By Liz Smith

I'm a filmmaker based in London.

What does it portend when wifi trumps the beach?


I was lucky enough to find myself on a beautiful island in Thailand last winter and I remember being struck by the sight of a group of young backpackers sitting together at the local beach bar at sunset. Each of them were swiping and tapping their phones, they weren’t talking to each other and they certainly weren’t watching the sunset. The local hotelier told us he had nearly had a riot on his hands the previous week when the internet had been out for a couple of days due to a storm. This was paradise on earth but most of the guests weren’t there, they were somewhere else, they were in screen world. I hear similar stories all the time, it’s the new norm, so who can blame Kai featured in this video clip for preferring his room with a wifi connection over the beach without wifi? At least he…

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What Makes A World Class Film Crew?

crew in action

On Wednesday I heard Simon Hartley speak about what makes a team world class at the national Academy For Chief Executives conference held this year at Allianz Park, home of The Saracens. By studying the world's elite sports teams, Simon has been able to identify six things that differentiate a world class team from the rest, and it struck me that some of the most successful films I've made have been those where those six characteristics applied to the film crew.

So what were the six characteristics?

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The last day of shooting

Rebel Of The Keys

Shooting of Rebel of the Keys was completed with this final day of pick ups on Sunday.  The shoot took place at the beautiful house of Lady Camilla Panufnik, the very place where Andre Tchaikowsky spent hours talking with his friend Andrzej Panufnik.  Andrew read from Andre’s diaries and Nico de Villiers played Andre’s music on Panufnik’s grand piano.  A truly enchanting day and a fitting place to end the filming of the documentary.

A big thank you to Camilla for letting us film at her home (for the third time!), and to Eve for bringing over Andre’s diaries and sharing them with us.

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