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24 September 2014

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Behind The Scenes Production Diary
By Diederick Santer, Jane Eyre Producer

Georgie Henley as Young Jane

Week 12: 22nd to 28th May 2006

Rain pours down on our industrial unit. It's dreadful for sound, but I console myself that at least we're not shooting exteriors - not yet, anyway. By the time we break free of the warehouse on Thursday, the rain has stopped and the sun is shining.

We're back on the road again - first going to a beautiful private house in Calver which will be our exterior Reed House. It's so lovely to be out of the shed. The crew blink at the sunlight. It all goes a bit dreamy, actually. There's stacks to do on the Reed exterior, and not much time to do it, but the time trickles away and we lose a scene we really wanted.

It's the last scene for Rebekah Staton who does a great job as Bessie. And it's the last of Georgie Henley (Young Jane) for the UK at least. We love having Georgie around. She's funny, sweet, hard-working, and very talented. We give them each a round of applause as they leave.

Back at Haddon Hall

The most exciting aspect to the week is that we are going back to Haddon Hall. As we arrive back there on the Friday, I realise that it is in so many ways the home of the production.

"We were pleased to get a bleak, tough look in the winter, but always scheduled a return leg with leaves on trees."
We're made so welcome there by Lord Edward and his staff, it's lovely to see them all again. And Haddon in early summer is something really special. We were really pleased to get a bleak, tough look in the winter, but always scheduled a return leg here so that we could get some scenes with leaves on trees.

Just as we began the shoot with lots of scenes from the early part of Rochester and Jane's relationship, as we head towards the end, we're doing more and more scenes from later in the story. Toby Stephens and Ruth Wilson just get better and better.

We do a Radio Times cover shoot with Ruth and Toby on Thursday night, which ends with Ruth not feeling too well.

An unwell lead

When we arrive to shoot on Friday morning, she's not good at all. She's exhausted after twelve weeks of intense filming, plus a bug's going round. She's been sick all night. It's a real worry for us that she's ill - she's in every scene, and if she's out of action, the production will just stop. Luckily for us she's a real trooper, and after a session in make-up and costume she's ready to go.

"It's a real worry for us that Ruth's ill - she's in every scene, and if she's out of action, the production will just stop."
The schedule is kind - we're just shooting some very simple scenes in which she's required to sit and not say very much. She's also working with Lorraine Ashbourne (Mrs Fairfax) today, an actress whose energy and spirit could make anyone feel better. Ruth holds it together, and by the afternoon is feeling a lot better.

When I jokingly offer her a glass of champagne (we reached the 1000th shot today) she takes it! I try and take it back and offer her some weak tea instead, but she's having none of it. At the end of the day her mother appears - she'd been visiting anyway - and drives Ruth back home for the weekend.

Cosima Littlewood is back with us as Adele. This is her first screen role and she's done incredibly well. I was always terrified about the casting of Adele - how could we find a girl who could act, sing, dance, be French, and be funny. A real tall order. But then the highly intelligent and talented Cosima walked in, and all our problems are solved.

Coco (as we call her) and her very smart and interesting mother Hortense have been with us since the very first day, and it's lovely to see them again.

The Wide Sargasso Sea

I get a call from Elwen Rowlands who is producing The Wide Sargasso Sea for BBC FOUR. The book on which it's based, by Jean Rhys, tells the story from the perspective of Bertha Mason, outlining her romance with Rochester and how she ended up in England.

It's an interesting book, intriguing as an intellectual curiosity, but is largely inconsistent with Bronte's novel. Elwen and I have been asked to work together and share resources, and although our approaches to the material are very different, eagle-eyed viewers may spot some similarities in the Thornfield fire exteriors.

That's right - I gave them our shots.

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Diederick Santer

Diederick Santer, Jane Eyre Producer
Diederick previously produced the first three series of Cutting It, and two of the ShakespeaRe-Told dramas, including the Bafta-nominated Much Ado About Nothing.

After Jane Eyre, he's moving on to become Executive Producer of EastEnders.

Production Diary

Read more about the production of Jane Eyre:

Week 14:
5th-12th Jun 2006

Week 13:
29th May-4th Jun 2006

Week 12:
22nd-28th May 2006

Week 11:
15th-21st May 2006

Week 10:
8th-14th May 2006

Week 9:
1st-7th May 2006

Week 8:
24th-30th Apr 2006

Week 7:
17th-23rd Apr 2006

Week 6:
10th-16th Apr 2006

Week 5:
3rd-9th Apr 2006

Week 4:
27th Mar-2nd Apr 2006

Week 3:
20th-26th Mar 2006

Week 2:
13th-19th Mar 2006

Week 1:
6th-12th Mar 2006

Week 0:
27th Feb - 5th Mar 2006

Week -1:
20th-26th Feb 2006

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