It may be a long hot dry summer night in the rest of Penarth, but on the Esplanade it’s “raining”  on Eddie Izzard and the Six Minutes to Midnight movie’s  vintage Packard saloon – as captured by Penarth press photographer Matthew Horwood . (Photo
Matthew Horwood / matt-horwood.com )

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 .

The Six Minutes to Midnight crew at work on Penarth Esplanade where the Victorian style lamp standards have been re-activated for the movie shoot, the orange sodium lamps have been switched off and a vintage Packard saloon of the period (1939) has been parked up . (Photo courtesy of Penarth and Cardiff press photographer Matthew Horwood / matt-horwood.com )

The “Road Narrows” sign on the Esplanade wasn’t in the 1939 Highway Code- so it’s having to come down .

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 harsh orange sodium lights along the sea front are to be switched off

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  .

Another of  the movies vintage  pre-war cars being driven along Bridgeman Road for the movie today. They’re been  brought in to give Penarth a genuine “1939 feel” – which many would argue the town already has.

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.

Judi Dench and Eddie Izzard

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”.

A city of location trucks has now appeared at the Penarth end of the Cardiff Bay Barrage

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.

Technicians wheel a portable tower into position down the Esplanade

Tonight and tomorrow night all traffic is being diverted away from the Esplanade

….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.


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Penarth Daily News email address newsnet@sky.com. Penarth Daily News is an independent free on-line fair and balanced news service published by NewsNet Ltd covering the town of Penarth in the Vale of Glamorgan, Wales, UK. All our news items are based on the information we receive or discover at the time of publication and are published on the basis that they are accurate to the best of our knowledge and belief at that time. Comments posted on the site by commentators reflect their opinions and are not necessarily shared, endorsed or supported by Penarth Daily News.
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  1. Mr Pot Hole says:

    Here’s a mad thought…how about the money the VOG Council gets for the constant filming around Penarth is spent properly repairing the roads in the town…….bonkers I know…….;/

  2. whatsoccurin says:

    Thanks for the up-date-we are used to filming in the area but the number of vehicles near the Promenade made us think that this was a re-make of “Ben Hur”!

  3. Peter Church says:

    Its a pity that money raised here goes to Barry to subsidise the large numbers who either don’t or can’t work.
    All monies raised by location filming in Penarth should be spent in Penarth.
    Labour in this country have encouraged a notion of dependency and handouts.

  4. Christopher David - not an anon says:

    Whatever …looks good to me. I’ll not elaborate. !’ll await the little Welsherners with their banal comments. Yes the usual gutless anon

    • GWR says:

      could you please define Welsheners ? not a term if familiar with ! thank you

    • Lou says:

      Unlike the incisive stuff you come up with eh?

      • Christopher David - not an anon says:

        Me no “if familiar” either. Mr Church has presented a case you appear unable to dispute oh jealous spongers- plural 🙂

  5. AK says:

    It’s worth the inconvenience for the legendary Dame Judy!

    Now I know I wasn’t seeing things when I saw Eddie Izzard outdide Morrison’s the other week.

    • Louiseholistic says:

      If it was Eddie Izzard that you saw outside Morrisons, what a shame he wasn’t shopping in Penarth town centre and boosting our local economy.

  6. sjleworthy says:

    Perhaps she can buy me a pint in the ‘Spoons

  7. GWR says:

    Great as it is for Penarth and i not complaining, however but given the extent of powerful lighting and the use of a very high crane very near to residential apartments it would take little effort to pre-warn residents and send an apology letter for loss of sleep!! it was like sleeping in the middle of the Principality Stadium with flood lights full on!!!!

    • whatsoccurin says:

      agree-they seem to forget it is a residential area-when “Stella” did an overnight shoot we received a pleasant apologetic note-courtesy goes a long way.

  8. cosmeston says:

    Bearing in mind that well known “Luvvies” are the lead story today, there will be little if any criticisms of the filming activities by the usual Penarth culprits. But what if they were to film a “Churchill” drama – that would be quite different, wouldn’t it !!

  9. Jp says:

    Well let’s not worry that it’s a seaside town in the middle of a heatwave holiday …

  10. Christopher David - not an anon says:

    Fact is despite requests to the experts here no one’s put the fiscal- economic /social/ or even anti filming case. Just the (in the main) usual moaners choppsing off with no case. I have a feeling on the whole it’s all jolly good for Penarth, and they have to film somewhere nice. Not a lot of to about 🙂

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