modern culture since 1991

Wings over Sealand

WoSblog Junction

Posted on August 12, 2010 by RevStu

In which WoS appears in a movie with Ricky Gervais!


The pics above and below this paragraph come from Cemetery Junction, a film written and directed by Ricky Gervais and Steven Marchant and released earlier this year. The DVD comes out later this month, but WoSblog has had a sneak preview, in more ways than one.

Because this excellent sequence (about 24 minutes into the movie) wasn't shot on location or on a movie set. As hyper-alert viewers will have noticed, the scenery was shot by me, on a WoS daytrip to Barry Island in 2006.

(The picture in question, seen just below these words, doesn't even appear in the main body of the feature, but as a text link around the middle of the piece. Lord knows how the production company stumbled across it.)

I got an email out of the blue last November asking if the pic could be used in a movie. I said that that was fine, subject to payment of a small license fee, assuming it was some little indie film company that couldn't afford location shoots or something. But when the release document arrived to be signed in February, I Googled the title and was quietly thrilled to find out the truth.

(I wouldn't have asked for any more money if I'd known it was a major-studio production featuring household names – it's only a still that appears in the movie for a few seconds, after all – but I might have asked for a couple of tickets to the premiere and a little joke credit instead.)

At this point there was a mildly silly mess of bureaucracy to go through, a cheque arrived, and that was that. The film only showed for a week in Bath and I didn't manage to catch it (the first time we tried to go it was sold out, and the second time was a lovely spring evening and my companion decided we should go for a stroll in the park instead), so I didn't know until now if the picture had actually made the final cut.

But it had. (So skilfully blended in you'd never suspect.) And that's nice.

8 to “WoSblog Junction”

  1. Matt Smith says:

    What a curious – and excellent – thing. The film stills really do look like a genuine location; you'd never suspect that cunning photographic trickery was involved. Presumably high-tech computerised visual wizardry comes cheaper these days than actually building sets. But I wonder what led them to your picture in the first place? An intriguing thing indeed.

    Also, how heartening to see that there are still people out there (people with access to in-house lawyers, yet. You know, like CU Amiga and the Mail on Sunday) with the decency to ask first before grabbing other people's stuff off the web for their own use. There's a lesson here, and it's a nice one for a change.

  2. RevStu says:

    It turns out that the pic is one of the first ones that comes up on Google Images for the term "building site", and it's the first one that would be suitable for the movie's purpose. So that's that mystery solved at least.

  3. Matt says:

    Totally cool story. Props to the production company for contacting you to use it. Would have been much easier to not bother.

  4. tigertiger says:

    Weird. Makes me wonder how many times a production company has taken photos from the web and not asked permission. Question: if they hadn't made the request, would you have noticed?

  5. Sickboy says:

    I was on-set for that very scene, filmed on a back-lot at Pinewood Studios.
    I was sitting in a chair directly opposite the filming for, like, three fucking hours until Mr Gervais and Mr Merchant were free to talk for roughly ten minutes.
    That wasn't their fault, of course, and they were lovely.
    Just sayin'.

  6. Tom Feilding says:

    I watched this film yesterday and really enjoyed it – even if it was a little clichéd at times.
    Your scene with the building site slotted in seamlessly. You would never know it was just a photo taken off t'internet.

  7. Craig Grannell says:

    We saw the film over the weekend. Mrs G wasn't entirely up for it, but thoroughly enjoyed it, as did I. I'm frankly amazed it's scored so low on RT, got only one week in the UK and went straight to DVD in the USA. I thought it was a great film (and this comes as someone who very much liked The Office, thought Extras was mostly reasonably good but nothing better, and who hasn't liked Gervais's stand-ups after the first one).
    As for that scene, it slots in pretty well, and it's par for the course these days. I remember watching some FX company's showreel a while back, and seeing just how much CGI is in even relatively standard shows. Soaps do sets, but everything else is green-screen city these days.

  8. Craig Grannell says:

    Ah, here we go:
    It's from Stargate Studios, and it's a real eye-opener.

Leave a reply

  • About

    Hello. I am the Rev. Stuart Campbell,
    a semi-obsolete neo-culture journalist.
    Click here
    to contact me, if you want.

    Stats: 127 Posts, 6,264 Comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Categories

  • Archives

  • Recent Comments

  • Tall, Thin Game Of The Month

    Lightforce (FTL, 1986)

↑ Top