The long-awaited second edition of ‘The Making of SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS (1974)’ is being published in paperback by The Lutterworth Press on 25th May. Pre-orders are now available from their website here
This memoir of an odd thing that happened in the early 1970s is similar to the first edition but has a new cover and includes a few more stories, photographs and names from the ‘seventies that have floated to the surface. It compliments StudioCanal’s 40th Anniversary DVD and Blu-ray
and makes a good present for anyone who has grown up watching the 1974 film.
Sophie hopes to be signing copies at events around the country this summer.
Please click here for details
Last weekend Sophie was signing copies of her books at the Tavistock Festival and gave a talk at the Roseland Festival in St Mawes before a screening of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (1974) on Sunday evening at the lovely Hotel Tresanton cinema.
this Saturday 22nd May at 2.00pm
Filed under Acting, Arthur Ransome, Autobiography, Biography, boating, British Film, Cinema, Claude Whatham, Cumbria, David Wood, Diary, Dinghy sailing, Entertainment news, Film, Film Cast, Film History, Film production, filmography, Memoir, Movie, Movie stories, Sophie Neville, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, Titty in Swallows and Amazons, truelife story, Uncategorized, Vintage Film, Virginia McKenna
The new Harbour Pictures film of ‘Swallows and Amazons’ starring Rafe Spall, Andrew Scott and Kelly Macdonald is now available on DVD and Blu-ray in the UK.
Saga are giving away one copy on Blu-ray. Please go to the Saga Facebook page and follow the instructions – you just might win the prize draw!
or you can attempt to win a copy by entering their prize draw competition on Twitter, which you can reach by entering the #SwallowsandAmazons into your Twitter search box.
You can order the film from Amazon by clicking here (also available from other outlets).
It makes a great Christmas present.
Filed under Arthur Ransome, boating, British Film, Cinema, Cumbria, Dinghy sailing, Entertainment news, family Entertainment, Family Film, Film, Lake District, sailing film, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, Uncategorized
by Hayloft Publishing, written by David Banning with a forward by Sophie Neville.
‘This is the finest comprehensive guide to the history of movies filmed in Cumbria and the Lake District, since the early twentieth century to the present day… it will take you on a journey through the filmic landscape of one of the world’s most beautiful places.’
‘You will be able to immerse yourself in the lush green world where Star Wars created an alien landscape or take a trip around Swallows and Amazons country, not to mention joining the ranks of Withnail and I pilgrims or sampling the nostalgic Breif Encounter tea rooms where a tiny piece of grit kick-started an enduring romance.’
To read more, please click here for Cumbria Today or click on this image for a review in the Cumberland & Westmorland Herald:
There is also a feature in the Westmoreland Gazette here
For more information from Hayloft Publishing, and to buy this book, please click here
Terry Abraham, who made the film Life of a Mountain, writes: There are countless books covering aspects of the most beautiful corner of England but none which reveal little known facts regarding it as a location for filming. David thoroughly and interestingly brings to light the great number of films both large and small that have featured Lakeland on camera. Some less obvious than others but no less absorbing, you may well wish to seek out and visit where productions have captured the scenic delights of Lakeland. David’s book is an engaging and enlightening read and definitely one for the shelf alongside other works celebrating England’s finest landscape.
Be the first to review this book on Amazon.co.uk
David Banning lists ten of the best films made in Cumbria. Please click on these links for the International Movie Database details and film trailers:
Brief Encounter, 1945
The Dambusters, 1955
Swallows and Amazons, 1974
The French Lieutenant’s Woman, 1981
Withnail & I, 1987
28 Days Later, 2002
Miss Potter, 2006
Star Wars Episode VII – The Force Awakens, 2015
You can see a shot of Derwent Water at 1.23 mins into the official film trailer for Star Wars after ‘This Christmas’ graphics, here:
Filed under Acting, Arthur Ransome, British Film, Cinema, Claude Whatham, Cumbria, David Wood, Entertainment news, family Entertainment, Family Film, Film, Film Cast, Film crew, Film History, Filmaking, filmography, Lake District, Landscape Photographs, Movie, Movie disasters, Movie stories, questions about filmmaking, Richard Pilbrow, Sophie Neville, Steam train Haverthwaite Railway Station, Suzanna Hamilton, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, Titty in Swallows and Amazons, truelife story, Uncategorized, Vintage Film, Zanna Hamilton
A second edition of the ebook ‘The Secrets of Filming ‘SWALLOWS & AMAZONS'(1974) is now avaialble on Amazon Kindle, Smashwords, itunes, Kobo, and Nook for £2.99 . You can download this free of charge if you already own the first edition.
If you would like a copy but don’t have a Kindle, worry not. We have added a link whereby you can download a free Kindle app. Please go to my Book Page and scroll down for the details.
If you already have a copy of the ebook, contact a Customer Advisor and ask for a free update. You just need to give Kindle the ebook’s ASIN number. The ISBN for all online editions except Kindle is: ISBN 9781311761927
|ASIN is: B00GNFYZJS. The full instructions are: Select “Help” from the right hand end of the top grey bar on your online Amazon account page on the main site. Click on ‘Contact us’ on the right. Under ‘What can we help you with?’ select Amazon Content and Devices. Tap on your Kindle device in the boxes shown, then scroll down the page to ‘Select an issue’ and in the drop down menu select ‘My Kindle books and subscriptions’ Follow the prompts to connect to a Customer Advisor on live chat. Tell them that there is a newer version of the book than when you originally purchased and ask them to deliver the latest updated edition to all of your devices. This is free, although it takes a few minutes. There may be a different proceedure to download new versions from other booksellers – I advise doing whatever is similar. From other sellers you will need to supply the book’s Smashwords ISBN: 9781311761927
A beautiful photograph of Virginia McKenna taken on location in the Lake District in 1973 by Philip Hatfield
Since being contacted by others who were involved in the filming, I have been able to add a few more anecdotes and images, including this beautiful shot of Virginia McKenna kindly sent in by the photographer Philip Hatfield.
I found a copy of my original contract for the film and when Jean McGill rang from Bowness, a few more secrets floated to the surface.
CBBCTV’s Cinemaniacs interviewed the screenwriter David Wood and myself on how the original movie of Arthur Ransome’s ‘Swallows and Amazons’ was made back in the summer of 1973. The idea was to use 30 second clips, so please excuse my over-the-top reactions, but you can watch the whole recording below.
‘This has to be one of the most delightful interviews in my recent memory.’ Tim Lewis, USA
Filed under 1973, Acting, Arthur Ransome, Autobiography, Biography, boating, British Film, Christian, Cinema, Claude Whatham, Cumbria, David Wood, Diary, Dinghy sailing, e-publication, Emi film, Entertainment news, family Entertainment, Family Film, Film, Film Cast, Film crew, Film History, Film production, Filmaking, filmography, Kindle, Lake District, Memoir, Movie, Movie disasters, Movie stories, News, Richard Pilbrow, sailing film, Sophie Neville, Suzanna Hamilton, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, titty, Titty in Swallows and Amazons, truelife story, Uncategorized, Vintage Film, Virginia McKenna, Zanna Hamilton
A new British film is being launched on 23rd September starring Talulah Riley, Martin Compston, and Joe Thomas of In Betweeners fame, along with our tame otters.
I travelled up to Dunoon in Scotland to help with the scenes that, in the story, entail an injured otter brought into a wildlife conservation centre set in a beautiful location outside Glasgow.
Belinda the Otter with Sophie and Daphne Neville
The romcom is written and directed by Talulah Riley who also stars in what promises to be an amusing movie. Talulah was keen to feature our very energetic young male otter Rudi in a scene where the otter is released back into the wild. To achieve this on film, without losing him altogether, was quite a feat but he enjoyed himself and the result looks endearing.
When one of the producers asked if I had worked on any other films featuring animals, I had to admit there have been quite a few. We had a baboon in the studio once and I became quite used to filming with trained elephants. I worked with a whole variety of exotic animals on the vet series ‘One by One’ from a pelican to a full grown leopard. In the mid 1980’s I was lucky enough to spend four months on Corfu making the first BBC adaptation of Gerald Durrell’s autobiography ‘My Family and Other Animals’ with Brian Blessed and a huge number of tortoises. As it happens, Rudi will appear in the next series of The Durrells, with filming due to start soon.
To see more about what the otters have been up to, please go to Daphne Neville’s website here.
You can read about living with tame otters in my book ‘Funnily Enough’ available in the UK here in paperback or on Kindle here
There are more photographs of the otters here
The DVD, which will be released on 3rd October, is available for pre-order here
One of our hand-reared otters who stars in ‘Scottish Mussel’
‘Can you be in Cowes at 9.00am tomorrow morning?’ I was asked.
BBC South Today explained that they’d like to interview me about being in ‘Swallows and Amazons’ back in 1974.
‘They’re pirates!’ I found Sarah Farmer filming on the Parade.
Seren Hawkes who plays Nancy Blackett in the new movie ‘Swallows and Amazons’ was with her.
I was asked what advise I could give Seren about what might happen next.
All I could say was, ‘Watch the wind and sail with it!’
Seren Hawkes, Sarah Farmer and Sophie Neville
It was great to meet up with the producer Nick Barton, who showed me ‘Swallow’ the RNSA dinghy that also stars in the film.
I went on to join fans of the film for lunch at the Royal London Yacht Club, where I once gave a talk, before going out on the Solent.
Filed under Acting, Arthur Ransome, British Film, Cinema, Entertainment news, family Entertainment, Family Film, Film, Film Cast, Film History, Filmaking, Memoir, Movie, Movie stories, News, questions about filmmaking, sailing film, Sophie Neville, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, titty, Titty in Swallows and Amazons, truelife story, Vintage Film
Kelly Macdonald starring as Mrs Walker and Andrew Scott as Lazlov, with me, Sophie Neville, as a dithering lady in a hat and rusty-coloured jacket getting into the steam train behind Roger at Portsmouth Station. Blink and you’ll miss me.
So opens the new film version of Arthur Ransome’s story ‘Swallows and Amazons’ (2016) directed by Phillipa Lowthorpe, which is coming out in cinemas around the UK on 19th August.
Meanwhile, here’s one I made earlier:
For news of all things ‘Swallows and Amazons’ please click here
Filed under Acting, Arthur Ransome, British Film, Cinema, Entertainment news, Family Film, Film, Film Cast, Film production, Filmaking, Movie, Movie stories, sailing film, Sophie Neville, Swallows & Amazons, Swallows and Amazons, titty, Titty in Swallows and Amazons, Uncategorized, Vintage Film