Another Green World (2005) – Q&A with Peter Chipping

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Movie Interview by Toby White

Peter Chipping is the writer and director of Another Green World.


Patsy Palmer plays a woman trying to contend with gritty urban life after the loss of her sister during the idyllic childhood.


What’s your background in film and how did you get into filmmaking?

I worked in television, first as a film editor, then as a producer/director, working on a wide variety of programmes from entertainment The Big Breakfast, cookery shows, music: Rikki Martin to commercials: Fujitsu Siemens, Air India, Racing Green to Corporates: Microsoft, NHS, BT, GSK and more.

What was the basis for the idea for your film?

Many people have to live in cities, but would prefer to live in the countryside, often where they grew up. This seems to be a fairly universally sentiment across many cities and many countries. I built upon that.

Did a particular incident/event inspire it?

There was one person I knew who frequently expressed their disenchantment with city life…and actually emigrated to Australia…but that bit’s not so filmable on a budget!

What aspect of the filmmaking process was most enjoyable/challenging and why?

For me the best is working with the actors and especially Patsy Palmer. I was quite surprised that I could explain the motivation and where her character was going and she instantly understood it and delivered a really emotive performance – guess that’s why she’s a well sought after actress!

How did you crew it/cast it?

Crew: Knew some of them (although all my contacts are television based – not film – so wasn’t able to use that many). I also went through agencies and New Producers Alliance.

Cast: Hand picked Patsy [Palmer] and contacted her agent – sent the script and a brief of how/why/what treatment we were applying.

What was the budget (if you can say) and how did you apply it?

Alas it was privately funded.

Was any one thing a great indulgence financially?

We shot on 35mm film, which was costly – although I shoot with a low shooting ratio – i.e. most of what I shoot ends up on the screen. However some of the shots called for “slow mo” – which in film terms means that you use more film stock to achieve the slowness…therefore more costly.

Incidentally, I calculated that for the clapperboard to be filmed, the price in stock and developing etc actually costs about £10 per clap!

How did you raise the money (if there was any!) for it?
The money was raised privately. I am a partner in two corporate production companies and some of their money went to the film.

How long was the shoot? Was that too long/too short?

Originally [it was] scheduled for 4 days. Alas, the last 1.5 days had to be aborted due to freak flash floods, where we had to abandon the shoot. It was so bad the electrician slipped on the mud and slipped 20 feet! We eventually picked up again, after 4 re-schedules and shot 7 months later.

Did you have to compromise anything for the schedule?

Yes. But, where shall I start…?

Film stock didn’t arrive on the first day of filming

Torrential rain postponed most of shoot

4 re-attempts at completion

Patsy [Palmer] ended up doing a long theatre run (very popular actress) and then cut her hair off for the part – which created a continuity challenge and then got tonsillitis and had to have her tonsils removed

Two major scenes were deleted – as the actress that linked both contracted cancer between the first shoot and the eventual finishing of the shoot and the chemotherapy changed her appearance…

Film Lab went bust.

There is more….

What are your influences?

Bertolucci, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Benigni, and also contemporary directors like Ridley and Tony Scott, Francis Ford Coppola and Stephen Spielberg

What’s your favourite scene in a film?

Seven Samurai: The dual 40 mins into the film where Kyuzo the master swordsman kills an upsurper.