing this history of dynamic collaborations Shane found many of the other members of the skinhead gang through the workshop. Joe Gilgun was cast as Woody, the unofficial boss-man of the skinheads, who befriends Shaun after he has been bullied for wearing flares on his last day at school. While it would have been all too easy to make this character a hard- man pack leader, Joe brings an extraordinary freshness to the role. Mark Herbert explains: "Joe is the funniest person. In the auditions he had us all in hysterics. We cast a lot of the gang then, you could see they responded to him not because he was this big, butch, macho type; it's because they laughed at him. Shane just loved that dynamic as opposed to an obvious hardness." So too with Rosamund Hanson, who brought a unique comic edge to the character of Smell, an outlandish looking punk who becomes Shaun's first girlfriend. "She's hilarious," chuckles Mark. "Her comic timing is impeccable. She's just got something about her that is very offbeat and leftfield. I think Tommo really fancied her as well which helped." In the key roles of Milky and Lol, Shane cast his old friends Andrew Shim and Vicky McClure who he worked with on A Room For Romeo Brass. Milky is the only black character in this film that deconstructs racist attitudes, while Lol is the leader of the girls. "Thanks to Shane I've been able to get myself into a part where I couldn't have asked for a better character to play," comments Vicky. "I've learned a hell of a lot from him. Through rehearsals we learn so much about each other, and no one's afraid to talk about their past experiences." While they originally appear as background characters their impact on both events in the movie and on the audience is crucial. It is Milky who becomes the focus for Combo, the troubled older skinhead's racial hatred. Andrew describes this as the hardest thing he's ever done as an actor. ""People were asking me how I feel about it and at first it didn't really bother me. On the other hand I was worried I wasn't ready for it and I didn't want to let Shane down. But when we got into the scene it really affected me, it's the first time I ever cried in a scene." Shane reflects, "I needed someone who understood my work who I could trust to play Milky, and that had to be someone who was close to me and believed in what I did." In This Is England the girls are just as much a focus of the story as the guys. As Lol, Vicky brings a strength and believability to her character. "The skinhead girls weren't shy! They were aggressive and up for fighting," says Shane. "My sister was a skinhead and she was fighting all the time! There was never a choice, it had to be Vicky." She describes her character as the observer
  8. 8. of the group, who happily claps the lads round the ear when they get out of line. "I'll get down and dirty," she explains. "But we're not out to hurt anyone, we're not going out and getting lairy." Shane marvels at the difference between working with the duo on A Room For Romeo Brass, and This Is England: "To see Shimmy go from being the kid in Romeo Brass to being the older statesman amongst them all, to see him on set keeping them all in line, was really funny. When he was a kid it was murder! He was like Tommo, basically, like a feral cat. Just to see the way he's come on...". Mark Herbert adds, "and Vicky and Shimmy are now a couple! I think he fell in love with her on Romeo Brass, and held a torch for her until he got a bit older and asked her out!" Similarly Jo Hartley was an old hand who had worked with Shane on Dead Man's Shoes. In that project she had represented the family unit, and as Shaun's mother in This Is England she reprises shades of that earlier role. Stephen Graham who plays Combo, the catalyst for Shaun's passage into adulthood, was one of the first people cast in This Is England. Shane had always wanted to meet the actor ever since he had seen him in Snatch, and when the day finally came he recollects, how " I couldn't believe he was a scouser and he only lived about fifteen miles away from me! I was convinced he was a cockney." Stephen seemed perfectly placed physically and geographically to play the part of Combo, but he also brought a whole other layer of complexity to the role. His own background is in fact mixed race, and he drew on his confusion growing up to add depth to Combo's back-story. Shane recalls how he responded to the news, " I said, 'that is the best thing I've ever heard in my life!' I was blown away. We realised that that was the essence of what we were looking at in this film. It's not to do with colour so much, it's to do with identity and belonging." Of the experience of making This Is England, Stephen says "Everyone, the whole crew from the gaffer to the lighting person, has been blown away by the experience. It went right through the whole set. Everyone felt it." Getting the look To recreate the eighties in This Is England would present a new set of challenges for the director who has never made a period piece before. While it seems a recent memory, convincingly portraying the eighties can be as involved as creating a Victorian period piece. While many council estates for example, appear fundamentally the same as they did twenty-six years ago, subtle differences such as PVC windows and satellite dishes immediately betray their too recent past. After an exhaustive search locations manager Richard Knight discovered the St Annes estate in Nottingham, where much of the action is filmed. This was one of these places that by a fluke hadn't been touched. The area was virtually all pedestrianised as it had originally been built in the seventies as a place that could exist without cars, and had never been modernised. Working on a tiny budget, production designer Mark Leese was given a brief to create a world that was simple, authentic, and that, unlike many period
  9. 9. pieces, looked like people actually lived there. Small details like the wallpaper above Shaun's bed all added to the believability. "I had very lengthy conversations about my own childhood with Mark Leese," says Shane. "About really simple things like having woodchip wallpaper, but how I picked it off, because when I was bored I used to put my hand about the bed and pick at it and it had these patches missing. Those things don't cost anything." Danny Cohen the cinematographer found the beauty of this kind of urban world, shooting on 16 mm to give a slightly more raw feeling to the quality of the film, to create a look harking back to the projects Shane had seen as a kid, Made In Britain, and other early Alan Clarke films, plus Mike Leigh, and Ken Loach's cinema. The coastal town setting was another intrinsic part of Shane's childhood memories: "When there was anything major happening, in the 'skinhead world', it happened in a coastal town. I went on a couple of 'adventures' as a young boy and fought and ran around the streets." The British seaside had a further connotation for Shane as well. "It brought back all of these memories for me of when I went to Skegness as a kid and saw it as a beautiful landscape. The sadness of coastal places and resorts as an adult... when you go back you think it's changed a lot and you see the dirty water that surrounds us and you realise how much you've changed." At Mark Herbert's suggestion, they decided upon Grimsby for the film's coastal scenes. It was the town where they would find their star, and this became an important location where the young actor could continue to feel connected with his everyday life beyond the film. Shane had originally revisited many landmarks of skinhead culture in his research process. Of Gavin Watson's unique photography book, Skins, he says, "I hold that book really dear to my heart, they feel like my friends, and feel like the people I grew up with. Even if the images didn't make it into the actual film they did inspire me to go out and find someone like Tommo. For example, there were some images of a young kid in a Cromby and he's stood with a bigger lad, that really became the ideal of Woody and Shaun." The skinhead styles from Ben Sherman shirts to Dr Martin boots and of course the haircuts, have all been meticulously recreated. Mark Herbert recalls his nerves when the actresses in the film underwent their various chops. Vicky McClure's was the most dramatic, as hair that went right down her back was shaved into Lol's distinctive shaved hairdo whilst Jo Hartley suffered a drastic eighties perm job. "It was one of the most tense atmospheres I've ever experienced," he says. "We were still closing the finance on the film and these girls with really long hair were getting it shaved and bleached!" The Falklands The character of Shaun, an amalgam of Shane and the young actor Tommo, is growing up without a father. He has died fighting in the Falklands war, a now almost forgotten moment in recent history. Unlike those who died fighting in the two World Wars, there is no big celebration to commemorate that 'victory'.
  10. 10. While it may have seen Margaret Thatcher sail into power, the Falklands crisis is no longer recalled as a heroic war, if at all. For Shane, this war is a parallel to the two recent Iraq wars. "We just remembered Iraq as if we went in, blew a load of buildings up and then came out again. No war is ever that simple. Iraq now is the epitome of complexity. There was something in it like the Falklands for me, it was almost like a joke war, and something about the way it was remembered... From my point of view if just one person dies surely that should be remembered. I wanted to look at the knock on effect of that through the eyes of a child." Woven into the fabric of Shaun's story of small town life is documentary news footage that Shane accessed from ITN's archives. There is nothing extreme and damning, rather This Is England presents footage of ordinary people going about the task at hand, and it is here that greatest pause for thought can occur. "Our guys aren't being pig ugly, dancing round the body but when you see an English soldier with a fag hanging out his mouth dumping an Argentinean body on the floor, you realise it's a no win situation." Skinhead culture According to Gavin Watson, the eighties skinhead photographer, who lived it and framed it, the skinheads were "just another youth cult", forget the sociology lesson thanks very much. Today, racism, neo-nazism, thuggery, and all the other forms of anti-social behaviour associated with 'skins' have become the snap-judgments most people make. It wasn't always like that. The original skinheads hailed from the late sixties. It began with Mods who were welcomed into the world of reggae clubs in London, such as Ruby's on Carnaby Street. Here they discovered not only Ska music, but the key style components that defined the original skinhead look. The skinhead culture was taken up by black and white working class kids working in shipyards and on factory lines, who bonded over a love of reggae and forging a particular kind of English identity, with braces, suits, boots, and sometimes a Cromby hat atop heads shaved, military style. There was no peace and love for this lot, life was a series of hard knocks and this tough, fighter's appearance was how they chose to express those truths. The second wave of skinheads in the early eighties, were in one sense similar: just kids from council estates finding their place by being different together, like teenagers everywhere. Allegiance was now sworn to bands that acknowledged the heritage of Ska music, like Madness or The Specials. At the same time a new genre sprang up in punk infused Oi! Music, romper-stomper, screwdriver tunes, charged for fighting. Dressed in Dr Martins and with heads shaved military style, these kids would give the V to anyone foolish enough to give them the eye. These were teens who came from areas of high unemployment looking for solidarity beyond Thatcher's 'me' culture. They were abandoned by society and that, of course, made them vulnerable to the advances of the National Front. As a second wave skinhead, who had always been aware of the sixties legacy, Shane felt it was essential to create a balanced and truthful picture of the
  11. 11. scene as he had experienced it. "The skinheads, because of their aggression and outward appearance, they're almost soldier like, were I suppose almost handpicked to become soldiers for the National Front. You don't see the contradiction that you're being indoctrinated into the National Front whilst listening to black music. When I first heard about the National Front, the picture that was painted to me was a Churchillian vision of Asian families rowing into the white cliffs of Dover on boats, and that skinheads would be on the beaches fighting to stop them entering the country. As a 12-year-old kid that's quite a romantic image. It's almost like 'what your granddad did.'" "When you're twelve and no one in your town can get a job, and someone comes up to you and says 'these people are to blame' it's easy to believe," says Shane of the racism he encountered through skinheads. "I did for about three weeks, some people still believe that as adults and that's frightening." To capture the inherent contradictions of skinhead culture, Shane presents a motley crew of believable characters whose behaviour is often as farcical as it is threatening and disturbing. Combo, the racist gang leader has L plates on his car, and graffiti-ing 'Fuck Off' becomes a challenge of spelling for example. They are losers, but Shane never lets you forget that there is always a reason behind their behaviour. A unique approach to filmmaking Shane Meadows has always pioneered a unique approach to filmmaking, working with local non professional actors and a core group of friends and family, whilst being open to fresh talent. With the producer Mark Herbert, who first worked with Shane on his previous film Dead Man's Shoes, he is pioneering a Northern Cottage Industry, which Mark refers to as Shane's DIY ethos. Forging relationships that will continue through many films his key collaborators include his Locations Manager and brother-in-law Richard Knight, Stills Photographer Dean Rogers and his Casting Director, Co-producer and partner Louise Meadows. Many of the key crew for this film worked previously with Shane on Dead Man's Shoes including Director of Photography Danny Cohen and Editor Chris Wyatt. Warp Films Warp Films is the sister company of Warp Records, the Sheffield based label who released Aphex Twin, and Squarepusher among others. Their approach to filmmaking mirrors their music policy. Namely to support artists with individual visions, providing a platform for left of centre projects. Warp saw the revolution that happened in music 12 years ago, with the accessibility of better equipment allowing artists to lay down tracks in their bedrooms, being mirrored in filmmaking. The rise of digital technology in film, allowing people to shoot cheaply and edit at home contributed to this. Warp's first project was the Chris Morris BAFTA winning short My Wrongs. Dead Man's Shoes was the company's first feature film. They now follow up that success with This Is England.
  12. 12. In the words of producer Mark Herbert, "Warp films are about having a voice. I hate manufactured indie or manufactured pop. Anything that feels like you're doing something just to fill certain criteria. The ethos isn't a set of rules, it's about not worrying about commercial influences, or ticking the right boxes, and becoming mainstream. No one process is right or wrong." Of his relationship with Shane, Mark says, "Personally I've got a very good friendship with him. He makes things happen, and he's got a voice. There's something very distinctive and original that only he does, he's very DIY and earthy as a filmmaker and that fits with Warp perfectly. Crew biographies Shane Meadows - Writer/Director Raised in Uttoxeter England, Shane Meadows dropped out of school as a teenager. He embarked on a journey that took him from a clown's assistant to a spell at steel erecting before eventually studying acting and photography. Disillusioned with the educational system Shane volunteered at a local film centre in Nottingham and learned the craft of filmmaking. He borrowed a camcorder at weekends and taught himself a technique of making short films with his friends as actors. After producing a short film every month for a year, he was approached to direct the TV documentary The Gypsy's Tale (1995). Meadows also wrote, produced, directed, edited and co-starred in the 60-minute film Small Time (1996). After Stephen Woolley, producer of The Crying Game, A Company Of Wolves and Interview With A Vampire, saw Shane's eclectic mix of short films he signed Meadows to write and direct the BBC-financed TwentyFourSeven (1997). Shot in black and white the film centred on Bob Hoskins attempts to rescue the disaffected youths of a town by opening a boxing club. The film won him the FIPRESCI award at the 1998 Venice Film Festival as well as many other festival prizes. Turning down offers from Hollywood, Meadows opted to complete his Midlands trilogy. His next film, A Room For Romeo Brass (1999) was a dark and comic rites-of-passage story featuring an impressive debut performance from Paddy Considine. With huge critical acclaim and a clutch of awards the film has gone on to be a British cult classic. The final part of his trilogy, Once Upon A Time In The Midlands, is Meadows' comedic homage to the Spaghetti Western genre, in which a man returns to The Midlands to try to win back his ex-girlfriend. This film was selected for Director's Fortnight at the 2002 Cannes Film Festival and was picked up by Sony Classics for the United States. In 2004 Shane's idiosyncratic, award winning follow up, Dead Man's Shoes, confirmed his status as one of British film's most significant voices.
  13. 13. Mark Herbert - Producer Mark Herbert started to work with Warp Films in 2002, My Wrongs 8245- 8249 and 117, directed by Chris Morris and produced by Mark was their first production and it won Mark a BAFTA in 2003. Prior to this Mark produced the critically acclaimed first series of Peter Kay's 'Phoenix Nights', the series was broadcast in 2001 and was nominated for Best Comedy at the RTS and Broadcast Awards and has gone on to sell over 500,000 copies on VHS and DVD. In 2001 Mark also co-produced the feature film Dream by the Swedish writer of My Life as A Dog, Reidar Jönsson. Mark's freelance career started as a Location Manager with credits including Little Voice, Brassed Off, Blow Dry and Among Giants. Mark is currently Executive Producer on a DVD album by award winning director Chris Cunningham that includes his own musical compositions and new films. Alongside Robin Gutch, he is Managing Director of the low budget digital feature project Warp X, an initiative of Film Four, UK Film Council, Screen Yorkshire, EM Media and Optimum Releasing which will produce seven feature films over the next three years. Daniel Cohen - Director of Photography Daniel Cohen's long list of credits includes photographing the feature films Dead Babies, Only Human, Creep, Festival, Pierrepoint and Shane Meadows' previous feature Dead Man's Shoes. He was also Director of Photography on Warp Film's first production, My Wrongs 8245-8249 and 117 which won the 2003 BAFTA Kodak Cinematography Award as well as the BAFTA for Best Short Film. He has shot music videos for bands including Blur, Mull Historical Society, New Order and, in another collaboration with Warp Films, for Arctic Monkeys. His work for television includes the series 'Nathan Barley', 'The Book Group', 'Murder in Suburbia' and the dramas 'Longford' and 'London'. Mark Leese - Production Designer Mark Leese's distinguished career as a production designer has included working on some of the most exciting and provocative UK cinema of the past few years. Prior to working with Shane Meadows on This Is England, his credits include Peter Mullan's The Magdalene Sisters, Richard Jobson's A Woman In Winter, Danish director Lone Scherfig's Scotland set film Wilbur Wants To Kill Himself. His work for television includes 'The Book Group'.
  14. 14. Richard Knight - Location Manager Richard Knight previously worked with Shane Meadows on Dead Man's Shoes. His work as location manager also includes Penny Woolcock's new feature film Mischief Night and the BBC drama 'Five Days'. Jo Thompson - Costume Designer Jo Thompson has recently worked as costume designer on the feature film Scenes of a Sexual Nature. Her extensive work for television includes 'Aftersun', 'The Games', 'Dead Casual' and 'Drop the Dead Donkey'. Chris Wyatt- Editor Chris Wyatt first worked with Shane Meadows on Dead Man's Shoes. His extraordinary talents as an editor have included work on Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book and The Tulse Luper Suitcases Episode 3, and The Baby Of Macon. Cast biographies Thomas Turgoose - Shaun Grimsby native, 13-year-old Thomas Turgoose, is a unique acting talent, discovered by Shane and Louise Meadows and Casting Director Des Hamilton at The Space Project, a scheme run for disadvantaged children. Prior to This Is England, his closest brush with acting was being rejected for the role of an extra in the school play. Stephen Graham - Combo Stephen Graham is a unique British actor, who, though he hails from Liverpool, is perhaps best known for his screen-stealing role as the Cockney Tommy in Guy Ritchie's Snatch. His many standout film credits include Martin Scorsese's Gangs Of New York, Kevin Spacey's Beyond The Sea, Alex Cox's The Revenger's Tragedy, and Danny Cannon's Goal. His television work includes 'Band Of Brothers', 'Flesh And Blood', and 'Where The Heart Is'. Jo Hartley - Cynth Jo Hartley's first feature film role was Shane Meadows' preceding movie Dead Man's Shoes. She has worked extensively in television, her credits include Bob And Rose, Hollyoaks, Recovery and Cold Feet.
  15. 15. Joe Gilgun - Woody 22-year-old Joe Gilgun, studied acting at the Laine Johnson Theatre School and Oldham Theatre Workshop. His television work includes the highly acclaimed Channel 4 series 'Shameless', 'Emmerdale', 'Hollyoaks', and 'Coronation Street'. This Is England is his first feature film role. Andrew Shim - Milky Andrew Shim was discovered by Shane Meadows when he was a young lad acting at The Carlton Television Junior Workshop, and he landed the title role in Shane's second film A Room For Romeo Brass. Firm friends ever since, they also worked together on Dead Man's Shoes. Vicky McClure - Lol Like Andrew Shim, Vicky McClure first met Shane Meadows when she starred in his second, highly acclaimed feature A Room For Romeo Brass. She had been studying acting at The Carlton TV Junior Workshop when she landed the role of Andrew's feisty older sister Ladine in that earlier film. This is the first time the trio have worked together since then. Rosamund Hanson (Smell), Andrew Ellis (Gadget), Keiran Hardcastle (Kes), Jack O'Connell (Pukey Nicholls), Chanel Cresswell (Kelly), Sophie Ellerby (Pob), Danielle Watson (Trev) They all studied acting with an emphasis on improvisation at Ian Smith's Carlton television workshop. 18-year-old Kieran Hardcastle has recently starred in the short film Schoolboy. 16-year-old Jack O'Connell appeared at the National Theatre Cottesloe in Ursula Rani Sarma's play 'The Spider Men'. Credits SHAUN Thomas Turgoose COMBO Stephen Graham CYNTH Jo Hartley MILKY Andrew Shim LOL Vicky McClure WOODY Joe Gilgun SMELL Rosamund Hanson GADGET Andrew Ellis MEGGY Perry Benson
  16. 16. BANJO George Newton LENNY Frank Harper PUKEY NICHOLLS Jack O'Connell MR SANDHU Kriss Dosanjh KES Kieran Hardcastle KELLY Chanel Cresswell TREV Danielle Watson POB Sophie Ellerby SHOE SHOP ASSISTANT Hannah Walters MR DUDLEY Dave Laws BULLY Michael Socha ABIGAIL POLLOCK Aisling Loftus ADAM WAGHORN Joe Sentence CHIP SHOP OWNER Shane Meadows GADGET'S NAN Pamela Cundell POOR MATE 1 Elliot-Otis Brown-Walters TEACHERS Ian Smith Dave Blant DJ DAVE D Seamus O'Neill TEACHER 1 Dave Blant MISS SHAW Ladene Hall MR THACKER Harold Gould MRS THACKER Betty Gould JAYBO Stuart Wolfenden ABIGAIL'S FRIEND Giorgia Groome ADAM'S FRIEND Gabriel Jennings TEASING KIDS Matthew Blamires James Burrows FOOTBALL KIDS Harpal Hayer Terry Haywood Nimesh Jani Additional Casting Michelle Smith Casting Assistant Alistair Mackay Script Consultants Andrew Vickers Mary Burke Production Manager Nina Sagemoen Assistant Co-ordinator Oliver Allgrove
  17. 17. Production Assistants Libby Durdy Rachel Clark Rushes Runners Ed Barratt Marlowe Hurst Production Accountant Fraser Grant Location Accountant John Udall 1st Assistant Directors Griffin Tony Ahearne 2nd Assistant Directors Matt Huntley Nickie Sault 3rd Assistant Directors Peter Foster Christian Rigg Floor Runners Adam Booth Vicky Chapman Olly Sutton Matthew Taylor Location /Unit Manager Richard Knight Assistant Location Manager Emma Yeomans Location Scout Leon Ballin 1st Assistant Camera Adrian O'Toole 2nd Assistant Camera Andy Hill Camera Assistants Austin Voce Kevin Edwards B-Camera Operator Zac Nicholson B-Camera 1st Assistant Oliver Driscoll Camera Car Roy Colin Osborn Key Grip Alex Mott Crane Grip Peter Muncey Gaffer Andy Lowe Best Boy Lee Martin Electricians Darren Foley Alan Glover Simon Marsh Howard Roe Rigger Jamie Core Sound Recordist Dave Sansom Boom Operator Paul Watson
  18. 18. Sound Trainee Rowan October Art Director Caroline Grebbell Assistant Art Director Martin Kelly Art Department Assistant Anna Sheard Props Buyer Lee Porter Props Master Simon Bailey Standby Props Mat Bergel Set Dressers Paul Campbell Kevin Scarrott Neil Smith Picture Vehicles Co-ordinator Andrew Duncan Construction Manager Alex Robertson Painter Polly Benson Art Department Trainees Hannah Boyton Ruth Parker Armourer Mark Shelley Wardrobe Supervisor Debbie O'Brien Costume Assistants Amy Broatch Mareill Gireno Nat Turner Costume Buyer Nadia Dunn-Hill Costume Trainee Charlotte Rees Make-Up Trainee Lily Beckett Make-Up Dailies Veronica Lewis Ailsa Davies Stunt Co-ordinator Riky Ash Stills Photographer/EPK Director Dean Rogers EPK Operator Alistair MacKay Unit Drivers John Oxborough Mick Stanton Minibus Drivers Bryn Austin Gary Austin Additional Photography 1st Assistant Director Nickie Sault 2nd Assistant Director Christian Rigg 3rd Assistant Director Nicola Parfit
  19. 19. Runner Alastair MacKay Location Manager Emma Yeomans 1st Assistant Camera Ian Struthers 2nd Assistant Camera Barny Crocker Picture Vehicles Co-ordinator Andrew Duncan Costume Designer Jo Thompson Costume Assistant Natasha Bardusco Make-Up Artist Donald McInnes Make-Up Assistant Lily Beckett Sound Recordist John Hughes Boom Operator Jo Manly Stunt Coordinator Riky Ash Colin Batchford Post Production Supervisor Helen de Winter Post Production Assistant Ally Gipps Post Production Accountants Tarn Harper Polly Wilby Audio & Offline Post Facility Spool Post Production Studio Supervisor Penny Linfield Supervising Sound Editor Greg Marshall Sound Designers Ben Harvey Matthew Hall Dialogue Editor Susan Pennington Supervising Foley Editor Leyton Rooney Foley Sound Recordist Dave Croft Foley Artists Dave Poulton Ian Waggott Sound Assistants Jim Holiday Lee Everett Re-recording Mixer Andrew Stirk Assistant Re-recording Mixers Gareth Llewellyn Emma Pegram Re-recorded at Videosonics Cinema Sound London Music Supervisor John Boughtwood Music Clearances Susan Tilly Digital Intermediate & MotionFX
  20. 20. Title design DI Supervisor Justin Lanchbury DI Colourist & Film Online Editor Gareth Spensley Lead Visual Effects Artist Jonathan Cheetham Visual Effects Coordinator Clare Heneghan Visual Effects Artists Andy Keys Clare Heneghan Camera & Grip Equipment ICE Films Lighting Equipment Arri Lighting Rigging Equipment Trans-Sport Catering Abadia Catering Facilities Vehicles Movie Makers Martin Clay Mike 'Taffy' Darwood Andy Livesley Paul Revil Security Colin Batchford & Ren the Dog Martin Hammond Unit Nurses Andy Kirk Mike West Tutor Paul Anthony Irons Chaperone Kaye Thurgood Daily Chaperone Catherine Bettany Greg Chisholm Annie Clark Accommodation Urban Short Stay Ice House Saco World Hotels Premiere Travel Inn Jurys Inn Vehicle Hire Arnold Clarke Chilwell Van Hire Tracking Vehicles Anglo American Communications Equipment Wavend Communications Film Stock Kodak Vision Rushes Processing Film Lab North Post Production Script Sapex Scripts Filmed on Kodak
  21. 21. Prints by Deluxe London Insurance Media Insurances Brokers Boyd Harvey Completion Guarantor Film Finances Inc Sheila Fraser Milne Banking Services Barclays Bank Plc Clearances The Clearing House UK Publicity Emfoundation Keeley Naylor Worldwide Sales The Works For Warp Films Barry Ryan Steve Beckett Kev Fleming Legal & Business Affairs Whitehouse & Co Nigel Whitehouse For FilmFour Head of Production Tracey Josephs Production Manager Gerardine O'Flynn Business Affairs Paul Grindey Chris Irvine For The UK Film Council Senior Executive Emma Clarke Production Accountant Andrea Mathuis Senior Business Affairs Executive Natalie Bass For EM Media Executive Producer Lizzie Francke Head of Communications Emily Lappin Communications Executive Sally Hodgson Location Services Nic Smith Dan Hodgett For Ingenious Media Services Limited on behalf of Ingenious Film Partners Production Jane Moore Peter Touche Legal & Business Affairs Alison Brister
  22. 22. Accounting Mark Fielding For Screen Yorkshire Kaye Elliott Helen Perkins Victoria Leeson Developed by FilmFour and EM Media With thanks to The staff at the Crocus Café and Community of Lenton; Paul and Marlene Bailey from Lord Alcester Pub; Vicky Chapman for her hard work as a daily; Carlton Road Co Op, Nottingham; Nottingham City Council; Nottingham Police; Jim, Theresa, and Susan Walsh; Mark and Geoff White; Tom and Jeynes; Associated British Ports Immingham; Marion Spencer; The people of St Ann's, Nottingham "54 46 WAS MY NUMBER (F. Hibbert) Performed by Toots And The Maytals Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd Courtesy of Island Records US Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV licensing division Part of the Universal Music Group COME ON EILEEN Written by Kevin Rowland, James Paterson and Kevin Adams Performed by Dexy's Midnight Runners Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd Courtesy of Mercury Records (London) Ltd Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing division Part of the Universal Music Group NICOLE Written by Nicholas Talbot Performed by Gravenhurst Published by EMI Music Publishing (P) 2005 Warp Records Limited Courtesy of Warp Records MORNING SUN Written by Howard/Levin Performed by Al Barry & The Cimarons Published by Westbury Music Ltd/Copyright Control (P) 1970 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd Licensed Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd ISRC: GBAJE7000560
  23. 23. LOUIE LOUIE Written by Richard Berry Performed by Toots & The Maytals Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd World Wide Music (p) 1972 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd Licensed Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd ISRC: GBAJE7200244 PRESSURE DROP (F.Hibbert) Performed by Toots And The Maytals Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd Courtesy of Island Records US Licensed by kind permission from the Film & TV Licensing division Part of the Universal Music Group DO THE DOG (Thomas Jr) Performed by The Specials Published by Rondor Music London Ltd On behalf of Birdees Music Corp Licensed courtesy of EMI Records Ltd RETURN OF DJANGO (Lee Perry) Performed by The Upsetters Published by B&C Music Publishing Limited New Town Sound (P) 1968 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd Licensed courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd ISRC: GBAJE6800195 POMP AND CIRCUMSTANCE MARCH NO.1 in D, Op.39/1" (E Elgar) Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Ian Hughes By kind permission of Boosey & Hawkes Music Publishers Ltd LET'S DANCE (J. Cliff) Published by Lilbert Music SINCE YESTERDAY
  24. 24. (R. McDowall/J.Bryson) Performed by Strawberry Switchblade Published by Zoo Music Ltd. /Warner/Chappell Music Ltd Courtesy of Rhino UK DARK END OF THE STREET Written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn Performed by Percy Sledge Published by EMI Music Publishing Ltd Courtesy of Rhino UK PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, LET ME GET WHAT I WANT (S. Morrissey/J. Marr) Performed by Clayhill Published by Universal Music Publishing Ltd/Warner Chappell Music Ltd Taken from the mini album 'Clayhill' out now on Eat Sleep Records www.clayhillmusic.com SKINHEAD MOONSTOMP Written by Monty Naismith and AA Ellis Performed by Symarip Published by B&C Music Publishing Ltd/Sparta Florida Music Group Ltd (P) 1969 Sanctuary Records Group Ltd Licensed Courtesy of Sanctuary Records Group Ltd ISRC: GBAJE6900284 WARHEAD (Harper/Slack) Performed by the UK Subs Published by Sparta Florida Music Group Ltd (P) 1980 Gem Records Ltd Issued under exclusive license from Demon Music Group Ltd Filmed entirely on location in Nottingham and Grimsby A Warp Films Production in association with Big Arty Productions and Ingenious Film Partners for FilmFour, the UK Film Council, EM Media and Screen Yorkshire
  25. 25. Finance through EM Media, part funded by the European Regional Development Fund Made with the support of the UK Film Council's New Cinema Fund Made with the support of Yorkshire Forward and the European Union through Screen Yorkshire Production Fund and part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund Warp Bulldog Limited and Shane Meadows are the authors of this picture for the purposes of copyright and other laws. The events, characters and firms depicted in this motion picture are fictitious. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or to actual events or films is purely coincidental. Ownership of this motion picture is protected by copyright and other applicable laws and any unauthorized duplication, distribution or exhibition of this motion picture could result in criminal prosecution as well as civil liability. © WARP FILMS LIMITED, FILMFOUR, THE UK FILM COUNCIL, EM MEDIA, SCREEN YORKSHIRE All rights reserved