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Airstrike targets Warwickshire field as WWII is recreated for new film



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EXPLOSIONS rocked the Warwickshire countryside as an airstrike targeted a military vehicle rumbling along in the evening dusk.

As the sun went down on Saturday evening several explosions lit up the night sky as filming continued on the WWII drama set in a field near Binton. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0235. (52421832)
As the sun went down on Saturday evening several explosions lit up the night sky as filming continued on the WWII drama set in a field near Binton. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0235. (52421832)

When the dirt and dust had settled, the bomb strike had achieved its mission… or at least it had in the view of film director Roger Harding.

He had brought a theatre and film production company into a muddy farmer’s field to resume the filming of their latest project after delays to shooting caused by the pandemic.

Two Hats Films, a local organisation of writers, actors and directors, have continued work on their film adaptation of Calling the Tune after production was halted by last year’s lockdown.

The organisation, a not-for-profit collective made up of creatives from across the West Midlands, was set up in 1997 to produce theatre and film for communities in the region by using local talents.

A German WWII vehicle being unloaded on set. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/9927. (52421847)
A German WWII vehicle being unloaded on set. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/9927. (52421847)

The current production is an adaptation of writer/director Roger’s 2002 stage play, set in England in 1980 and travelling back to occupied France in World War Two.

Filming took place in a farmer’s field near Binton and involved a pyrotechnician fresh from filming the new Bond movie, No Time to Die.

Roger told the Herald: “The scene involved a Kübelwagen getting caught in an airstrike and being blown off the road. My thanks go to the landowners, particularly the man who had to listen to the explosions on his field.

“I think he got a fair amount of flack from the people of Binton, for which I apologise sincerely. I hope Binton will be proud of what we achieved; we got some phenomenal footage.”

The gruesome makeup work lead by Suzanne Kent (52415234)
The gruesome makeup work lead by Suzanne Kent (52415234)

The feature is a co-production with Bader Media and Wartime Productions, who specialise in sourcing authentic period vehicles including a schwimmwagen, the amphibious jeeps used by German troops.

Roger explained: “The chap who owns it let us use it. It’s fantastic how many people have volunteered their services or their vehicles. It all adds production value to what you see on screen.

“It’s a tremendous spirit amongst the team. The makeup, led by Suzanne Kent, was phenomenal. They applied the makeup for those injured or killed in the bomb strike, so there were bits of glass stuck in their faces. It was quite gruesome really. I nearly fainted.”

Director Roger Harding, right, kept the cameras rolling into the darkness. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0177. (52421816)
Director Roger Harding, right, kept the cameras rolling into the darkness. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0177. (52421816)

The production is operating on a micro-budget, and the company is setting up a crowd fund to finance the film’s completion, which they expect will take 15 days to shoot.

Roger said: “It wouldn’t be as expensive as what we did on Saturday, but we wanted maximum value on screen. Then we can send it to festivals to pick up a head of steam, and the idea is to pitch it to Netflix.

“Hopefully then we can make enough money to make another film. I think it’ll be a comedy. Britain needs a comedy right now.”

Director Roger Harding, right, kept the cameras rolling into the darkness. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0185. (52421818)
Director Roger Harding, right, kept the cameras rolling into the darkness. Photo: Mark Williamson A65/10/21/0185. (52421818)


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