London-headquartered entities, the development-focused content creator Grand River Productions, and Anglophone markets and Asia producer The Bridge have teamed to co-produce a television feature adaptation of original stage play “Wireless Operator.”
Written by Bob Baldwin (“Grim Tales”) and Max Kinnings (“Alleycats”), the story is a personal look at the experiences of the World War II Bomber Command whose role in attacks on civilians made their service in the war a shameful secret. Inspired by the wartime experiences and subsequent un-diagnosed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder of his own father, Baldwin directed “Wireless Operator” as a stage play at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year to rave reviews and sold out venues, and will also direct the television adaptation.
The feature will chart a wireless operator’s experiences in a recreated, claustrophobic Lancaster Bomber and will be filmed with a skeleton crew and four-person cast in a COVID-safe manner.
Baldwin said: “This film is a portrait of an honorable young man who in good faith participated in acts that history has judged truly appalling. The story was inspired by my own father’s writing, which revealed how psychologically complex his war had been and the extent of the trauma he and his crew mates had endured. They didn’t talk about it; they didn’t get campaign medals, and their contribution to the allied victory became a national embarrassment consigned to the back pages of history by a society unsure of its moral culpability. ‘Wireless Operator’ is a long overdue re-examination of their experiences.”
As with the play, the production will be donating a percentage of profits to Combat Stress, the U.K. charity for veterans’ mental health.
The feature will be produced by Grand River’s Jamie Brown (“The War of the Worlds”) in association with financier Amanda Groom (“Thailand’s Wild Side”) of The Bridge. Robin Cowie (“The Blair Witch Project”) will offer support and guidance as needed to the project.
Jamie Brown, CEO of Grand River Productions, said: “In developing this project we have worked closely with Bob Baldwin and Max Kinnings. I have been struck by their immense talent and flexibility in all of their work with us, and the way they work so positively and respectfully. Bob has a very keen sense of design and editing, and I know that he will make this a powerful production.”