Showing posts with label Charlie Hanson. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Charlie Hanson. Show all posts

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

David Brent is back in an Office in new stills from The Office spin-off feature film 'David Brent: Life on the Road'

This week is week 4 of filming on Ricky Gervais' latest project 'David Brent: Life on the Road' according to Ricky Gervais' blog.
The story so far, is that David Brent is touring on the road with his band Foregone Conclusion (with former We are Scientists and Razorlight drummer Andy Burrows) and rapper 'Dom' played by Ben Bailey Smith. 'Dom' was also featured in David Brent's Equality Street video.
'David Brent on the road with his band 'Foregone Conclusion'
Image courtesy of Ricky Gervais' Twitter @rickygervais

This week, according to his blog, Ricky is filming all the storylines to do with his job as a sales rep and he is back in an 'Office' setting, but with a whole new cast. 
Ricky has tweeted a couple of pictures so far and he has revealed that David Brent now works for a company called 'Lavichem', sounds glamourous we know.
Image courtesy of Ricky Gervais' Twitter page @rickygervais
Ricky also posted this  picture from inside his new office with the caption "Great to be back in the office. A new dawn.
Image courtesy of Ricky Gervais' Twitter page @rickygervais
This new 'Dawn' get it? is of course British actress Mandeep Dhillon who has appeared in BBC Three comedy 'Some Girls' as well as more recently in the play 'Anita and Me'.  
Even though this film may not have any of the original The Office cast except for David Brent, from this image it appears that Brent is still having the same effect on his staff and is as 'Brentertaining' as ever. Other cast members include Jo Hartley from 'This is England' fame and Abbie Murphy an up and coming British comedienne as well as Andrew Brooke who is well known for playing 'Ashley' in Channel 4 comedy Phoneshop and Tom Bennett who played Christopher in Phoneshop as well as having various other roles.

The full cast list was published by Radio Times a few weeks back and can be seen here
The film is produced by Charlie Hanson and written and directed by Ricky Gervais, with eOne films and BBC films being the distributors.
There is only one more week to go until the film wraps and we hope to see it on our screens worldwide around August 19th 2016; with fans also being promised an album and some more live gigs (possibly worldwide).

Bring on the hilarious cringeworthy awkwardness, the Brent-isms and the singing. 
Cannot bloody wait!

(Photo credits: Ray Burmiston, Natalie Seery)

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

The Day I met Derek (and my hero) Kindness is Magic: A blogger's tale.

Disclaimer: This is a fan's account of a visit to the set of Derek Series 2 (Or Season 2 like you Americans like to say it) and is in no way meant to be professionally written. Also this doesn't contain any spoilers!

It was a cold mid November's day last year, and Ricky Gervais and co. were busy filming Derek Series 2 in the East-end of London and I
 was lucky enough to be invited on to the set amongst a few others and witness some of the magic!

When I first arrived on the set (at 10am they had already been filming for two hours!),
I was greeted by the lovely producer Mr. Charlie Hanson and we sat in front of a monitor amongst the many (very friendly) members of the crew who were sitting in complete silence as a scene was being filmed. Everyone was huddled up near a portable heater because of how cold the set was. The scenes from the monitor were all recorded on to a hard drive which was recording even after the cameras stopped rolling, apparently this was for continuity purposes and to help with editing later on.

A very nice man who was part of the crew gave me some headphones so I could listen in on the scene being filmed as we watched on the monitor; then I heard it, that trademark laughter, through the other side of the wooden walls of the set.
This immediately had a warming presence on most of us sat there and I enjoyed hearing that famous laugh that I had heard so many times before on TV in such close proximity. Every so often, a bell would ring to indicate the end of a scene and to re-set it and do it again.

We were then given a guided tour by Charlie and shown the props used and also the rooms where the residents slept as well as Dougie's and Hannah's offices. It was so fascinating to see how different everything looked off camera.
Then, I got to go into the main part of Broadhill, the sitting area, where the majority of scenes are filmed.

I have to admit, when Ricky walked up to us, shook our hands and said 'Hello', I was dumbstruck and I'm not ashamed to admit it, it was such a surreal experience. I had finally met my hero, the man who I had become more of a fan of (if that's even possible!) since watching him play the tender, innocent Derek Noakes in Series 1.

   We then went on to see how each department functions on a huge television comedy production like this. I met the lovely ladies who were in charge of everyone's wardrobe and they explained how they have to organise the clothes for each character and sort out the budget for clothes as well. They also explained how Derek's famous cardigan is a one off creation and was bought in a London market (for those who wanted to buy one).

Then I saw the office where the hard work goes on to make sure everything runs smoothly, people are sat in there organising when actors/actresses come in to film their scenes, when they get picked up etc. 

We were kindly invited to stay for lunch and when I saw the buses outside and the catering tent I was immediately reminded of Extras, and the scene where Maggie isn't allowed to sit and eat on the bus for actors. I then saw the people serving the food and hoped that they didn't serve me any with dog hairs in (Extras reference).

When I saw the food tent, I immediately knew what Karl was talking about when he said the catering and food was good. There was a huge variety of food from fruits to gorgeous deserts and I found myself in a conversation with 'Prem' played by Prem Modgil about the rice pudding (this was something that Prem and I could both relate to, being Asian, as rice pudding is eaten a lot in South Asia).

Whilst eating, we also met the lovely Colin Hoult who was filming his first ever scenes that day after coming on board as the new caretaker Geoff in Series 2. 
Those who follow Ricky's work will remember him from Life's Too Short when he played the psychic. He's such a down to earth friendly guy as were all the actors and actresses, and I found myself chatting to him about food too!

It was clear to see that Ricky takes great care of his cast and crew and doesn't spare any expense in the food for them. There is also a very well heated room with sofas in for the elderly actors to relax and keep warm in.
Another lovely young lady was Holli Dempsey who kindly offered to us to sit in her trailer as it was quite cold, luckily 'Kev' wasn't around as he would've surely taken her up on her offer.

Speaking of 'Kev' I met the very friendly, shy and soft spoken David Earl who is world's apart from his seedy on screen character. Such a lovely guy who didn't hesitate when I politely asked him for a photo, he even asked if I wanted him to put his 'Kev' glasses on.

     After lunch, we got to stand in just behind the cameras on a very funny scene being filmed, which I am proud to have witnessed being acted out first hand. It involved 'Kev' talking about things that he liked and a lot of corpsing by Ricky; which was understandable as it was bloody hilarious. I really don't know how they manage to film a whole series, the amount of fun those guys have on set. I don't want to give anything away so you'll have to watch out for that particular scene, it's comedy gold.

        Although there was a lot of corpsing and the actors were genuinely having fun; Ricky appeared to be a fantastic director and encouraged David Earl to ad-lib and was so nice to Holli Dempsey and Kerry Godliman when he wanted them to do a scene or a line slightly differently. There only appeared to be a general warmth on set and no sign of superiority or being a diva by Ricky (who is genuinely a lovely, down to earth guy). The set was so relaxed, with Ricky chatting to the cast and crew between takes, or drinking cups of tea.
  Whilst on set I also met the very talented, friendly photographer Ray Burmiston as he was taking pictures for series 2 promos. What can I say, every person I met was as nice or maybe nicer than the last person that I'd met.

     Ricky took pictures as Derek with each of us which Ray kindly took and finally, it was time to leave, and I was so sad to go, I would've happily sat there all day just to absorb the lovely cosy atmosphere and genuine love between all the cast and crew. It's such a cliche but they are like a family, especially because the majority of scenes in Derek are filmed in the sitting area and the elderly actors/actresses are sitting there doing their knitting or reading the papers or doing a jigsaw puzzle.

      It was fascinating to see all the hard work that goes on by the crew behind the scenes and a shame that these individuals aren't really recognised in awards ceremonies because without them holding the cameras and the lighting and sound equipment, or organising the character's wardrobe or making the cups of tea then the show would not go on.

A huge thanks to my hero Ricky Gervais for allowing us the privilege of being on his set and to Charlie Hanson and Katie Mavroleon for making it happen, and of course to Holli Dempsey, Colin Hoult, David Earl, Brett Goldstein and Kerry A Godliman and all of the wonderful cast and crew who made us feel so welcome and chatted to us.
After all, Kindness is Magic!

Lastly, I'd like to say that Ricky Gervais keeps saying that he wishes he was more like Derek Noakes; but he doesn't know that he is already so much like him. He is kind, considerate, soft spoken and so nice to his fans. I am proud to be a 'Gervaisaholic' and cannot wait for Derek to come back to our TV screens again.

Derek Series 2 starts in the UK on Channel 4 Wednesday April 23rd and on Netflix worldwide from one minute past midnight on May 30th!

Monday, 19 August 2013

Exclusive Q&A with Derek producer Charlie Hanson

Most fans of Ricky Gervais and his work so far will know who Mr. Charlie Hanson is; as he is a long time collaborator with Ricky Gervais. For those who are not familiar with Charlie's work, here is a brief introduction.
Charlie is a critically acclaimed British Director and Producer, whose award winning work spans over two decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down. He has a history of working on diverse projects and in 2003 he produced his first feature film 'A way of Life', which went on to win 12 international awards, including 4 Welsh BAFTA's. 
During his early career, he was involved in 'No Problem!' (1983), the first Black made sitcom for British TV (broadcast on Channel 4). Charlie later went on to produce notable shows such as 'Desmond's' 'Birds of a Feather','Chef!,'Sketch Show' and 'Harry Hill'.

Photo courtesy of Charlie Hanson

Desmond's sitcom set in a Black barber shop in Peckham (1989-1994)

His collaborations with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, are producing 'Extras', 'Cemetery Junction' and 'Life's Too Short.' Now he is Producer on Ricky's heartwarming new comedy drama 'Derek'.

I put these questions to Mr.Hanson which he kindly answered.

Q: Derek will be the first show that you've produced that will be shown to a large global audience in one go on Netflix, how do you feel about this?
A: Both curious and excited. Particularly as the audience will have access to all episodes in one go. The impact of twitter and other social media also means we can expect a pretty instant response from some quarters. I'm looking forward to it!

Q: As a Producer was it your job to find cast members for Derek? Kerry Godliman, Karl Pilkington and David Earl have previously worked with Ricky, but where and how did you discover the talented Holli Dempsey who plays young Vicky?
A: As Producer my role is to surround Ricky with the best talent, behind and in front of the camera. He wrote Dougie for Karl Pilkington, and Kevin for David Earl. We had both worked with Kerry A. Godliman on Extras and Life's Too Short, but she came in for a meeting to discuss the part and read. She was offered it straight away. But we work with a casting director too. Tracey Gillham is terrific at bringing new talent to our attention, and when Holli Dempsey first auditioned we knew immediately she was the one for Vicky. She had Ricky laughing, as only he can, at some of her ad libs. And when he turned to Katie, our Associate Producer and said "write that down!", even Holli must have known she had nailed it. But as a true professional, she didn't show it. She is a terrific actress and will go on to great things.

Left: Holli Dempsey as Vicky with Comedian/Rapper Doc Brown
who makes a guest appearance in Derek (Photo courtesy of @HolliDee)
Q: What was your favourite part of filming Derek? 
A: Meeting and getting to know some of the older actors. They had amazing stories to tell. Also seeing how Ricky inhabited the role of Derek, and played him with such affection.

Q: Did any scenes make you emotional? 
A: The pilot episode when Derek spoke about his love for Joan had me crying on set and in the edit. As did the passing of Lizzie (played by Kay Noone) , and the scenes with Derek's dad.

Actress Kay Noone who plays Lizzie in Derek

Q: You have worked with Ricky Gervais since 'Extras', what do you enjoy most about working with him?
A: His energy and work ethic is amazing. I have never had to wait for a script. Whatever he promises he delivers. He knows what he wants, so we don't waste any time shooting unnecessary scenes. He, like me, wants to enjoy his work, so we have surrounded ourselves with a terrific crew who are great at their jobs and love their work. It sounds a cliche, but it is like a big happy family reunion every time we regroup to start a new series.

Q: What is your favourite Gervais collaboration to date?
A: I loved the challenge and variety of Extras, with different guest stars and situations each episode. But it has to be Derek, as Ricky loves the character so much. It has been a great experience working on a show that has the capacity to make people laugh and cry.

Ricky Gervais as Derek (photo courtesy of Channel 4)
Q: When can we expect to see Derek back on our screens in the UK?
A: Spring 2014

Q: What other projects are you currently working on?
A: I am developing feature film scripts with Sarah Solemani (Him and Her) and Steve Oram (Sightseers).

A huge thanks to Mr. Charlie Hanson for taking the time to answer these questions. 
You can follow @charlietantrum on Twitter to keep up to date with his latest projects.

All 7 episodes of Derek (including the pilot) and 'making of' documentary, will be premiering on Netflix in the US, Canada, Brazil, Latin America and the Nordics on September 12th 2013.
Here is the Official Netflix promotional trailer for Derek:

And here is an 'Introduction to Derek':

At the time of publishing this post, Derek has started airing in Australia on ABC1 every Thursday night at 10pm, and the reaction to it is very positive.
Yes TV (Israeli TV station) have also bought Derek but an air date is yet to be announced. For viewers in the UK who have not yet seen Derek, you can watch it on 4OD, the Channel 4 catch up service by registering online here

The DVD and Blu-ray of Derek Series 1 with deleted scenes and out-takes is also available to Pre-order and will be released on 11th November 2013. Pre-Order from Amazon here.
For more information on Derek follow @Derektvshow and @belikederek on Twitter. 
You can also visit which is a dedicated Derek fan site.
Thanks for reading.

©ZA 2013 (@Gervaisaholics)