There is an emanation from the heart

which cannot be described,

but is immediately felt and puts

the stranger at his ease.

~Washington Irving

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life.
It turns what we have into enough...

.........and more.

It turns denial into acceptance,
chaos to order, confusion to clarity.

It can turn a meal into a feast,

a house into a home,

a stranger into a friend.

~Melody Beattie

Don't be satisfied with stories,

how things have gone with others.

Unfold your own myth.

May my life be like a great

hospitable tree, and may

weary wanderers find in

me a rest.

~John Henry Jowett

Sunday, 15 February 2015

30 Seconds of Infamy

'Lewis' being filmed on Broad Street
in front of Blackwell's.

Hardly a month goes by when there isn't a film crew in Oxford.  Countless movies, TV series, and documentaries have all used Oxford as a beautiful backdrop.  It isn't unusual to be watching a documentary and suddenly the presenter is walking down Holywell Street or through the Radcliffe Square, or some other equally familiar spot where we walk every day. It's strange to see the place you live flash on the television screen, and it's even stranger when they film outside your front door.

Look to the right of Hathaway's
shoulder and you'll see our front door.
Several years ago an episode of Lewis had a fellow of New College murdered just two doors down from us, so three entire days were spent filming outside our front door. Filming seems to be a lot of 'hurry up and wait', so on the first day of filming I was trapped inside for several hours because the cameras and tracks were on our pavement and blocking the way.  But, by about 2pm the excitement had worn off and I had grown a little weary of waiting for the all clear, so I decided to take my chances and go out the front door.

They were filming at that moment, so you might see my blonde head somewhere in the episode, but I just acted as though there were no actors, directors, cameramen, extras, or lights and carried on walking down the street, as if nothing out of the ordinary was happening.  It was all very thrilling at first, seeing film crews show up, but now when this pink sign appears on our street I hardly give it a second thought--film crews are now just part of the landscape of our life in Oxford.

'The Quiet Ones' filmed in Oxford.
During the summer of 2013 I had a surprise one afternoon when the director of the movie 'The Quiet Ones' knocked on our door. They had a scene they were trying different things with, and he wanted to use the window of the New College room, which looks out onto Holywell Street. All he wanted was for the actress to scream her line out our window, so I thought why not? As usual the scene was about 30 seconds but it took all afternoon to shoot. It was fun to watch the process, but I have to say that particular 30 seconds is my favorite part of the film and brought it up to three stars rather than two.  It's not the best movie in the world, but it's good for a scary shiver or two and has some great scenes of Oxford.

Here's our infamous New College room window,
 and yes, this little clip took three hours to film.


The most recent show we were featured in (for about 30 seconds again), was in the series 'Endeavor', the prequel to 'Lewis'. We were watching an episode that featured the young Morse driving down Holywell Street, tailing a young woman in his car--and suddenly there was our house. Thankfully everything was tidy the day they filmed, and daffodils were blooming in the bike basket.
The Alternate Tuck Shop on the corner of
Mansfield Rd. and Holywell St. was turned
into a tobacconist shop for Endeavour.

From 'Endeavour' filming-Morse's pre-Jaguar car.
Like Princess Diana, Oxford can't take a bad picture, so it's featured in countless movies, television shows, and documentaries.  The next time you're watching something featuring Oxford, keep an eye out for Holywell Street--or even better yet, come visit the real thing!

'Belle' being filmed on Catte Street.

'The Golden Compass' and Christ Church Quad

'Harry Potter' and New College Cloisters,
and a young Robert Pattinson

The newly released
'A Testament of Youth' being 
filmed in the Radcliffe Square

'X Men First Class' being filmed 
in front of the Sheldonian Theatre
on Broad Street.

'The Man Who Knew Infinity'
being filmed at the back of
the Sheldonian Theatre

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