Jessica Hynes’ Film – The Fight
Jessica Hynes from W1A, Twenty Twelve, Paddington 2 and lots more has made a film in Folkestone! It’s called The Fight and is written and directed by Jessica who also stars as the main character – Tina. Jessica spoke to Kay Mcloughlin on Academy FM Folkestone about her inspiration for the film:
“Actually, the whole thing happened because of you Kay! Over tea, you told me you really enjoyed going to a ladies boxing night at the Dover Road Boxing Gym. It had a really good vibe and was a great way to keep fit, and only cost £2! So I thought I’d go along and see what it was like. When I got there and had an idea to make a film about a woman that goes to these classes.”
channel your demons
“It’s not really a conventional boxing film, it’s not about winning an ultimate fight. It’s about a main character called Tina who channels all of these issues she has to deal with into boxing. I wanted to make a film that was warm and uplifting, but for someone like me: a middle aged mum of 3! This film deals with the issues I see around me, issues I see people having to cope with; breaking the cycles of dysfunction and negativity. I really felt that boxing is about getting fit, yes! But it’s also about channeling your feelings, getting strong and facing your demons.”
The film was made in Folkestone, filmed at the Dover Road Boxing Gym. Jessica said “It’s a beautiful gym, you go up these old metal staircases, and I was really struck at the beauty of it. It’s a bit battered, but there’s a lovely light that comes into it from the top windows. It was a beautiful space.” She does admit though that the film taught her she’s not a natural boxer!
Inspiring place to film
“I was inspired by the space itself, and the people coming to this box-fit class. I thought ‘ why are we all here? What could their story be? To make the film in Folkestone made perfect sense, it needed to be low budget if I was ever going to make it! But I don’t think I could have done it if it hadn’t been here. What was astonishing and very uplifting was how generous everyone was.
“We filmed at a local care home and I wanted to cast one of the people actually living there in the film. I found this lovely woman who’d only just moved there called Pam, she was 94 and so full of life! I’d been in a few times to prepare them for the idea of filming, and getting used to me being around. On the day we came to film Pam greeted us, she was all dressed up, looked fantastic and said “It’s raining men!” And I thought, I love you!”
Folkestone is cinematic
“Although we needed it to be low budget, we tried really hard to make it look as though it wasn’t. I had a fantastic Director of Production, Ryan Eddleston, and he made sure that it felt as cinematic as possible.
“I couldn’t have made it without the generosity of all the people at the Folkestone Academy and at the Plamil Factory. Thanks also to Pelham House Care Home, the Dover Road Boxing Club and the Harbour Arm. It was such a positive experience.”
This is Jessica Hynes’ directing debut, and the film has a fantastic cast: Anita Dobson, Cathy Tyson, Shaun Parkes, Rhona Mitra, Liv Hill, Russell Brand and Christopher Fairbanks. Keep your eyes peeled for the locals too!
Photo by Freddie Lee Thompson