On Shooting the Major General

About a year ago, I travelled around the country with the Sharp Agency making short films for the Best Western Hotel Group. The last day of a three day shoot was spent at the Grim’s Dyke Hotel in Harrow, a beautiful hotel which had originally been the home of W.S.Gilbert, the composer.

Someone had the idea of filming Patrick Dawson, of the Grim’s Dyke Opera Company singing the Major General’s song from the Pirates of Penzance. This evolved into the concept of getting him to sing it in different parts of the hotel and grounds which were of significance to Gilbert. We ended up shooting it late in the afternoon after having filmed all over the hotel since early morning.

I was getting tired, sick of the camera and I’d never recorded anyone singing before, let alone someone singing to a piano accompaniment in ten different places. Ah well, it’s all part of the learning curve…

So why’s it taken a year to put this up? Well, Best Western were so pleased with the film that they wanted to keep it to premiere for a special occasion. Now they’ve done that, I can show it off:

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