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24 September 2014

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

The artist from the final episode

Week 9: 1st to 7th May 2006


It's May Bank Holiday, the sun is out, leaves are appearing on the trees, and we're back at Ilam Hall to finish off the Lowood School exteriors. In contrast to the icy shots we were after when we shot here in March, we now hope for a greener, happier environment for the later Lowood scenes. You can see the difference in how the area looked - and in the weather - in the transition from young to old Jane. I think it works really well, and I'm pleased we scheduled it like this.

"In the final cut, the guy that plays the artist in the last episode is reduced to just a pair of hands."
Tuesday is an odd day. We shoot the final scene of the whole drama. The scene is a lovely idea from Sandy, brilliant executed by Susanna. In the final cut, the guy that plays the artist in this scene is reduced to just a pair of hands. But what fine, elegant hands they are.

You'll find a picture of this artist at the top of the page. Does he look familiar?

On Wednesday I head to London for a meeting. It's always hard leaving the set - I do like to be around at the beginning and the end of each day to provide support to the crew and to the director, to keep an eye on things, and to be on hand if there are any tough decisions to be made. Sometimes I might not say anything on set for hours on end - there's often nothing to be said - but other times I stay all day and get quite involved. We're shooting the Red Room scene from episode 1 today. It's a scene I'd really like to be around for - a hard style and story trick to pull off. But off I go.

The call from Walford

I've been summoned to meet two key figures at BBC HQ - Alan Yentob (Controller of Drama, Entertainment and Children's) and Jane Tranter (Commissioner, Drama). I'm intrigued to know what the meeting is about, and Jane's PA is giving nothing away. It all feels important to me, so when I get to London I put on a suit.

I wait nervously outside Alan's office ready for my meeting. Jane Tranter joins me and we share an awkward joke about me doing my job badly and having to leave. 'No', she says mysteriously, 'we're here to nail your feet to the floor'.

"Being offered EastEnders is a dream come true."
With that odd sentence turning over in my mind, we are led into Alan's office. The reason for the meeting soon becomes clear when they ask me whether I'd like to be the next Executive Producer of EastEnders. It's a show I've watched since childhood and a massive but unmissable challenge. Being offered it is a dream come true, so before I know what I'm doing I say 'yes'.

Back in Derbyshire, the week ends with a lift back to London (again) care of Nigel Anthony, our rushes courier. Every night, Nigel drives the day's shot footage down to Todd AO in Camden, London to be processed and transferred. He sleeps in a local B&B before driving back north again in the early hours, delivering rushes to our editor before 10am most days. It's fun to spend a trip with Nigel, and to see the care and professionalism with which he handles the rushes and does his job. Todd is only a mile or so from my house, so that's handy.

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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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