The Levelling – a view from the set

THE LEVELLING is our latest film in cinemas and on demand and we’re delighted to have an inside view at life on set.  Lizanne Phee was the film’s Trainee Producer of Marketing and Distribution and kindly agreed to write a piece on her memories on set.

My name is Lizanne, but mostly I get called Zan.  When the position of Trainee Producer of Marketing and Distribution came up for The Levelling, I leapt at the chance.  It was obvious from the start that Hope [Dickson Leach] was passionate about this project, having undertaken directing duties on top of her role as writer.  She had such a clear vision and told me about her research visits to farms, and the points she wanted to get across.

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Day one started with transport to breakfast in the early morning and then off to location.  We would all travel and eat together, singing loudly along to whatever our driver of the day would treat us to.  I remember not knowing who anyone was, though now I can rhyme off over a hundred folk who worked on it.

The weather was characteristically British and drenched everyone.  It was a very soggy bonding experience!  At lunch, Ellie [Kendrick] came around and introduced herself and was so pleasant and chatty.  When she heard my accent, she said, “Ah, we have a Weegie,” and began discussing her time in Scotland.  I think after that everyone relaxed.

David [Troughton] wasn’t on set that day, but I remember after his interview how warm and encouraging he was.  David is such a presence and (I’m happy to say) a pleasant one in real life.  Nothing like the onscreen persona which had me a little worried about working with him.

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I was tasked with learning about the locations and people, and talked to the farmers and their families about the floods that ravaged their land and homes.  Over a year on and they were still piecing together their livelihoods.  It was clear that Hope was creating something special; not only a platform for those affected by the flooding, but awareness of the farming way of life.  Bringing it to the attention of more people was important, and you could tell the community was behind the film.

We’d all made some friends on this shoot and were sad to be going.  Of course, there was the wrap party.  Lots of dancing and celebration of a job well done.  Ellie came around everyone, as she had on our first day, and handed out a small keepsake from our time on the shoot.

We’d all pulled together during a pretty emotional four weeks, and I for one am very proud to have been a part of it.

Zan Phee