BBCs Little Dorrit Takes on Local Runners

Claire Foy as Little Dorrit in period costume

Claire Foy as Little Dorrit © BBC

Training opportunities were offered to three lucky Kent Students

When the new BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit visited Kent in April 2008, they offered three local students the chance to become runners. The successful candidates were chosen by the production from the replies to a call-out by the Kent Film Office to applicants registered with the Kent Production Guide and participating colleges and universities in the county. They were given a variety of jobs to do during the course of the filming and got the rare opportunity to see what the filming of a television costume drama is all about.
Dan McIntosh sitting on the grass

Dan McIntosh © Dan McIntosh

Dan McIntosh, a third year student from the University of Creative Arts describes his experience of being on set:

‘Being on set for the shoot of Little Dorrit was an amazing experience. To see the castle transformed from a popular English Heritage tourist attraction into a French period market in such a short space of time was nothing short of a miracle. Dozens of people were involved, with preparations varying from the simple ” keeping areas of the castle cordoned off and laying out furniture, cloth, herbs and spices ” to the more unusual ” removing a lamp-post and asking the odd motorbike enthusiast to keep quiet-

But once the filming was underway it all came together. Seeing the actors on set in full Victorian dress was magical. Deal Castle suddenly seemed like the perfect location ” the sun was out for the whole shoot, with the sea gleaming in the background. We must have been blessed. A few times I had to keep visitors to the castle quiet, as they made their way round the few remaining areas open to the public, but mostly they just stood and watched in silent fascination.

And then within a couple of hours of the shoot wrapping on the final day, we had emptied out the few remaining props and lights, and the castle was left empty and lifeless once more.’

Dan is the 22nd Runner the Kent Film Office has managed to place with a resident or visiting production in an effort to help our young hopefuls to gain the experience they need to take their first step onto the employment ladder of a very competitive industry.

If you want to see what Deal Castle looked like as a bazaar tune in to Little Dorrit on BBC1 from Sunday the 26th October at 8pm

Links

For more information about Little Dorrit: http://kentfilmoffice.co.uk/2008/02/little-dorrit-2008/

For more information about Deal Castle: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/daysout/properties/deal-castle/