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Film, TV & Animation

Feature film debut for Norwich director

By Martin Barber
Norwich-based director Richard Bracewell's feature film debut - released on Friday, 23 March, 2007 - follows two gigolos at various stages of their careers. The classy cast includes Susannah York, Anna Massey and Siān Phillips.

Susannah York and Sacha Tarter filming The Gigolos
Susannah York and Sacha Tarter on set

The Gigolos is the debut feature film from Norwich director Richard Bracewell, which stars newcomers and co-writers Sacha Tarter and Trevor Sather.

video Watch: Richard Bracewell talks about The Gigolos >
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A British buddy movie, it follows the life and career of two Mayfair male escorts, looking at their friendship and their clients - smart, successful career women who pay for sex.

Just A Gigolo

"The idea came from hearing the song Just A Gigolo – I thought what a great word, what an interesting idea for a film," said Richard Bracewell.

"The main characters are Sacha himself, he plays the gigolo, and he's got a best friend Trevor, who’s the valet – a kind of high-class pimp. From those two characters the story then evolved," he added.

The film follows Sacha and Trevor's friendship, two men living in an odd-couple existence, punctuated by a series of four dates - featuring British screen legends Anna Massey, Sian Phillips, Angela Pleasence and Susannah York as the clients.

Bracewell refused to be fazed by working with the screen icons.

Richard Bracewell, Anna Massey, Sacha Tarter
On location for The Gigolos

"The way to get round it, was not to think about it," he said.

"We made it doubly difficult as a lot of the dialogue was improvised and they were playing the clients of a gigolo. It was a slightly tricky subject.

"There's no nudity, it's not that kind of film – but it's still a close-to-the-bone subject," he added.

Made in Norfolk

Bracewell is fiercely proud that The Gigolos was produced from his home in Norwich and then edited at a farmhouse on the Norfolk/Suffolk border.

"The only way to make a film local was simply to believe in the idea," he said.

"The great thing about film is that it is a global business. What people care about is the idea and the story-telling.

"It was always my aim to produce a feature film with international stars and a glamorous setting without leaving my office in Norwich.

"People thought I was mad to try it – but they're not the ones premiering their movie at the Odeon," he added.

Opening night

The Gigolos opened at Norwich's Odeon on Friday, 23 March, 2007 ahead of a regional tour throughout April.

The release of the film in the eastern counties is supported by the regional screen agency Screen East.

Richard Bracewell directing The Gigolos
Richard Bracewell directing The Gigolos

"When it came to showing The Gigolos at cinemas, Screen East have been amazingly supportive to help us develop audiences in the region," said Bracewell.

"We're running workshops for aspiring film-makers and screen writers to tell them about our experiences, and to inspire them to say 'You can go out and do the same thing'.

"My tip would be don't get into bed with another financier or broadcaster too early as then you'll have more control over your idea.

"Think very carefully about anyone that you partner with, have faith in the idea and see how far you can take it before you need help," he added.

Bracewell plans to make two new independent British feature films with his company Punk Cinema over the next 18 months.

Both of the films will be produced from Norwich.

last updated: 28/03/07
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