In March next year, Radcliffe Camera will be stepping out of London and heading to the coast for The Beachcomber, a collaboration with cinematographer Ashley Hughes (Tantamount, Red Ribbon) and Lily Taylor (James) and the team’s first project to be shot on Super 8 film.
“Shooting on film will present a whole range of new challenges for the team”, the group agree. It will be an interesting collaboration for Ashley, who has worked with the medium on a number of previous projects. As Andrew, producer of The Beachcomber, notes, “in previous collaborations, with a digital setup, we have had the flexibility to shoot six or ten takes of every angle where necessary. On this project, the aim is to capture everything first time and more-or-less in order. This will minimise editing time, and mean that we can take the finished reel almost straight from the camera and say ‘This is our film’ at the end of it. We’re going to benefit hugely from Ashley’s experience to help us understand what is required when working with 8mm.” Before any work commences on The Beachcomber, Ashley and Andrew are in discussions for another short project using film in January, to get the team ready for the challenges of the process.
The Beachcomber, shot entirely on location in the Devon village of Budleigh Salterton, will be the first step towards a significant adaptation project the team is considering for late 2017. “As with every project, the hope is that the finished film is perfect,” the group say, “but especially in this format and in early spring, we’re treating it very much as an experiment.” Approaching the project in this way, the crew want to learn more about Super 8 and the discipline it instills on set, and are keen to revisit the source material again later next year.
“This is the first time we’ve tried to capture the surreality and vividness of the south coast on camera, as the coastline and its inhabitants start to recover from the winter storms, after discussing it for a long time. Super 8 is absolutely the right medium to do that, but the story we are working up to is so powerful, we think it warrants so much more than a single project.”
Casting and location news, as well as details of the January project which will see the Radcliffe Camera team work on 8mm film for the first time, is coming soon.