the merchant of venice

Widescreen
Estimated running time: 100 mins
Directed by Gary Andrews
Produced by Chris Dangerfield
Edited by Joy Andrews
Cast includes:
Antonio – Tony Godden
Bassanio – Kevin Day
Lorenzo – Chris Dangerfield
Portia – Joy Tinniswood
Shylock – Gary Andrews
Jessica – Jo Selby

In late 2003, Brighton based producer Chris Dangerfield approached us with a view to combining forces and shooting a modern dress version of William Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’. Naturally, we jumped at the chance. Chris and Gary collaborated on adapting the script and we were ready to start casting early 2004. We had a mixture of old faces and new, with several friends from the theatre making their on-camera debuts. We were also lucky to have a special appearance by cbeebies television presenter Sidney Sloane as the Prince of Morocco.

Principal photography started in June 2004 and wrapped in early September. Pick-ups continued sporadically into late spring of 2006. Most of the locations were in Brighton – the Venice of the title becoming the name of a club – with Belmont filmed at a magnificent house in Outwood, Surrey. One very exciting sequence was filmed at a private airfield in Kent, where Brighton based Stunt Action Specialists helped recreate an armed drugs bust complete with landing plane and fast car getaway!

The only hiccup during the shoot occurred when we were forced to re-shoot the first half of scene one because the location where we had originally shot this became unavailable for the second half. This actually worked in our favour as the replacement location ended up being more suitable.

Technically, we moved on to using a Sony PD 170 with separate Senheisser rifle mic. We also invested in a new fluid head tripod and dolly wheels as well as a 3 metre jib. The old faithful dolly tracks were much in evidence along with the usual array of lights and reflectors. Indeed, we spent far more care than ever before in making sure both the picture and sound were a good as they could possibly be.

This film is currently awaiting a slot for post production.