A veritable battalion of film trucks, cranes and lighting vans has descended on Penarth Esplanade this evening (July 12 2018) for the start of a two-night location shoot for a forthcoming major movie.
The film – set in 1939 and called “Six Minutes to Midnight” – stars Dame Judi Dench (who it seems didn’t die after all at the end of that last Bond movie she was in) and actor,comedian and social commentator Eddie Izzard – who also wrote the script with Celyn Jones and ex Downton Abbey director Andy Goddard .
For the authentic period feel, present day road signs on the Esplanade are being taken down.
Basically, everything on the seaward side of the Esplanade has to be “in period” as befits a film being made by Downton Abbey director.
The 1960s-vintage orange sodium lights and the more modern LED lighting along the front is being switched off and replaced with something more evocative of the pre-war period.
Meanwhile a couple of big mobile cranes have been brought in to supply elevated “moonlight” – after dark- because the real moon moves around too much and is never where the cameraman wants it .
Vintage vehicles – which frankly looked quite a bit older than 1939 models – were being driven along Bridgeman Road whilst others were arriving on the backs of lorries for use at a later stage of the shoot.
The plot of the movie is a closely guarded secret – but some passers opined that the movie might reflect the hitherto unsung role played by various minority groups in the downfall of Hitler.
However PDN can reveal that the film is actually a thriller being produced by Lionsgate International and will tell the story of “a teacher (Dench) at a young ladies’ finishing school on the South Coast of England who somehow gets caught up in a Nazi conspiracy”.
Eddie Izzard – presumably minus his trademark pink beret – plays the role of a teacher at the “German League for Girls”.
There are so many trucks in the movie caravan than most of them are now parked up in on the Cardiff Bay Barrage car park where 80 slots have been set aside for them .
There was consternation at the Barrage yesterday because scores of visitors at the Barrage couldn’t find anywhere to park – nor could they today.
….It’ll be the same on Esplanade and Cliff Hill tonight and tomorrow night. The Esplanade isn’t closed to pedestrians – but those who do go down to the front or a stroll may find themselves being shepherded out of shot by members of the film crew.