Free-ads - Forum News and columns Features & Interviews Film links Calendar dates for festivals Contact details Statistical Info Funding Info
site web
About Netribution Contact Netribution Search Netribution


interviews / reviews / how to / short shout / carnal cinema / film theory / whining & dining

netribution > features > carnal cinema >

by dr andrew cousins

Christopher Tulkinghorne: The East Anglia Film Commission

When people think of filmmaking they don’t automatically associate it with Norfolk. One man who is trying to change all that is Christopher Tulkinghorne. He’s the head of the East Anglia Film Commission, an organisation that is trying to boost the number of films made in the East Anglia region. I went to talk to him about trying to attract Hollywood to the Broads.

AC: Christopher, I think it’s fair to say that when people hear the words "East Anglia" they usually aren’t very swiftly followed by the word "film".

CT: Well no they probably don’t. But then again when I hear the word "Middlesborough", I don’t automatically think "film" either. I do automatically think "single mothers" though.

AC: I hope you weren’t planning on visiting Middlesborough after a comment like that. They do tend to take that sort of thing personally.

CT: I never go further north then Cromer. I get nosebleeds otherwise.

AC: Tell me about the idea behind the East Anglia Film Commission.

CT: We noticed that in the general renaissance of film making in Britain that East Anglia was getting left behind. For example ‘Reign of Fire’ is set in Norfolk but they filmed it in Ireland. Similarly, ‘Mike Bassett: England Manager’ is partially set in Norwich but they chose to film it in St Albans! We thought that something had to be done to reverse the flow of movie traffic back towards the East. So we provide a service whereby film companies can come to us and we can try and find them suitable locations for their needs in our area.

AC: So do you think that you could have got, say ‘Reign of Fire’ to relocate to the East?

CT: Yes, I’m sure we could have done. We have the studio facilities. We have crews available. Delia Smith doesn't just live here for any old reason you know.

AC: I can’t remember hearing about any studios being built in the area. Where are they?

CT: At Anglia Television.

AC: That’s hardly equipped as a full-sized soundstage though is it?

CT: Look if it was good enough for Nicholas Parsons on ‘Sale of the Century’ then it would be good enough for bloody ‘Reign of Fire’ ok? To be honest I’m not sure if we’d have wanted them. Did you hear what they did?

AC: I can’t say that I did. No.

CT: The story was only centred around a castle on the summit of a Norfolk mountain. I mean they’ve obviously haven’t got a clue how flat it is around here! Then to add insult to injury when somebody pointed out the mistake they said it was a "minor detail". Minor detail! How would they like it if we made a film and stuck the Statue of Liberty in the middle of Chicago? They’d go mad that’s what they’d do. Honestly, it’s enough to make my blood boil.

AC: I take it that you didn’t invite anybody from the film to the EASC launch party then?

CT: No we certainly did not! No we invited a few select people who best represent the area. Delia Smith was there of course. She’d also prepared the smorgasbord style buffet for the assembled guests. We also had television personality Paul Lavers there. He’s now gone on to mega-stardom on the Ideal World home shopping channel but he’s much loved from his days as a continuity announcer at Anglia Television. He’s got a really massive following in the region amongst menopausal middle-aged women and the infirm. So it was lovely that he could take time out from his busy schedule to come and support our effort.

AC: I don’t suppose Alan Partridge could make it could he?

CT: No. I did try to get in contact with him but his management said that he was unavailable.

AC. Erm, yes.

CT: In fact the odd thing was they started sniggering when I asked to speak to him. It was all very odd.

AC: Er, you are aware that he’s a fictional character aren’t you?

CT: What?

AC: He’s not real. He’s a character played by a comedian called Steve Coogan.

CT: Well of course I knew that. Of course I did. Everyone knows that don’t they? Including me.

AC: So what does East Anglia have to offer prospective filmmakers then?

CT: Well the most obvious jewel in the East Anglican crown is the city of Norwich. Most people tend to think of Norwich as a bit of a staid place but they couldn’t be more wrong. Norwich is a bustling metropolis, a city for the 21st century. It also features some unique architecture. Many parts of the city closely resemble London, New York, Paris and Beirut. So if, for example, you wanted to make a film set in Beirut why not film it in complete safety in Norwich? Just don’t park on a double yellow line because your car will be clamped. And don’t leave it unlocked because it will be stolen. The little bastards will steal anything around here. I blame the drugs. And Pokemon.

Of course, the city also offers a busy nightlife. It has over 50 pubs, many of whom welcome strangers. Or if you prefer something a little more energetic then our nightclubs are world-class. The Waterfront, for example, has a sound system that is the envy of many bigger clubs in London and Manchester. It also has a very large capacity cloakroom.

AC: What about outside Norwich?

CT: You’re expecting me to mention the Norfolk Broads aren’t you?

AC: Not really. I mean, I supposed you might have done.

CT: Well yes we have got miles and miles of inland waterways. We’ve also got lots of windmills too. It rather like Holland but without the drugs, the porn and the prostitutes. The countryside is extremely flat, so no lugging equipment up hills! Plus we’ve got literally hundreds of small picturesque towns that would make the ideal setting for a period film. We’re currently trying to get George A. Romero to film the fourth part of his zombie trilogy in Great Yarmouth this winter. He’ll have a ready-made ghost town and he can use the locals as extras. No make-up required! I’m joking, of course. Actually the extras would come from King’s Lynn. Have you seen the people there? I mean talk about inbreeding...

AC: So have you actually managed to attract any big names to the area so far?

CT: Well naturally negotiations are continuing but there are a few that we very much hope are about to film here. Martin Scorsese is going to make a film called ‘The Mob’ which is going to be filmed in Norwich. He says that he "likes the way it’s more like New York then New York is" We believe that the sequel to ‘The Beach’ is going to be set in Cromer. Interestingly, Cromer beach at low tide was used for some pick-up shots for ‘Laurence of Arabia’. I bet you didn’t know that did you?

AC: No I didn’t.

CT: We also hope to get the ‘Harry Potter’ sequels to come to Norwich Cathedral instead of Durham. I don’t know why on earth they went there in the first place. The parking’s terrible. Last time I was there I spent hours driving round huge but very full multi-story car parks. You aren’t allowed to have an over-hanging sign on the shops in Durham, you know. They all have to be flush with the side of the building. That’s how boring the place is. Somebody actually had to think up a by-law to cover over-hanging signs. We have them in Norwich. We think they add character to the place. Even King’s Lynn have over-hanging signs.

AC: Christopher Tulkinghorne, thank you.

recent carnality...

54 Robbie Wooliams - 'Singng Thru the Tears'

53 It's a Spielberg Kinda Christmas

52 Anthony Hopkirk - "I've had enough, I quit!"

51 George Mucus - May the courts be with you

50 Jayne Dyvine from BBC Films

49 Vinnie Savage

48 Willy Wonka aka Barrett Stevenson

47 September 11th: The Musical

46 "Film: Does it Influence Real-Life Behaviour?"

45 "How to Make Cool Movies" with Quentin Terrentino

44 SFX Gurus - Industrial Might & Tragic

43 Paul Verhervervint

42 The Equity Strike Explained

41 Robert Dooley Jr - Out on the Wiley, Windy Moors

40 James Macaroon - King of the World

39 Mike Fungus - Brit-film's digital jazzman

38 Sebastian Kilmer's World of Marketing

37 Joe Silverman's Olympic Swimming Pool

36 Britney Starr

35 Minister for Film - Oliver Nemisole

34 The Video Art of Francine Germaine Wilson

33 Screen Legend's Origin Shocks Hollywood

32 Christopher Tulkinghome - The East Anglia Film Commission

31 Sydney Banderfield - Stan's DoP

30 The National Student Film Festival

29 Jocasta Meridien - Thespian Angel

28 The Reverend Aloysius Tork: The Lord's Critic

27 Dr Andrew bullies Michael Bayne after the premiere of How America Won The War

26 Arturo Bannetti tells Dr Andrew about winning the Palme D'Or for his film, Mamma Mia

25 Doctor Andrew gives us the true Cannes competition line up

24 Brick McCracken - star of Termiliser and Total Recoil reads poetry to Dr Andrew

23 Dr Andrew gets the latest on the WGA strike from Layton Bridges. Sorry, that's Loy-ton Bridgeys

22 Dr Andrew transcirbes Simon Bates' lament for the love tryst between Barry Norman, Sky and the Beeb

21 At the 10th Anniversary of Film! Magazine, Editor Brent Morgan tells all to Dr Cousins

20 Dr Andrew 'swims in Lake You' with Julia Ribbings, recent Oscar winner for White Trash Lawyer

archive >>>

Copyright © Netribution Ltd 1999-2002
searchhomeabout usprivacy policy