Dracula on TV and Film

Discuss Whitby's media appearances here including travel shows, tv productions (ie Heartbeat etc), films etc.

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mermaid62
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Dracula on TV and Film

Post by mermaid62 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 5:55 pm

Why oh Why oh why???? I can't understand why Whitby is never the first place that comes to mind when sourcing location shoots for the definitive Bram Stoker's Dracula and I don't just mean the disappointing film of the same name. In that film Whitby was barely mentioned or represented in any shape or form asides from the brief ship wreck scene.
And again, the BBC production Dracula effectively thought NOT to use Whitby as a location shoot. St Mary's churchyard looked like a rosy hued Hollywood set with stock shots of waves crashing and the Demeter itself looked like a toy ship in a paddling pool!
The East Cliff and St Mary's churchyard and Steps are a Victorian set in situ. Nothing there has changed since Bram Stoker put pen to paper. There is nothing more evocative and gothic than the skeletal Abbey and St Mary's church amongst the large Victorian scrolled stone graves. The twisty cobbled streets, the Khyber Pass are all there as a pure gift to film makers.
It beggars belief that Simply Red can get it right 20 odd years ago in a cracking video for it's time yet film and TV bods choose to ignore the obvious gothic splendour that Bram wrote about in such detail as a key inspiration for his masterpiece.
Grrrr...sorry, it makes my blood boil!!

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admin
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Post by admin » Fri Dec 29, 2006 7:26 pm

Yeah, I watched it and thought the same. I guess lugging camera equipment all the way up to Whitby is too expensive an undertaking... but they decided it was worth it for the BBCs "David Copperfield" production and lots of others. Strange. :roll:

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JohnWS
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Post by JohnWS » Fri Dec 29, 2006 8:03 pm

Yeh - I was peeved by that effort all round (I didn't rate it at all and went & did some washing up 15 mins before the end).

However - coincidentally, earlier yesterday (oblivious the the program was on that very night) I had been going through an online version http://www.gutenberg.org/etext/345 of the book and matching up descriptions & scenes to my Whitby photos.

I got quite excited when I saw it was on - needn't have bothered.

In one of the graveyard scenes Stoker even gives a vivid description of the piers down below (less the extensions of course). Shame they were missing in shot.

I can understand changes for dramatic purposes, but I think it was a mistake to go with a "faux" Whitby!

Missed opportunity IMHO.

mermaid62
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Dracula in TV/Film

Post by mermaid62 » Fri Dec 29, 2006 9:15 pm

As soon as I saw the scene in the churchyard as they sat on the bench discussing the suicide grave, and looked at the 'cartoon Whitby' as the backdrop, I realised the whole programme was a waste of time!
I had looked forward to it for some time - thinking finally that it might be an authentic take on the Dracula story where Hollywood had missed the opportunities over the years.
There was a TV drama made in 1977 with Louis Jordan and Judy Bowker which made great use of the St Mary's churchyard location. It can be found on You Tube if anyone is interested.
I think one day we'll have to invite Tim Burton to Whitby. He would relish it's naturally ethereal gothic setting. Add his trademark blue cast to the lighting and of course, Johnny Depp as lead and hey..the perfect goulish Tim Burton movie would be born. Whitby would be the film set to die for, for his particular genre of movie.Anybody know his agent???

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JohnWS
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Re: Dracula in TV/Film

Post by JohnWS » Sat Dec 30, 2006 2:56 pm

mermaid62 wrote:Anybody know his agent???
Tim Burton
c/o Mike Simpson, William Morris Agency
One William Morris Plaza
Beverly Hills, CA 90212

Edited to add - From here http://www.timburtoncollective.com/bio.html

mermaid62
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Dracula on TV and Film

Post by mermaid62 » Sat Dec 30, 2006 7:40 pm

Many Thanks John WS re: Mr Burton's Agency details...

I was only half-kidding. But I have to admit, I have often wondered what Tim Burton would do with the Whitby townscape and the surrounding moors were he to make another horror movie a la Sleepy Hollow.

I think we'll have to make Mr Burton aware of the photogenic qualities of Whitby and it would only be a swift limousine ride up the A1, when he is residing in London with Ms Bonham-Carter - who, of course would make a perfect period Victorian boho lady.

Watch this space...lets see what happens!

OK...anyone got a good film script??? Don't tell me John WS - you've already got one drafted and ready :lol:

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JohnWS
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Re: Dracula on TV and Film

Post by JohnWS » Sat Dec 30, 2006 8:26 pm

mermaid62 wrote:Many Thanks John WS re: Mr Burton's Agency details...
I was only half-kidding.
I guessed as much Image
mermaid62 wrote:But I have to admit, I have often wondered what Tim Burton would do with the Whitby townscape and the surrounding moors were he to make another horror movie a la Sleepy Hollow.
I have to agree there. It would seem right up his street.
mermaid62 wrote:Don't tell me John WS - you've already got one drafted and ready :lol:
Well now....ah, you got me there Image. BUT that would really be the way to go, wouldn't it? Something to actually show someone like that (provided it got through all his readers and developers or what have you first).

I wonder - seeing as Dracula is available as a freeby online, does that mean no-one owns the option on it as a movie? I don't know...

susy_q
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Post by susy_q » Fri Sep 28, 2007 6:33 pm

I can never understand why the only Dracula filmed at Whitby ,has been the 1977 BBC production with Louis Jourdan. As somone said its so perfect to film here, its just been ignored. I was very dissappointed in the BBC Christmas production last year, Marc Warren is a versatile actor, but totally wrong in the role of Dracula.The 1977 version was the first I saw,scared me rotten and got me reading the book.!! I would like to ask if the Whitby Gazette featured an article on the filming at the time.? I would love to hear if anyone can remember.
"I have crossed the oceans of time to find you"

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Kizzie Kat
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Post by Kizzie Kat » Sun Mar 02, 2008 8:34 pm

I enjoyed watching the 1977 BBC production of Count Dracula as it showed a lot of Whitby in it. Bram Stoker is a fantastic writer as St. Mary's Church looked just as I had imagined it from reading the book!! x

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petermcgeeney
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Post by petermcgeeney » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:22 pm

I thought I had seen most Dracula films but I haven't seen this 1977 BBC production. Does anyone know if it is available on video or dvd?
What annoys me about Dracula films is they NEVER stick to the story. They either change characters, leave some out or invent new ones. To my knowledge there has never been a faithful rendition of the book. It really annoys me. The worst portrayal of Whitby I think was in the original 1958 Hammer film with Christopher Lee in his first outing in that role. Whitby was represented by a shot of two wee fat men rolling a barrel (presumably of fish) across the screen on which was superimposed the word "Whitby". And that was it! :roll:

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Kizzie Kat
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Post by Kizzie Kat » Sun Jan 04, 2009 4:40 pm

petermcgeeney wrote:I thought I had seen most Dracula films but I haven't seen this 1977 BBC production. Does anyone know if it is available on video or dvd?
What annoys me about Dracula films is they NEVER stick to the story. They either change characters, leave some out or invent new ones. To my knowledge there has never been a faithful rendition of the book. It really annoys me. The worst portrayal of Whitby I think was in the original 1958 Hammer film with Christopher Lee in his first outing in that role. Whitby was represented by a shot of two wee fat men rolling a barrel (presumably of fish) across the screen on which was superimposed the word "Whitby". And that was it! :roll:
Yes, I have it on DVD and haven't had it for long. Try here: http://www.play.com/DVD/DVD/4-/3361599/ ... oduct.html
I know what you mean-the version with Gary Oldman in doesn't even mention Whitby!! x

Whitby John
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Post by Whitby John » Mon Jan 05, 2009 8:51 am

I saw Saving Private Ryan, and it wasn't filmed on the Norman beaches and the story wasn't true, and Tom Hanks wasn't even a real soldier. Films, eh?

:roll:

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petermcgeeney
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dracula

Post by petermcgeeney » Mon Jan 05, 2009 10:42 pm

Thanks Kizzie Kat, I followed your link and have just ordered a copy. I will let you know what I think of it.

stinknugget
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Post by stinknugget » Tue Jan 06, 2009 6:43 am

Whitby John wrote:I saw Saving Private Ryan, and it wasn't filmed on the Norman beaches and the story wasn't true, and Tom Hanks wasn't even a real soldier. Films, eh?

:roll:
Try Elizabeth The Golden Age, that's way off.
In my opinion Movie makers have a duty to bring to the audience the closest representation that is humanly possible with the technology of the day of any given work of fiction or history.
This is one reason why Britain is one of the most retarded countries in the western world. Our knowledge, collectively comes from film directors artistic licence.
Samuel Johnson

"He that wishes to see his country robbed of its rights can not be a patriot".

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petermcgeeney
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Post by petermcgeeney » Sat Jan 24, 2009 7:53 pm

Well I have now watched the 1977 BBC production of Dracula. It was a feast. Very close to the book. Actual scenes of Whitby. All in all a great production. Thoroughly enjoyed it. A great experience. Will certainly watch it again.
:D

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