- File Size: 16033 KB
- Print Length: 329 pages
- Publisher: Ashton House Publishing; 2 edition (January 3, 2014)
- Publication Date: January 3, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GNFYZJS
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,162,603 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (1974) Kindle Edition
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I will just pause here, as other luddites may wonder what an e-book and a blog are. An e-book is an electronic book, and blog is short for web log, a kind of diary made public on the old interweb thingy. I had to get my 17 year old son to download the book onto his tablet so I could read it, although I had (I thought) cleverly already downloaded it to “the cloud.” More confusing terminology? Fear not, it’s not as hard as it seems if you have a rudimentary understanding of the internet and a teenager standing by.
I have actually been a follower of Sophie’s blog for quite some time, and was delighted that she decided to put her reminiscences and diary entries into book form. Sophie played the part of Titty in the 1974 EMI feature film of Swallows and Amazons directed by Claude Whatham, and as part of her schooling whilst on set had to keep a diary. On the blog, Sophie uploaded her diary, childish handwriting, spelling and all along with photos and home videos taken by her Mother (a chaperone to the children on set) and her reminiscences of the filming. All very charming and interesting, and detailing tricks of the trade – Sophie was taller than her on-screen brother John, and so is standing in a hole in some scenes so as to look smaller – and in one scene she is sitting on an ants nest while delivering her lines with a smile. Her description of filming the “diving for pearls scene” makes you reminisce for the days before health and safety and the summary ill treatment of children of the “I’ll give you 50p for jumping in that freezing cold lake” variety. One has to wonder how on earth the new version is going to be filmed.
Sophie has re-written the blog into book form so it flows a bit better than the bit-by-bit entry format of the blog, but in places it still doesn’t quite flow, and comes across a bit stilted, and she has written out quotes from her diary rather than replicating the pages as she did with the blog, but I still really enjoyed the e-book.
Once I realised it was only available online, I thought I would never get to read it – I love the organic feel of books, and couldn’t ever envisage using a computer, laptop, Kindle, phone or tablet to read a book. As the Mixed Moss Editor asked me to review it however, I felt obliged to have a go, and was surprised that I could read it on my laptop (by using the cloud) but didn’t like the fact that it’s physically hard to curl up with a laptop, so my son came to the rescue by loading it onto his tablet which you can hold in your hand. I surprised myself by actually enjoying reading in this way -the novelty factor I suppose – though it’s harder to flick between the contents at the front and footnotes at the back than with a real book. If you are a first time e-book reader you can’t go far wrong with choosing this as your first ever electronic read. If I can do it, so can you!!
I read Sophie’s autobiography “Funnily Enough” straight after this (which I downloaded all by myself!) as I really love her gentle writing style and wanted more after I finished. I laughed out loud reading it, and loved her descriptions of her eccentric family, and actually wished I’d read it first, as it would make her comments about her family in The “Filming” book come alive.
The 1974 film remains a lovely piece of cinema, and sadly I am too young to have seen it on the big screen – I watched it on TV so didn’t get the full cinematic experience. The e-book is less of an expose and more of a handbook to the film, and if you have a wet weekend with nothing to do, I strongly recommend a read of this e-book and a watch of the film on DVD, it will not be a weekend wasted.
And the debauchery? Read the e-book to find out!
Sophie Neville played one of the children in the 1974 film "Swallows and Amazons". This book draws on her diary and her recollections of this event, and is very fascinating to Ransome lovers. I suspect also fascinating for film lovers, as the book makes you feel as if you were actually present during the filming.
This is a book you will really like.