Finding Neverland Set
(note: recently, when Ivy met Johnny, he told her he remembered the zone and he remembered his meeting with Irene!)
‘Adventures in Neverland’ – The Night I Met Johnny Depp
I had the privilege of meeting Johnny Depp during the filming of ‘Neverland’ in summer 2002. They were filming night shoots at the Richmond Theatre, Richmond-upon-Thames, Surrey, England on three consecutive nights: Sunday 18th to Tuesday 20 August ’02. On the first evening that I visited the filming location I had to leave before Johnny was due to show up on set. On my second visit, however, I had the incredible good fortune of being able to watch him at work for over 6 hours – an evening that culminated in meeting him at 3:15 in the morning! I don’t have any photographs of that extraordinary night, but I do have vivid and wonderful memories together with Johnny’s inscription for me in my little ‘Dead Man’ book.
The simplest way to tell my adventure is to Start at the Beginning and keep going until I reach The End and then Stop. My story’s a long one, but I hope you enjoy it.
CHAPTER ONE – Sunday 18th August 2002
I went over to Richmond-upon-Thames in Surrey yesterday, Sunday 18 August, to see if I could watch the ‘Neverland’ location filming that Reemi reported from the ‘Dark Horizons’ site. And I arrived about 6 hours too early, because they were doing NIGHT shoots!
2:00pm: Finding the location was easy enough – the big film lorries parked outside the Richmond Theatre were a bit of a giveaway, together with the notices from ‘Neverland Films’ apologising for the road closure. At first I thought I’d actually missed everything because nothing seemed to be happening, but after about an hour people began bringing props out of the theatre and decorating the roadway with them. So, having spent ages getting there, I decided to stay and wait for the action. Luckily I’d bought a good book with me, so I found a shady spot on Richmond Green and watched the set decorators in action between the chapters of my novel.
8:00pm: CUT to many hours later, and the little road outside the theatre has been transformed with glowing Victorian lamp-posts, greenery covering the few modern-day signs, earth-covered roads, a splendid mixture of horse-drawn gigs and flys and early motorcars, and a couple of ENORMOUS floating air balloons suspended 60 foot up, shining light down upon the scene. I was very surprised that there weren’t any big arc lights, or any of the other cumbersome equipment that you normally associate with film sets. The huge air balloons were lit up (with halogen gas? I don’t know), and the one suspended directly above the theatre steps looked like the full moon magnified x 10. Although these suspended lights were brilliant white, they cast a warm night-time glow upon everything.