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The making of Deception

Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.To BIAFF 2010 results | To Full Making Of Index

At BIAFF 2010 Beveridge-Brown Productions won a 4-Star Award and the prize for Best Entry by under-16s with Deception.

The story that was eventually to evolve to become Deception was originally planned to be a 15 second cutaway to another story. In the end, parts of this larger story would be used as a 15 second cutaway for Deception.

That's how this big war time epic began really, from two boys' imaginations, already in the midst of other films. We have both been making films since we were very young, since we were able to hold a camera in fact.

Adam Beveridge, the director, has always been gifted with a great imagination, being able to turn simple shots into interesting compositions and our framing was devised from these great visions.

Sam Brown's ability to play a character was essential in making Deception so believable. He has had this talent since his young childhood and training at "Focus on the Arts" an acting group targeted at young people.

Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.We formed our own filming company Beveridge Brown Productions ( BB Productions) and have been making films since 1999.

Our first was a documentary on The Bluebell Railway, at age 12. We had never really made anything properly. Previously we shot just wild playground games filmed in our bedrooms. The Bluebell Railway as this 20 minute documentary was entitled was to give us a good starting point, being something easy to film and focus on, whilst providing some interest, particularly for Sam, who is a steam enthusiast.

This was a small success providing us with a good footing in the OVFM (Orpington Video & Film Makers) film club and building quite the reputation for being "rising stars" After this we embarked on short dramas, some of which have won awards at Orpington and Kent.

Deception came about in early 2009. We had planned to visit the Isle of Wight in early July, to use the magnificent scenery available in this small corner of England. It was agreed in late May, shortly after filming the trial run, that our new "Spy thriller" idea would be the ideal candidate for filming as the island's countryside and villages that time seemingly forgot, would be the perfect backdrop for a film of the 1940s.

We met several times to try and get in our heads the layout of the story. By the end of June, we had written the beginning and the end of the story, but still had little idea as to the contents of the main part of the film. We agreed that Sam would take on the principal role, with the character Hans to be given to Jamie Hemingway, a good friend of BB Productions and talented actor. He is a member of an operatic society and has appeared in West End shows. His talents were a joy to have on board. Alexander Roarke, a professional actor, agreed to help out in return for a credit to his name.

The hard work of finding the costumes was given to us as a favour from Adam and Jamie's connections with his Operatic society and were lent to us free of charge. With just one week remaining prior to our departure for the Garden Isle, filming commenced in the grounds of Sam's secondary school, Coopers Technology College in Chislehurst. Thanks to a very supportive and understanding staff at the school, Beveridge Brown Productions were allowed to use the long abandoned basement of the old manor house that stands in the school grounds.

Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.As I am sure many of you will either know or remember, school teachers can have a tendency to present a scary facade. It was this that inspired us to cast Ultan McCarthy as Herr Starke. And now for a secret: in the film Herr Starke is seen talking with another character, Herr Schneider, yet to this day, neither of these actors has met. This was because on each of the filming days, one or other of them was unavailable. As a result, careful cutting was required to give the impression that they were both in the same room at the same time.

We then moved to the Isle of Wight for one week, where in that time, we completed the first third of the film. Despite some major problems with transport on the island filming proceeded as planned, with only a few amendments to locations. While on the Island, the method of using one camera to record the film and one to act as a boom microphone was adopted, something we would use for most of the rest of the film.

For a while after this, production stopped abruptly as we now needed to finalise and film the middle part of the film. By the end of August, the end had been decided and the location of Chatham Dockyards chosen. Many weeks passed as negotiations were made for us to film within the grounds of Chatham Dockyards, originally intended for late November. We wanted filming to be delayed until after summer to give the later part of the a film a sense of dark foreboding, which would justify the film's climax. We encountered many problems with the Chatham shoot, mainly its price due to its popularity with professional film makers. Because of its unique, amazing establishments, Hollywood blockbusters that have been filmed on location there include:
  • Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.Sherlock Holmes (2009)
  • Veer - Bollywood blockbuster
  • The Bank Job - released 2007
  • Pierrepoint - released 2007
  • The Golden Compass - released 2007 (UK)
  • Amazing Grace - released 2007 (UK)
  • Children of Men - released 2006 (UK)
  • The World is Not Enough (James Bond) - released 1999 (UK)
  • The Mummy - released 1999 (UK)
Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.Behind-the-scenes shot of making 'Deception'.This meant that hiring out the dockyard would cost in the region of £400 ... which for two teenagers was a lot of nights out!

We eventually agreed to this price because of the lack of time in which to film. Of course one problem led to another as we soon learnt that Chatham closed between 1st November and 1st February meaning we would have missed the BIAFF deadline of 31st January, and to open the Dockyard in non working days it would cost an additional fee and the fees for two chaperones: one to supervise us and the other to supervise the premises!

We met with the head of the commercial services and agreed to all their terms and conditions, with agreements to film on December 19th, only to our despair we learnt that that date was not convenient for the dockyard as none of their staff were available that date. So we agreed to shoot on 17th January to allow for 2 weeks of post production afterwards. However there was yet another set back. England was damned with heavy snowfall in January and filming had to be put on hold to avoid huge continuity problems. We finally were able to film on 22nd of January leaving only one week to edit.

Still from 'Deception'.Still from 'Deception'.Filming on the day went well. We shot the indoor sequences in the morning to avoid slight rainfall and exteriors after a quick lunch break at 12 o'clock.

We suffered the loss of one of our actors, Bob, at the dockyard with a pelvis-shattering fall whilst filming. Nothing was going right for Bob, who also lacked in the costume department due to our limited range of sizes. Fortunately Bob lived to tell the tale of his fiasco. He was more fortunate than our Protagonist in Deception!

With the all shooting finished it was up to Adam to add some editing magic and Deception was completed to the 31st of January deadline!

Deception has been our biggest project to date, taking over 6 months to film, and even longer for it to come off the drawing board. It's given us some local fame in the Bromley area and will be appearing in the "SERIAC film festival" and hopefully in "The Guernsey Lilly". We have two new projects on the go. One entitled The Babysitter is a short comedy and another hopefully successful drama Hostage.

- Adam Beveridge & Sam Brown  (BeveridgeBrownProductions)

The fascinating behind-the-scenes photographs are by Simon Earwicker.

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Page updated on 03 October 2011
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