Acts of Godfrey: How To Make A British Film, Part 2

With my measly budget of £235,000 I am now in a position to start casting now can I get Tamzin Outhwaite to 'kiss the badge'?
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February 2010 - ‘Badge kissers!’

Having been killed with kindness by the Film Council and their dismissal of my proposed film as ‘unique and funny’ I have arrived at a measly budget of £235,000 and decided to attract private money. That’s right, in the same year that the value of the stock exchange has sunk lower than a Daschund’s flesh-pencil I am going to approach individuals of ‘high net worth’ to take a chance on me.

I have no distributor in place, I have no partners willing to proffer co-production investment and I have no friends in high places that will open a few doors (in fact I rather suspect that past ventures have led to some doors being pre-emptively bolted, but paranoia is as much use to a prospective debutante ‘Auteur’ as realism, so I’ve chosen to ignore any nagging doubts as to bridges burnt in my past life as London’s ‘Bridge Burner by Appointment’). Thus lightly armed, armoured and amoured I set off.

Fortunately I don’t set off alone, for rather fool-hardily, before obtaining funding I have begun casting and I represent a growing team of Britain’s finest acting talent who have recognised ‘Acts of Godfrey’ as a badge which they are all prepared to kiss (and indeed as a script that they are all prepared to put their names to).

I return to idle thoughts of asking the casting director to see if Joanna Whalley fancies ‘coming over for a quick read through’.

Described by Barry Norman as ‘the finest thing to come out of Scotland after malt whisky’, BAFTA winner Iain Robertson stands shoulder to shoulder with the delectable and indecently talented Myfanwy Waring and I’m thrilled that they’re both prepared to kiss my badge so publicly.

It’s not all been good news, last Thursday my Casting Agent (not ‘my’ Casting Agent, who on earth has a personal Casting Agent? OK…apart from Lady Ga Ga, who on earth has a personal Casting Agent?) rang to say Tamsin Outhwaite wanted ‘in’. However when push came to shove (Friday) she wanted ‘out’ again. Frustrating because there is an actor who can put bums on seats (everyone has to start somehow) and can also act (though not necessarily simultaneously). Quite what led her to want the part and then not want it it in the space of 24 hours is beyond me, it normally takes me at least a personal meeting to tip someone from desire to antipathy but maybe my powers of alienation have begun to work telepathically? Next stop ‘fly-by-wire’ falling out, ‘head-up-display’ hatefulness. Oooops, ‘Down paranoia…Get Down!’

Suffice to say that of my 11 principal characters (see where that football analogy came from? No? Oh.) 7 are in place. Maybe I should propose a reality show to fill the remaining berths?

‘How Do You Solve a Problem Like Jacqui?’ - Saturday Night TV, your chance to win a part in an unknown work by an unknown writer…

It’s an interesting thought, creating a project that’s a harder sell than the one you’re trying to promote to promote it…

It’s ‘an interesting thought’, but not a good one.

I return to idle thoughts of asking the casting director to see if Joanna Whalley fancies ‘coming over for a quick read through’.

'Acts of Godfrey' has been selected by the British Film Institute for the London UK Film Focus in late June 2011 at the NFT. The film is part of the 'Breakthrough' strand for emerging UK talent. For more info visit

Acts of Godfrey (trailer) from johnnydaukes on Vimeo.

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