This past week we’ve been filming back on You Are My Sunshine, and it has been both emotional and new in a strange way. Emotional, because the performances from everyone are just stunning, and are keeping us in awe! But new in a strange way because Joe and Tom are now both older and played by Charles O’Neill and Ernest Vernon who are now inhabiting the roles and taking over from their younger co-stars/variations (Jack Knight and Steve Salt).
So for myself, it’s been a happy set of challenges to direct one set of characters via multiple actors (and this will be extending to the character of Ethel too, previously played beautifully by Charlie Clarke and in block 3 by the equally wonderful Rosemary Manjunath).
One thing that does make life a little easier is the modern day setting, no longer are we limited by the design palette of 1970s decor and clothing (which is still great to play with of course!), but now we can present the more up to date story in a design way that is different and yet allows these same characters to exist in their own right, but not too far that they ever become too dissimilar to what comes before we have already shot.
Thank you also to Jonathan Butler who is the newest addition to the film in the form of John, Joe’s nephew and Ethel’s son, who acts as a generational bridge between the past and present! Just wonderful working with you!
So thank you to a wonderful cast/crew again and for the patience of folks who have also helped us (with locations and so much), such as my grandparents (whose home is now Tom and Joe’s), while a special thank you again goes to the Rev Colin Such who allowed us to use the graveyard around the Rushall Church (the same place we employed for House of Screaming Death), as well as Sophia French from Walsall Council.
I couldn’t do this without everyone! You’re all superstars!