Author Archives: adminrich

I’m Dreaming of a Basil Brush Christmas

It’s never been a particular ambition of mine to be involved with a Christmas number 1 single, yet strangely I find myself in that position for the third time with what is most definitely the best shot of the lot. This time I’ve been working with a television legend who’s been on our screens for over 50 years, the one and only Basil Brush!

Filmmaker Richard Dutton with legendary fox Basil Brush

The man behind the camera with the fox in front of the camera

It was back in October when I travelled with my fellow filmmakers Chris Clark and Dan Sumpton to ‘Brush Manor’ in Oxfordshire for a three day film shoot of ‘White Christmas’. The single was the brainchild of radio legend Mike Read (currently appearing with Basil in panto) and he got some top record producers to arrange and record the song.

White Christmas by Basil Brush

The cover for the White Christmas single. The song is available for download now on Amazon and iTunes!

It was a bit of a rerun of last year as Chris directed the music video and I mainly filmed a behind the scenes documentary. I was also on hand for the main shoot, naturally, holding a blue screen here and there, doing some B camera work, creating some fake snow. Chris then spent a few weeks in post production making it look all Christmasy and even more snowy, even though we’d been filming during a warm and sunny October!

The story was something our local BBC news team reported on, with Look North coming out to interview us while Basil was interviewed by Peter Levy.


Basil Brush filming White Christmas

I bet you’ll never guess what Basil is getting for Christmas!

Making Basil Brush's White Christmas

On the set of ‘White Christmas’, me between Dan Sumpton and Jonathan Owen (the producer of the video). Photo: Basil Brush.

Making Basil Brush's White Christmas

Chris Clark the music video director chatting with Basil after we’d finished filming.

It was quite a hectic few days we had; whenever Basil was waiting between shots I would squeeze in some little interviews with him to use in my documentary before Chris was ready to film their next scene. The shoot wasn’t without problems, like how we would maneuver a great big trampoline over a hedge for an important shot.

In my video you’ll get to learn which famous Christmas TV advert was the inspiration for this particular shot. You’ll also hear about which other musical legend created his music in ‘Brush Manor’.

Although it would be nice to get Basil to number 1 this Christmas (that little fox has some fine lungs on him let me tell you!), the aim of the single is to raise money and awareness for a children’s charity called Shooting Star Chase. Whilst I was putting together my documentary, I looked into the charity and what it was all about. It was extremely sobering to learn about some of the cases of these children, so I really hope that Basil’s single is a success and can help raise some money for them.

Please do check out my video too, and don’t forget to buy / download the single and help out some kids who are not as fortunate as ourselves.

Merry Christmas!

Radio legend Mike Read with Jonathan Owen, Dan Sumpton and Basil.

The Crown from the Crowd

A couple of months back I had an email from Photobox about a book they were going to publish, made up of images of the Royal Family taken by members of the public. It had presenter Jennie Bond and historian Dominic Sandbrook behind it, and was inspired by a photo that a member of the public had taken of Prince William, Kate, Prince Harry and Meghan last Christmas, an image that then went viral.the crown from the crowdI thought back to the only images I’ve ever taken of the Royal Family, which were on one particular day in November last year. I happened to be in the capital one Monday morning with my fiancé. We’d spent the weekend there seeing a show (The Toxic Avenger Musical no less!) and visiting the Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. With time to kill until our train back to Sleaford, we wandered around seeing the sights.

Buckingham Palace on Monday 27th November 2017

Buckingham Palace on Monday 27th November 2017

We’d seen the news as we were getting up that morning, the announcement that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were engaged, so somehow we gravitated towards Buckingham Palace. As we walked up The Mall, there was a police presence, and no vehicles on the road until a motorcade came right past us. We could only assume that it was Harry and Meghan onboard. For some reason we thought that they might make an appearance at Buckingham Palace so we hung around there until we found out that actually they were going to appear at Kensington Palace. With hours still until our train, we decided to trek on over there. Incidentally, by foot that’s actually quite a long way so it felt like quite the expedition!

Kensington Gardens

I stopped to take a photo of this squirrel and magpie on the way in Kensington Gardens.

Media people outside Kensington Palace

Media people outside Kensington Palace

When we arrived there, we saw that the world’s media were already there, a long line of television crews shooting endless reports and footage of the palace, waiting for Harry and Meghan to appear. We took a spot by a gate, and soon afterwards the crowd we were in swelled with paparazzi, reporters, royal fanatics and random onlookers joining us to get a glimpse of the couple.

Media vans outside Kensington Palace

With a dish that big I bet they were able to broadcast all the way to Tatooine.

Lizo Mzimba

Look! That’s Lizo Mzimba! And maybe Jane Hill?

Eventually Harry and Meghan appeared. I cursed myself for not bringing my longer lens with me on this trip, but as it happened, it was probably a good thing. The image I submitted to Photobox had other people’s mobile phones creeping into shot, a bobby at the edge of the frame quietly watching on. It probably encapsulated well what Photobox were after: the more spontaneous, ‘behind-the-scenes’ type photographs that regular people take of the royal family, not the clean, slick and polished photos that you see in newspapers and magazines.

The Crown from the Crowd

My photo of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the Crown from the Crowd book

I found the whole process fascinating – fascination with other people’s fascination, I guess. I took plenty of video on my DSLR, and just watched as the journalists went straight to work on putting their articles together. We were even interviewed ourselves by a reporter from one of the papers.

Mr Royalist Fanatico

And I interviewed this guy. He was awesome.

Harry and Meghan engagement

Afterwards they let the riff raff loose in the gardens where Harry and Meghan made their announcement

Amazingly, and much to my delight, my photo was chosen for the book. I had a sneaking suspicion it would be when it was used in an article about the book in The Mirror.

There are some fascinating photos in this book stretching right throughout the decades, and I’m excited to be a part of it. It’s going to be presented to Harry and Meghan on their wedding day so I hope they like the snap I got of them. You can get a copy of The Crown from the Crowd from Photobox and all profits go to Help for Heroes.