Monday, 10 August 2009

There's Going To Be a Murder ...

Grumpy Git Productions are pleased to announce the release of their latest film, so without further ado, please sit back and enjoy Murder on The Ferry Meadows Express. I recommend full screen with the sound turned up!

I have to say that this film is 8 minutes of pure self-indulgence on my part. I wished to create a railway film that told a story along the way, but when I first set out to the Nene Valley Railway two weeks ago, I had no idea what could be achieved. In a way, the Thomas weekend a fortnight ago did me a favour, as I concentrated on shooting footage from the train and small detail segments. My visit on Saturday concentrated on the exterior shots, and gave me plenty of clips to play with and edit. I also wanted to pay homage to the most evocative piece of railway filming I’ve ever seen – the famous departure scene in Murder on The Orient Express. The truly inspired music score by Richard Bennett captures the atmosphere of a train journey in a way that no other piece of music has done, so using parts of it were essential in my home-grown version. I loved the atmospheric build up with the introduction that leads into that rousing station departure scene. The pace of the music follows the train on its journey to the intermediate stop, followed by the tranquil calm of the middle section before the triumphant crescendo of the final station arrival.

The name of the film and this article is not directly linked to the Orient Express. The soundtrack on the level crossing scenes was ruined by a small child aged around 5 or so, who was having the great-great grandmother of all tantrums at Wansford. His face was as beetroot red as his shirt, and the howls and screams that he was emitting not only drowned out the steam loco, they gave Def Leppard playing live at Wembley a pretty good run for their money as well. His mother was doing her best to ignore him with those ‘it’s just his little way’ shrugs that I found as annoying as the brat himself. The murder in question, therefore, was my suggestion to chuck him into the adjacent River Nene and stand on his head. Needless to say, my well intentioned and genuine offer was met with a hard stare and some presumably sarcastic comments – obviously I couldn’t hear them due to the racket. I know how my mother would have dealt with such a situation; I still have the bruises, a pronounced limp and deafness in one side to prove it.

Only joking – the bruises cleared up long ago.

Out of interest, here is the original Orient Express scene:


  1. Well, Martin. What can I say? How about sheer genius? I love this film. Mrs R.M. and I sat watching it and we were both entranced from the start. You have cut and edited this so very sensitively, and I venture to say that the way you have mixed the sound from the loco in the beginning sequence to the music is superior to the original film production. Lots of little touches, too many to mention, make this a super film. For instance, the way you cut the film to the music on the level crossing sequences. And all without a steadycam, jib boom or cherry picker, not to mention a crew of gaffers and gofers and a canteen van. Of course, Mrs RM immediately went to the YouTube GG page, where she spotted the Deltic film of yours.

    Superb work, please do some more, soon!


  2. Many thanks for your kind comments, I very much appreciate your interest and observations. This project was something of a labour of love over the last two weeks; I had the vision of what I was aiming for and the goal was to turn it into reality. My high-tech equipment consists of a Samsung S760 camera, a tripod, a flask of coffee, pack of hobnobs and steel capped boots to kick brats into the Nene. I have certainly developed a taste for 'making movies', and my next project is planned for filming back in my native North East over the Bank Holiday weekend.
    Thanks again, and glad that you enjoyed it!


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