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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons (Kindle edition)
Sophie Neville has woven together extracts from the diary that she kept 40 years ago as a twelve year old while filming 'Swallows and Amazons', with her frequently amusing observations, as she looks back at the seven weeks that changed her life. The result is compulsive reading as she recalls that cold wet summer, while the camera crew wrapped up warm and she shivered in...
Published 13 months ago by Sappho

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read
This book made me want to watch Swallows and Amazons again. It was interesting to hear some of the secrets of filming and how they coped with bad weather and all the waiting around. You can see that Sophie was more interested in the techniques of filming that she used in later life but it does become quite technical in places. The descriptions of what the film crew did...
Published 1 month ago by eliza


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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons (Kindle edition), 18 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
Sophie Neville has woven together extracts from the diary that she kept 40 years ago as a twelve year old while filming 'Swallows and Amazons', with her frequently amusing observations, as she looks back at the seven weeks that changed her life. The result is compulsive reading as she recalls that cold wet summer, while the camera crew wrapped up warm and she shivered in her skimpy dress as Able Seaman Titty Walker
Sophie brings to life all the many memorable characters who worked on the film and in particular the other children, the Director Claude Whatham who developed a great relationship with his young cast and the stars Virginia McKenna and Ronald Fraser. Nor are the other young actors forgotten for there are diary contributions from Suzanna Hamilton who played Susan, Stephen Grendon who played the Boy Roger and Kit Seymour who played Nancy Blackett.
The text is supported by numerous illustrations showing life on and off the set.
The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons is a must for anybody who has enjoyed the film. It certainly will not spoil the magic and readers will view the film with greater understanding.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars funny, engrossing account using young star's diaries, 14 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
Warmly recommend this book for its insight into a young film star's life in the 1970s, a must for all Swallows and Amazons fans and a must for anyone wanting a unique perspective on British film-making history. Sophie Neville's writing was as funny and entertaining when she was about 12 years old as it is today! This highly interesting book is made up of her own literary voice at two different points in time in her life: her own detailed diary entries when she was filming S&A, and her narrative account from a modern perspective forty years later. I don't think you could ask for a better inside track of what it really felt like to be a young film actor on location in England in the 1970s, the period detail is fascinating, as is the description of how the child actors spent their time. The book is beautifully written, Sophie Neville's style always has wonderful rhythm and energy. Great photos.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight, 23 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
A fascinating insight into behind the scenes of the film world. Sophie cleverly intersperses entries from the diary she wrote at the time into her amusingly written memoir of playing Titty. Lots of photos throughout the book bring the scenes to life - a delightful read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 'Titty' finds more buried treasure!, 7 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
I've just finished reading 'The Secrets of Filming Swallows and Amazons', and what an enjoyable experience it's been! In 1973, as Titty in the film 'Swallows and Amazons', Sophie Neville uncovered Captain Flint's treasure (in the form of a book he'd been writing) on Cormorant Island. (Watch the film or read the book if you want to know how it got there!) Now, forty years later, she's uncovered her own memories of what it was like to be twelve and a "film star". But this was not Hollywood! Oh yes, she was feted by the Press and courted for interviews, but the backdrop wasn't Beverley Hills, rather a couple of double-decker buses parked by the side of Coniston Water. She and her fellow child-actors were often cold, wet, and, alongside the watchful eye of Claude Whatham, the Director, constantly waiting for the sun to come out. Her diary entries, made after each day's filming, tell it vividly like it was, tempered only slightly by the mature judgement of the adult Sophie. There's humour and even danger. She captures the youthful excitement perfectly and quotes some funny stories from the diaries of her fellow child actors, notably Suzanna Hamilton, to add even more colour. Making full use of the e-book format she's included lots of photos and links to clips of home movie footage, all taken by her devoted mum and dad who were also variously involved both behind and in front of the camera. Sophie herself went on to make a career in production and her accounts of the trials and tribulations of the many members of the crew remind us that putting even just a few minutes on film involves intense, sometimes frustrating, but usually good-natured effort from dozens of people we never see. Add to that the final section on "Where are they now?" and you have the complete picture of a remarkable summer and its legacy. Other highlights for me are Sophie's dual accounts, then and now, of the film's adult stars, the calmly professional Virginia McKenna and the rather naughty Ronald Fraser, who by all accounts preferred the local hostelry to walking the plank into the icy depths of Derwentwater. But then, come to think of it, who wouldn't?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars swallowsand amazons, 28 Nov 2013
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
If you love Swallows and Amazons you will love this book, however even if you havent read the book and have ever visited the Lake district you will love this book too. Written from a childs diary this book is a funny and enlightening insight into the behind the scenes of making a film. Having visited the Lakes many times it was lovely to hear about all the different places the film was shot. I would highly reccommend this book to anyone young or old. A brilliant read.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fascinating insight, 6 April 2014
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who enjoyed the original film will get a lot out of this book, and the price makes it an absolute bargain. I don't want to spoil it by telling you any of the secrets in advance, so I will simply recomment that you buy it and enjoy the read. I should add that it was of extra interest to me for an unusual reason though, because I have ideas about making films in the future in which children will be the stars (based on a series of books which I have started writing), so it's extremely useful to get this insight into what the process is like from the perspective of a child.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Arthur Ransome and the Swallows and Amazons - another wonderful unique insight, 7 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
For absolutely anyone wanting a lively factual tale of children's adventure on a film set in the Lake District this is a lovely book. It's unique. The efforts required by actors and extensive crew were colossal. This is how they did it - in great and fascinating detail. I now watch this delightful 1974 film in a completely new light.
But keen followers of Arthur Ransome himself (as I am) probably as members of The Arthur Ransome Society, are sure to find the book a true delight. It adds another rich strand to the extensive story which we know and love already.
Sophie's writing style perfectly suits the tale she is telling - in essence she is recalling her own adventure playing the part of Able Seaman Titty of the Swallow. But she has diaries and many other sources of contemporary information to help her add all the vibrant and factual colour to the story. There are numerous film clips shot at the time and they are a delight to watch.
This Kindle book is rounded off with a comprehensive list of what has happened to the players and crew since the filming in 1974 and that in itself makes for a very interesting read.
Thank you so much Sophie for adding this tremendous story to our collection.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely fresh writing, 5 Jan 2014
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
I love it because it's written in good English, with no awful typos or errors, and with plenty of pictures illustrating the people and places she writes about, leaving me wanting to know more. A 12-year-old's contemporary diary-entries combined with an adult's considered thoughts looking back, as well as up-to-date information about what happened to all of those involved after the film, not just the actors, and even including the extras in the film.
Please someone publish it as a proper book, so that I can go back and browse through it, and see the photographs and beautifully drawn maps clearly!
You don't need to be a S&A fan to enjoy this book - it's universal!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 10 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
Anyone who enjoyed reading Swallows and Amazons and/or saw the film will enjoy Sophie's book, which explains in detail how the film came together and goes on to relate her own later career in the film industry.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Memories & other good feelings, 23 May 2014
By 
I. Hutchinson "Ianhutch" (Sidcup, Kent) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Secrets of Filming Swallows & Amazons (Kindle Edition)
I've loved Arthur Ransome's books since I was in my early teens & the simplicity of life & unadulterated childhood joys captured in his writings gained a fresh impetus in the film. To hear the inside story from Sophie was fascinating & her sympathetic, lively style brought a freshness to watching the film. I would have loved to have had that sort of childhood, but have to make do with annual sailing weeks on the Broads.
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