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News at Whitstable Yacht Club

Club News

Lights, camera, action! Club members report on their part filming the Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime drama

Between October 2020 and January 2021 Whitstable Yacht Club was transformed into a film set to be the Whitstable Pearl Restaurant and the JL Sailing Club for the TV crime drama based on Whitstable author Julie Wassmer’s novels The Whitstable Pearl Mystery and Disappearance at Oare. As well as transforming the club, a number of our members were part of the filming, from technical support, safety support and advice, to appearing in the show as stunt doubles and extras! Below is a report from Phillipa Bloice on her and Donna Hender’s experience.

Imagine being asked If we’d like to be boat doubles in The Whitstable Pearl Mystery crime drama. Donna and myself just about contained our excitement as we arrived for a day’s filming. We knew nothing more than we would be actor doubles going out on a boat.
Covid tests were mandatory for everyone. Then we were whisked off to makeup. Donna had a wig moulded onto her head that looked identical to the cast lady she was doubling for. I had a long blond hair piece attached to a pink bobble hat the same as my actor. We were introduced to the leading actress Kerry Godliman who was having her hair curled for a party scene later that day. Everyone was very chatty and friendly.
Wardrobe next and we were given the identical clothing and foot ware that our actors were wearing. We were then introduced to the actors we were doubling so ultimately, we were 2 sets of twins Donner and myself just slightly older, that wasn’t a problem as we were being filmed by a drone capturing film from the top of our heads.
We walked down to the harbour where the film crew with a huge support team were waiting. A marine rescue team looked after us   making sure we were safe. Everything was very organised and professional. It felt bitterly cold, the sky was a clear blue but the sea looked grey and lumpy. We were given hand warmers to keep us cosy, our clothes and hair were checked.
The boat we were filming on was a small old green wooden vessel with a ships wheel and tiny cabin. We were asked to watch while our actors acted out our parts. They then stayed on land while we copied their acting as shown, adding untying the boat and driving it out of the harbour to sea. The director briefed us on a radio. We repeated the take 5 times so different angle shots could be taken with the drone. 5 times Donna got to drive the little boat beaming every time while I sat behind her. “All done” radioed the director.
We then chatted to other cast members in a heated gazebo on the harbour while we waited for our part to get signed off. We were offered a choice of hot food for lunch with plenty of warm drinks before we returned to make up to have our wigs removed and our hair brushed out and blow dried, back to reality. That was our little insight into film making.
We would like to thank all the production team for making our day fabulous. Everyone was so friendly and inclusive and looked after us so well.

We’re looking forward to the finished product when it hits screens later this year, and wonder if some of our members will be putting their new skills to use with a new career in the movie industry! Roll out the red carpet for the premier…