Trip to Cressing Temple, Essex.

The History

Cressing Temple is an interesting site, location in the heart of Essex, Cressing Temple hosts the Barley Barn, originally a wheat holding. which is recognized as the oldest barn in the world and dates to the Templar period in the 13th Century.


My Trip

Silvershed Productions has been given the privilege to film in the amazing Barley Barn in February 2013. I first encountered the barns in a research project and like so many other locations, instantly was satisfied with the appeal to visit.

After a hike up the track from the station, and feeling very much like a pilgrim from ancient times, I arrived to the quiet, peaceful barns. A pleasant stroll through the dead (being the winter) but pleasant gardens later I was greeted by Della Nixon and enjoyed a tour around the Barns.

The first thing that astonished me was the sheer scale of the Barns and the awe of how much manpower and skill it must have taken to construct the massive structures. I was instantly drawn to the challenge of making an intimate area in such a barn and feel that Cressing Temple will fulfill our needs.


Photograph by: Keith. 2009.

During the day I visited other barns in the area, none which matched the sheer scale and grandeur of Cressing Temple.

Silvershed Productions shall be filming at the Barley Barn on the 15th February 2013.


Cast and Crew Update: January 2013.

After five months of Pre-production, ‘For Emma’, is now entering the production stages.

Since September 2012 32 crew and cast have joined the production, bringing their skills and expertise to make ‘For Emma’ very special, I am very privileged to have such a strong group behind the production and shall do everything possible to make the production a fun and rewarding experience for everyone involved.   

A few updates for this month: 

-Workshops: Much progress has been made by the Director, Jazz,  and the AD, Victoria, to create realistic characters for the period, and to help the actors find the right emotions needed to portray each character. Open workshops shall begin at the end of the month where crew shall be invited to view the script development stages. Feedback has been very positive on these workshops, and I am excited to see the results. 

-Costume: From an uncertain start the costume stages has really began to take shape, Diane has a difficult task to create elegant and impressive costumes on a shoestring budget. Of course this hasn’t been an issue with progress moving fast and costumes becoming secured at the end of the week. 

-Props/Stage manager: After a delay in purchase because of the snow the props are already sourced and shall be bought next week, with Celine doing a fantastically efficient job in both roles. 

-DOP/Editor: A good meeting held before christmas last month, this week the director and I are finalizing shot lists to present to Paloma on Sunday. Again on track for filming in February.

-Welcome Photographers: Recently we have secured the photography team, including Rebecca Duke as Head photographer. I am looking forward to working with this department to create marketable and rememberable pictures. We are currently in talks to discuss how costume and makeup can have portfolios created for future use. 

 Script Readthrough

This month we held a script readthrough, thankyou to everyone who turned up, we had a strong turnout. The evening was beneficial to speak to departments about progress and plan the next steps. Jazz has entered a script edit, with a new Thomas Hardy poem edit and tighter script transitions. I thought the cast bought the script to life in parts, and helped us realize where future work is needed. I hope you enjoyed the readthrough and found it beneficial to meet crew and cast. 

Goodbye to PR company. 

Unfortunately the PR company Silvershed Productions was alliances with has disbanded. However I thank Lizzie Bruce for the input into this blog and Simon Oliver for the useful contacts. I wish the company partners all the best with future endeavors and hope we can work together on a reform. 

This doesn’t mean marketing has stopped ‘For Emma’, we shall be releasing a crowdfunding venture in February, with the Assistant Producing heading the blog and being a main contact for production information. Distribution opportunities shall be discussed in March. 

Finally for tonight, a big thankyou to all of your support, this production is entering the most vital stages in the upcoming months, your time and dedication to have this film made is very appreciated and I hope it shall have a positive outcome in the future. 

Keep up todate with ‘For Emma’ blog, Facebook and Twitter accounts coming soon! 

Trip to Max Gate

For awhile it has been a dream of mine to visit and film at Max Gate. Now it would appear that the opportunity has arose which is too exciting to pass up.

2012-12-14 13.01.19

The History

Max Gate, Dorset,  was built by Thomas Hardy in 1885- Hardy started his youth as a promising architect, but was able to build his famous victorian villa through the profits of his literature career, with an extension added after the success of ‘Jude the Obscure’. He lived with his wife, Emma, until her death in the attic in 1912. Hardy remained in this house for 40 years until his death in 1928. Some of Hardy’s famous work was writing here, including: The Mayor of Casterbridge, The Woodlanders, Tess of the d’Urbervilles, Jude the Obscure and The Dynasts.


My visit to Max Gate left a rainy December London to more pleasant country surroundings, with the sun shining I felt enthralled for my adventure towards the amazing villa which I had envisioned in my readings. The expectations for Max Gate exceeded me, taken aback by a quiet, cottage like villa in the heart of Dorchester.

It was a pleasure meeting Jennifer Davis and the Max Gate team to explore such a page turner of a house, including the contrast between the grandeur of Hardys’ domain compared to the mild settings of Emma’s attic.

Max gate is enchanting, yet full of history- there is an inquisitive feeling of mystery between the walls which is waiting to be explored.

For Emma and Silvershed Productions shall be filming at Max Gate, 8th April 2013.

For Emma and Silvershed Productions.

Silvershed Productions

Silvershed Productions is an Independent Film and Theatre Production Company based in London. We specialize in British culture and social productions, with the aim to entertain and educate audiences about different eras and conventions throughout history to the 21st century, with an overlay in formats and creative influences. 


Picture: Thos. Hardy  Bain News Service, Publisher.

For Emma

For Emma is an 30 minute 19th century period drama, which started as a documentary which was being created by Matthew Critchfield. Although there is not much known about Thomas Hardy’s personal relationships, it has been assumed he had mistresses during his marriage with Emma which was well documented to be a poor relationship. Thomas Hardy married Florence Dugdale after Emma’s death in 1912, a lady 40 years younger. 

This intriguing history is the basis of ‘For Emma’.

Based on an original concept and script layout by Matthew Critchfield.

Screenwriter: Jazz Flaherty.


In the mist of his late wife passing, Johnathon Langley, a rich businessman in his latter years, embarks on a reminiscent memory through the pages of a diary to reconnect with his younger days, and learn empathy to discover just what he gave up when he lost his wife, Harriet.
‘For Emma’ is based on the life of 19th century poet Thomas Hardy, whom had problems with his marriage. Using the poems of Hardy, For Emma explores the fragility of relationships, and the importance of reconciliation.

Silvershed Productions will be bringing ‘For Emma’ to festivals in August 2013.