Set Notes

Recolections from the floor

Red Joan / Trademark Films

Cambridge, London and Farnborough
Red Joan is based on a book of the same name, it tells of a true story about the infiltration of a Russian spy into the British Nuclear Weapon Development. The spy was only uncovered in the 1990's when she was in her nineties.

I only had 6 weeks prep with a 6 week shoot just before Christmas 2017. The film was set in Cambridge in the 1940's with some scenes in Canada. Our first problem was how to get the characters to Canada. It was the 1940's when a group of scientists and our spy went to see the production of the nuclear fuel, they sailed from the UK in a liner guarded by British war ships. But there are no period liners left, apart from the Queen Mary in Long Beach, so we had to change this ship to a British war ship, we looked at the HMS Belfast but settled on the easier venue of Chatham Historic Docks. Then this group of scientists needed to be seen in a nuclear reactor building! This type of building just does not exist anymore and even if it did then it would be incredibly unsafe, so we had to improvise, scouting for large 1940's scientific buildings in the UK finally settling on a set interiors at Farnborough Historic Wind Tunnels.

I really enjoyed this shoot, the story is fascinating and the chance to scout and film a second world war story was exciting. When it comes out i think it will be an informative film.