EXCLUSIVE: Production quietly began last month in London on pandemic-inspired feature Alone, which marks the directorial debut of Kirsty Bell, CEO of UK financier Goldfinch. The film is one of the first independent movies to get underway in the UK after lockdown.
Starring are Derek Jacobi (Gladiator), Jeff Fahey (Lost), Julie Dray (Avenue 5), Sophie Kennedy Clark (Nymphomaniac Vol 1) , Sadie Frost (Dracula), Morgana Robinson (The Windsors), Camilla Rutherford (Yesterday), Michael Winder (Set The Thames On Fire) and Frances Barber (The Split). Above is a first production still.
Conceived by Bell in the first week of lockdown and written in short order throughout confinement, the black and white film charts six interlinked narratives after the cast and crew of a film are sent home from set.
Set to complete mid-August, the production will shoot at Twickenham Studios and other parts of London this week and then a skeleton crew will travel to France the following week to film Jacobi’s part.
Ben Charles Edwards produces and Sergio Delgado (Bulletproof) is director of photography. Philippe Martinez (The Flock) is executive producer and script comes from Elizabeth Morris (Killers Anonymous) and Dominic Wells. Florida-based MSR Media will handle sales.
The film got production insurance but began before the announcement of last week’s government-backed COVID-specific insurance scheme: “We’ve gone to the nth degree to make sure everyone is safe. Our cast and crew have been really happy to get back to work,” Bell told us.
The production has been following the UK’s on-set protocols, she explained: “We have a COVID officer, we all had COVID training, cast are tested by our on-set medic every day they come to set, the set is cleaned every morning and end of day, everyone wears masks and/or visors, there are no more than six crew members on set at any time and never more than one cast member on set, and we have regular coronavirus briefings.”
She continued: “As with most people, lockdown came with its challenges and constraints. It also created opportunities for me personally and for our business. Creating and producing Alone, and having the opportunity to direct my first feature, has provided a much-needed focus and challenge for both myself and our team. We had to find new ways of working in these unprecedented circumstances and do things we wouldn’t normally. It is great to be back in production on Alone and a number of other projects.
“We are immensely proud of the fact that we have managed to get up and running so quickly. We have enabled over 70 cast and crew to get back to work and the atmosphere on set has been overwhelmingly positive and assuring. Our Goldfinch team and each production team have been fantastically resourceful, positive and hardworking to come up with solutions to work within the new COVID protocols. It’s the can-do attitude of our people that will ultimately get us back up and running as quickly as possible.
Goldfinch recently finished filming on Quant, a documentary about the celebrated British fashion designer and retail entrepreneur Mary Quant ; a new cooking show with Ainsley Harriott, called Ainsley’s Food We Love; and Miss Willoughby with Nathalie Cox. Bell’s producer and executive-producer previous credits for Goldfinch include Killers Anonymous, Waiting For Anya and Stardust.