is the second feature film by Manchester-based film director
and producer John McCormack. Preparatory work on the film
commenced in June 2000 and its first screening is scheduled
for May 2001 at the Cannes Film Festival. General release
should follow in autumn 2001.
I was commissioned
to do the production stills - these are behind-the-scenes
photographs which document the making of the film, as well
as pictures of the cast for promotional use. On 28 August
I flew out from Manchester Airport with cast and crew for
a week's shoot in Corfu. It was one of the best things I've
done in my life. Here are some of the photographs I took.
alias 'Spider' of Coronation Street, is the best known actor
in the film 'Daddy Fox'. After two and a half years in 'The
Street', Martin decided it was time to move on, and shortly
after was given the part of Nick in 'Daddy Fox', his first
major cinema role.
Spider, Nick is a tough guy who can box and knows how to use
a gun. I was very impressed with the professionalism of Martin
Hancock, who produced some amazing performances in front of
Needless to say,
he was recognised all the time by British tourists, and was
pleased to sign autographs and pose for photos. He likes this
part of the job, he tells me, and enjoys it when he can make
someone's day by just sitting next to them on the train.
Martin is originally
from Acton, West London, but since joining Coronation Street,
he's been based in Manchester.
MALCOLM PITT plays
Malc in the film 'Daddy Fox'. He's, one of the three lads
falsely accused of murder, who flee to Corfu to escape possible
Malcolm acted in
John McCormack's first feature, 'The Van Boys', and also played
in low-budget UK blockbuster 'The Full Monty'. It was only
a small role, but it had a dynamic effect on his career, not
only as an actor but as a singer.
Malcolm Pitt has a superb singing voice, and takes his one-man
soul act all over the country and abroad. He tells me he is
most favourably received by audiences in Ireland, who warm
to his half-Irish, half-African lineage.
Malcolm grew up
in Wythenshawe and still lives there today with his wife and
THE 'DADDY FOX'
CORFU SHOOT was undertaken with a cast and crew of over 30
people. Here's just a small selection of the production stills
I took, using the Nikon Coolpix 990 digital camera.
Row 1: Wardrobe
girl Leanne Higginson, who also appears in the film; John
McCormack views the video assist and speaks to one of the
crew on the walkie talkie; Lead actor, Martin Hancock during
a beach scene; Director of Photography Paul Englefield discusses
how to set up the next shot; Julie Bills, clapper loader,
and Lewis Buchan, focus puller, with the movie camera;
Row 2: Stephanie
Bishop, who plays a lawyer in the film, is seen here on the
video assist during a lighting test; The clapperboard is used
at the beginning (or end) of every take; Demitris Robinson,
special effects guy, applies make up to actor Robert Read
Maxfield, using continuity images displayed on my Macintosh
iBook; Lewis Buchan looks through the camera - the focus ring
is visible on the side of the camera;
Row 3: Beach shoot
reflected in sunglasses of Jamie Summers, electrician; Greek
dancing at dusk on the beach; Producer Roy Vernon in jovial
mood; His daughter Charlene, runner#2, who also appeared in
is the director and producer of the feature film 'Daddy Fox'.
He also wrote the script, which I'm told was revised many
times before the final version was agreed on. Even this is
changed when the director allows actors to improvise on set.
John McCormack worked as a fire fighter for nineteen and a
half years, before leaving to pursue his film-making career
full time. As well as the feature 'The Van Boys' he has also
done promotional films for the North West Regional Development
Authority. He masterminded the Manchester International Film
Festival, which took place in May 2000.
Most people will
agree that the one of John McCormack's most remarkable gifts
is to make things happen. When he told me in June: "We're
going to Corfu on August 27th or 28th", part of me didn't
believe him. But as our British Midland Airbus lifted off
from Manchester Airport on the evening of Monday 28th, we
realised he'd done it - and all in the space of just 12 weeks.
And John McCormack
has another gift to which visitors to the Film Office in Didsbury
will testify: He makes a great cup of tea.
is one of three towns of that name on the charming Greek island
of Corfu. This one is situated on the north west corner of
the island, not far from the village of Pagi.
and girlfriend Stephanie Bishop came here during 1999 and
enjoyed their stay very much. With its beautiful scenery,
carefree atmosphere and superb afternoon light, John thought
that Corfu would provide an excellent contrast with Manchester
for the film 'Daddy Fox'. In June 2000, he returned to plan
the shots and in August flew out with a film crew and actors
to shoot approximately one quarter of the film here.
is a two hour bus ride from Corfu Airport, which is three
hours from Manchester by charter plane. And thanks to the
film 'Daddy Fox' the town will forever be twinned with Manchester
as the place where three lads on the run take refuge from
is seen here in Didsbury village on Friday 6th September 2000
holding the cans containing the Corfu footage of his film
'Daddy Fox'. The footage had just returned from processing
In October and
November 2000, the remaining scenes of 'Daddy Fox' will be
shot, amounting to three times as much as what we can see
here. During editing, all this material will be reduced down
to a feature film of approximately 90 minutes in length.
Though shot on
film, 'Daddy Fox' is set to be the first feature-length movie
in the world to be projected in the cinema using digital equipment.
The premiere will take place in Cannes 2001 - see you there!
'DADDY FOX' may,
just may, become the '4 Weddings' or 'Full Monty' of 2001,
catapulting the people who made it, as well as Manchester
and Aghios Georges, into the limelight. So remember where
you saw it first! Soon I'll be publishing more photos and
reports from the second part of the shoot, which will be taking
place in and around Manchester in October and November. If
you have any questions or requests concerning the film or
any of the actors, please contact.
And by the way, if you're wondering why it's called 'Daddyfox' well... you'll just have to wait until it's finished
and watch it to the end!