Filming has begun in North Wales locations on Film4 and British Film Institute-backed feature film “Brian & Charles,” cowritten by and starring David Earl (“After Life”).
The project began life as an acclaimed 2017 short of the same name directed by Jim Archer (“The Young Offenders”). Archer makes his feature directorial debut with “Brian & Charles.” The film is written by Earl and Chris Hayward (“Trollied”). It is based on Earl’s comedic alter-ego Brian Gittins, and his unlikely friendship with Charles, a robot.
After a particularly harsh winter, Brian (Earl) goes into a deep depression. Completely alone and with no one to talk to, he does what any sane person would do when faced with such a melancholic situation: he builds a robot, Charles (Hayward), for company. While things start off well, tensions begin to rise, particularly as Charles keeps eating Brian’s cabbages.
The cast also includes Lynn Hunter (“The Personal History of David Copperfield”), Louise Brealey (“Sherlock”), Jamie Michie (“The Spanish Princess”) and Nina Sosanya (“Killing Eve”).
The film was developed with and is co-funded by Film4 and the BFI. The producer is Rupert Majendie for Mr. Box, a production company set up in 2014 offering comedians a platform to create and broadcast their own sketches and podcasts. Executive producers are Damian Jones (“The Iron Lady”), Mary Burke for the BFI, and Lauren Dark and Ollie Madden for Film4.
Earl said: “We’re delighted to get the show on the road and I’m looking forward to bringing ‘Brian & Charles’ to the big screen. During the COVID lockdown we wondered if we’d ever be able to make it but here I am stood in North Wales staring at a 7-foot robot.”
Majendie said: “Having been ready to start cameras rolling in March, it’s great to be underway, and we’re thankful to the local authorities and community. Filmmaking during a global pandemic is a different experience and we’re taking every necessary precaution to ensure we do so safely, but we can’t wait to bring this strange and incredibly heart-warming story to life.”
The production is taking place with the required COVID-safety protocols, and a COVID-19 marshal on set throughout.