Working with Terry not only helped me gain valuable experience while on set but it has also given me the chance to practice new skills I obtained, while attending a very important course at Pinewood Studios. The course I knew nothing about until one Thursday daytime a few days before the course was about to start the phone rang asking if I could attend. I was told that the course would start on the Monday for a week. So, I arranged to go down, sorting out hotels and travel arrangements. The Monday came, I arrived at the studios and met-up with Richie, who was also a veteran who had been injured on active service. Still wondering what the course was, we both went into the training building and met-up with Terry. It wasn’t until we met-up with Terry that he told us what the course was. Me thinking what on earth am I doing on this course, and I think Richie was thinking the same. The course was the Assistant Director’s course. Looking back on the course now it was both a privilege and an honour to attend the course. Terry saw something in both Richie and I to be on the course, knowing that the skills we had picked up in the military and the knowledge we also obtained from the military was making the course easy for us.
A lot of people don’t realise that one of the best kept secrets of World War II is that the men who worked at Pinewood Studios not only used their skills in one on the most iconic deception plans of the war involving General George Patton, but they also brought back with them many transferable skills. On the last day of the course, we got to put all the skills we had learned over the week into practice, when we got to direct some scenes under the watchful eye of Terry. We also had a professional film director, Richard Elson, a well-established television director and editor, who came in for the day to work with us and give feedback. Richie and I passed the course. We found out a few days later that it was Terry who had arranged for us to go onto the course. He had seen something in us. Not only did Terry give us both a way into the film industry, but he also threw both myself and Richie a lifeline for which I am indebted to Terry.
A week after the course Covid hit the world and ripped the film industry apart, as well as the world. I watched as production after production was closing. And so was the chance for me to get into the film industry. I was sitting at home when I received a message from Terry, could I send down some photos of myself dressed as a farmer. So, I sent him the photos, as well as the head of costume. The next thing I knew I was driving down to a location, where both myself and Richie were to become supporting artists on a horror film. Richie and I ended up having featured non-speaking roles. The atmosphere on set was amazing, the crew were great, the cast members brilliant. It was also a chance to watch Terry and the other assistant directors work, being able to pick up more knowledge of what it is like as an assistant director. The film was completed at the height of the Covid pandemic, and all the special measures were in place, all followed to the letter.