The day begins with an early start in anticipation for a three hour journey to meet with Pete Tonks in Cambridgeshire and shoot the first of three videos featuring our Architectural Designers.
Film shoot of Pete Tonks, Oakwrights Architectural Designer
The Managing Director Tim Crump and I rendezvoused at the Swainshill offices at six o’clock in the morning in order to get a full day on location. Soon after seeing the workshop team roll in to start on their projects for the day we made ourselves comfortable and set off en route to Tonkshire.
The wet weather was still lingering over our little island and many of the roads had filled up with a lot of surface water which proved quite difficult for many vehicles getting in and out of the county. Thankfully we took the 4x4 and pushed through the rain whilst listening to the early banter of Radio 2 and their very fitting music playlist – ‘Liquid Spirit’ by Gregory Porter and ‘Why Does It Always Rain On Me?’ by Travis.
We ventured on over the hills in Herefordshire and Worcestershire and onto the Motorways up to Birmingham and around Coventry until we finally arrived at Pete’s studio in Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire. The land was completely flat and level, quite a contrast from the beyond ‘shire we had travelled through.
The flat Cambrigdeshire landscape
Our film technician Andrew Berekdar had already arrived and was in the process of setting up his equipment ready to shoot. After a quick meet and greet, Pete took us into his humble abode for a cup of tea and a tour of his living quarters. He had a very interesting home. Every room had a different theme; the dining room had an oriental and medieval twist, the kitchen had a clean modern design that reminded me of the 2005 film ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ and the living room a cosy loft apartment taste, all of which was housed in a cottage styled property.
Andrew positioning the lighting equipment
Pete in his kitchen | Pete and Tim catching up whilst the kettle boils
Replenished from the cup of tea it was time to start rolling the film. Back into Pete’s studio Andrew discussed with us his approach of filming he had in mind and we all gave our opinions with the best intentions. Tim had set about with some questions to ask Pete and leading him through them so as to feel more at ease with expressing them to the camera, whilst Andrew and I focused onto the lighting and camera positioning for the scenes. Once perfected it was time, the cameras were set to record, microphone turned on and all mobile devices switched off. It was like being on a real film set just without the director’s chair and makeup artist.
Tim directing Pete | Pete being filmed on one of the cameras.
Pete was very natural at being in front of the camera, he had told us of his experience of some primetime TV shoots he featured on, and I’m sure that being in his own space felt more comfortable for him.
Pete and his natural act
The morning flew by from capturing a lot of different takes for Andrew to edit down to the most appropriate scenes for the final motion. We had to retake some shots as Pete lives close to a small airfield and the microphone started to pick up the diving plane engine. As it was nearing lunch time and I think we were all worried about our stomachs rumbling from hungriness and ruining the current take we decided to shut down all the equipment and return to Pete’s dining room for a break.
The studio that Pete works within at the side of his house
Pete’s wife Anoushka and their little girl had returned from their morning duties and had prepared us all a healthy spread for lunch. There were triangular sandwiches and crisps and warm mini sausage rolls, mini pasties and tiny sausages with a dipping sauce. It was all delicious and very much appreciated. After a tall glass of orange juice we noticed that the weather was brightening up which was ideal for shooting more scenes.
Andrew setting up the camera recording | Andrew setting up the sound recording
Tim and I had arranged to head back to HQ soon after lunch so we left Andrew and Pete to wrap up the rest of the day by filming Pete doing his daily work sequence; sketching a client’s house on his drawing board, gathering plans and elevations from his tube and searching the Oakwrights website for inspiration.
Pete sketching at his drawing board
We gathered our belongings, said our thanks and farewells, jumped into the car and started our journey back. By now the sunshine was beating down brightly on the damp earth and we could see the swollen rivers and flooded fields clearer.
The flooded river Severn near Worcester
Bumbling along the tarmac of the Msomething we started discussing the Winter Olympics and that the opening ceremony was about to start at any moment. Tim then revealed to me that there was a TV in his car and he pointed at the satellite navigation screen in between us. It allowed me to tune into the Winter Games opening live whilst Tim watched the satellite navigation so not to miss the motorway exits. Sadly the TV signal wasn’t great and the only channel that worked was Al Jazeera that was broadcasting current world affairs. So instead I switched it over to Radio 2 and we sang along to some classic songs – ‘Bright Side Of The Road’ by Van Morrison and ‘Islands In The Stream’ by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, again very fitting for the situation.
We arrived back at HQ at five o’clock in the afternoon to see all the Oakwrights team finishing for the day and leaving for a well deserved relaxing weekend.
Three weeks on and the video is finished. Pete Tonks, Oakwrights Architectural Designer is now live on our YouTube Channel for you to watch.
Click the image above to watch the final video of Pete Tonks, Oakwrights Architectural Designer