Nixdminx
The life and times of a happy go lucky blogger in London
Horrid Henry the Movie: life on set
Categories: blogging mums, movies

There’s nothing like seeing your favourite book become a TV series and then a big movie. For thousands, if not millions, of kids who have enjoyed the Horrid Henry series of books and the cartoons, Horrid Henry: The Movie will be an unmissable big movie experience.

We were lucky enough to be invited to watch the film being made and so Miniminx and I visited the set of the movie today, or one of the locations in fact. We were really excited about the day and it was a brilliant experience, not least because we’re great fans of Henry and his horribleness.

It was a bright cold wintry day in Hampton Court and we weren’t sure if we’d be outside or not so we were wrapped up as warm as possible, full of anticipation yet not quite sure what to expect. As the newest and shiniest toy in the media box, bloggers do get invited to lots of things, but movie sets is a new one for us.

When we arrived at the location, we saw the usual large white trucks you see surrounding location filming, and once we were in Hampton Court House School, we saw hordes of children in school uniform. I had to do a double take as I spotted oversized school badges loosely attached to navy blazers – these weren’t real school uniforms, they were costumes. The kids were all extras and sat excitedly opposite each other on benches along a corridor; it looked like each and everyone of them was playing on a Nintendo DS to pass the time but there was plenty of chatter.

The filming was taking place in what appeared to be the school hall. Richard E Grant wandered past me and onto the stage to perform one of the scenes. He was in character; he plays a mean Head Master in the film so he was rather glum faced. Perfect Peter joined him on stage and performed Frere Jacque. Parminder Nagra, who plays Miss Lovely, was on stage too. You may recognise her name from ER – her outfit was great and her outlandish floral shoes definitely caught my eye. Anjelica Huston has already filmed her scenes so I never got the chance to see her.

The storyline is a completely new one created specially for the film. It’s a tale of two schools and Horrid Henry is trying to find a way back to his old school. Here’s what I got from the blurb ‘The first ever British kids’ movie to be filmed in 3D, Horrid Henry: The Movie stars Anjelica Huston as Henry’s terrifying teacher Miss Battle-Axe, alongside, Rebecca Front as Henry’s headmistress Ms Oddbod, Richard E Grant as a rival headmaster and Parminder Nagra as Miss Lovely. Noel Fielding makes an appearance as Killer Boy Rats’ frontman Ed Banger, joining Jo Brand as the Demon Dinner Lady, Matthew Horne as Henry’s Dad and Prunella Scales as Great Aunt Greta. And introducing new young stars, Scarlett Stitt as Moody Margaret, Ross Marron as Perfect Peter and Theo Stevenson as Horrid Henry.’

What was really fascinating was to get a look behind the scenes and also spend time with ’3D Matt’ who let us watch the 3D screen as the scenes were being filmed. We sat with our 3D glasses on and saw the scenes being filmed. The camera lenses were being tweaked as we watched and it was quite mind bending as they went in and out of focus.

A very friendly face popped round the screen to say hello and it was Lucinda Whiteley who is the scriptwriter. Formerly commissioning editor of childrens’ programmes for Channel 4, she has a string of great credits to her name including several BAFTA and Emmy awards. She is behind the Horrid Henry TV series. She’s also amazingly engaging and enthusiastic about her work. I found her quite inspirational and she was amazingly relaxed and chatty on the set of her first feature film.

During the lunch break we wandered around the school grounds and found the make up room – we didn’t go in but peered through the window to spot a white board with instructions to make everyone look 1950-ish. On set the hair and make up did reflect this and I have to say, it suits the women more than the men. There’s definitely a touch of genius going on in the wardrobe department as some of the kids were wearing the most outlandish vintage shoes I’ve ever seen. There are lots of diamond and striped socks going on there too and one kid was wearing one hell of a shell suit jacket (think Brookside circa 1985). I can’t wait to see what the other characters will look like. We didn’t get to meet Horrid Henry but we did see his brother Perfect Peter who has an amazing mane of curly blond hair (which is styled daily so we heard).

As for the lack of photos and vidoe, I have some footage which I shot but I am under embargo, so I will post it when it’s lifted. Sadly it’s not in 3D but it’s HD, so hopefully that will give you a flavour of the piece.

We are going to do a follow up visit to meet and interview the actors playing Horrid Henry and Perfect Peter – if you have any questions, do let us know.

Thanks for Matty at Freud for hosting us today.

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11 Comments to “Horrid Henry the Movie: life on set”

  1. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by nixdminx eva keogan, Selena Chan. Selena Chan said: @nixdminx how exciting, getting to attend the movie set of Horrid Henry! Look forward to the interviews! http://bit.ly/hojCvg [...]

  2. Lucinda says:

    Hi, it was great to meet you both too and to hear your impressions on the movie – we’re all really excited about it too! Horrid Henry fans can sign up to the Purple Hand Gang at wwww.horridhenry.me to get exclusive pics of the cast, breaking news about the movie and Henry’s very own blog on making a movie, starting in the New Year. All the best, Lucinda

  3. janet says:

    Also featuring in this film is a cameo by Akai, sky1′s got to dance winner !!!

  4. We were invited to this but the date was never confirmed. So pleased it went well. Obviously we’re a little gutted here though.
    Rosie Scribble recently posted..Silent Sunday – Snow

    • admin says:

      ah, I knew other people were planning to go and the snow was an issue, I was tenacious, if not a little pushy in the end as I wanted to pop along and it’s actually where I grew up so it was a good trip down memory lane going back to Hampton Court. I think they’re planning a lot more things so don’t feel you missed out xx

  5. Marie W Hunter says:

    If yo u are a fan of Richard E…. check this out for Christmas. You can play Celebrity Charades against him….

    http://movies.sky.com/sky-movies-christmas-charades

  6. polly says:

    I’m an extra in it :) horrid henrys house is my house and so all the neighbourhood children were invited to be in it, every one was really nice and it was so exciting to meet all the famous people and be on a film set!!! :)

  7. Bryony says:

    Come and find out more at http://www.horridhenry.me!!

    Horrid Henry the Movie in 3D rocks!!!!

  8. hi horrid henry u are the be person n the world im am the biggesttttttttttttttttttttttttttttt fan of u.by

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