The Making of Blitz And Bananas – A Personal Experience

The Making of

Blitz And Bananas – A Personal Experience




Churchill wished he was this cool....


Part One: All Quiet On The Petts Wood Front


I am sure that I am not the only person who would never have thought to put the words “blitz” and “bananas” together in close association – two things that seemingly have no earthly reason to be connected to one another. It’s a bit like “Laurel” and “Costello”, “Morecombe” and “Dec” or “fish” and “gravy”. But, some eighteen months ago I met someone who dared to make this unusual union and somehow has managed to pull it off and create something pretty special in the process. This is my story of my involvement in the production of the epic World War II tale called “Blitz And Bananas”.

click on the thumbnails for larger image

It was early in the Summer of 2010 when I first met Anna Littler at Chris Coulson’s house/office/cat sanctuary where Anna mentioned something about a film project she was working on, set during World War II, based on stories and memories of people who were alive or grew up around that tumultuous period of British history. Anna enthused about this mammoth undertaking she was about to embark on and spoke of how she already had a house full of props and costumes from the 1940s and was in the final stages of writing the script. I must confess to silently wondering if this was a case of ambition over practicality but I was forced to rescind those thoughts later on when I was asked to help carry in an authentic writing desk and a number of sundry goods from the war era Anna had procured.

Sundry goods....

To my surprise, Anna asked if I would be available to help out with the making of the film, being something of a wannabe film maker myself, which I politely accepted, half assuming little would come of it as we barely knew each other. How wrong I was. A few weeks later I received an e-mail from Anna with a list of dates and details for the first day of filming for her proposed WWII epic and the latest draft of the script now entitled “Blitz And Bananas”!!

Anna plots Hitler's downfall....

Fast forward to the day before the first shoot and I was summoned to Chez Coulson to assist in some final preparations and provide some extra muscle in packing the props and costumes into the hired van, along with a few other people who would be a part of the shoot. My greatest memory of that day? The impressive array of 1940’s props and other period pieces? The seemingly endless collection of authentic costumes? The way that Anna was somehow keeping her head whilst dealing with a myriad of issues and complications amidst a pile of paperwork? Nope – it was the torrential rain that blighted our journey from Chris’s home to Ripley Arts Centre in Bickley. Did it ever fall down or what?

After the swim to Ripley Arts Centre came the unpacking...

It had been a pleasantly sunny day earlier but, almost on cue as we were loading up the van, the heavens opened up and those of us dressed for the warmer climate of earlier were wishing we’d brought our wetsuits and snorkels! Eventually we succeeded in our delivery ready for the big shoot the next day. Ripley Arts Centre would not know what was about to hit it…

Be afraid....Be VERY afraid!!

To be continued.


Photos courtesy of Simon Earwicker

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