“So, there I was in the pub with a good friend of mine. We were talking about the next film we should make together. James (Erskine) and I had worked on two previous sporting documentaries: One Night In Turin (2010) – the story of Gazza, Sir Bobby and England’s greatest penalty heartbreak; and From The Ashes (2011) – the story of Botham, Willis and England’s remarkable fightback to win the legendary 1981 Ashes series.
Both films had been excellently made, but neither had been smash hits. Cricket is a minority sport in the World of DVD and downloading potential (albeit do check out the fantastic Fire In Babylon if you get the chance) and One Night In Turin had done very well, up until the moment England got hammered by Germany 4-2 in the second round of the 2010 World Cup. Robert Green owes me many I tell you….
So. Back to the pub.
“You know what, we have to make the Jonny Wilkinson film,” I said to James.
That moment in English and Rugby sporting history is the pinnacle of our Nation’s finest achievement in a very long time. Best team on the planet, unbeaten, not knowing how to lose. A team full of big personalities but driven by the one goal. Adversity, emotion, potential heartbreak, but final triumph.
Let’s make it and release it in time for the 2015 Rugby World Cup, to be played in England. Perfect timing for the country’s interest in Rugby to be piqued.
But we have to get the whole squad involved. Which proved too problematical. Too many people wanting too many things.
James is the film-maker – we are the sales, marketing and distribution. I believe it works well. We’re all passionate about making an excellent film that not just Rugby fans want to see or buy. A film that documentary fans and the general public who don’t like Rugby will buy.
I think James has done that. Listening to Jonny, Clive, Martin, Matt and George Gregan you start to understand what they were going through. I think the film makes you admire Jonny just that little bit more. For somebody who achieved so much in his career at every level, in different countries, breaking records everywhere he went, he still has today, those doubts that we all have inside.
Oh and the one question I had after seeing the first cut, back in May of this year… “What was that very distinctive call that Matt mentions he and Jonny had just before he passes the ball back to him for THAT drop kick”?
Ask me in person and I’ll tell you…”
Building Jerusalem is available to buy on DVD and Blu Ray from the 14th September and is available to digitally download from 11th September. See HERE to pre-order!