Across The Lake


Re: Across The Lake

Post by mark-f »

As this film has been available through many unofficial Videos, DVD's & downloads for MANY YEARS it is easily arguable that it is now "in the public domain" & is therefore unlikely to have the original copyright upheld. Add to this the apparent confusion about who actually owns the rights & it just strengthens this position.

The problem however lies in the fact that this has not been tested in court, therefore anyone offering pirate copies is potentially liable to prosecution.

The sad fact is that there are many people who would love to see Across the lake & any associated extras, as well as other rare DC footage, but those people who have copies of their own would rather sit on them than share them freely with other enthusiasts.
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by quicksilver-wsr »

Sadly for folks who remember Speed King - the excellent BBC drama about Sir Malcolm Campbell, made by the same team that in later years produced Across The Lake - the actor Robert Hardy has passed on.

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Re: Across The Lake

Post by Black Knight »

Rosemary Leach who played Connie Robinson has passed 😢
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by CC Hogan »

I have registered so I can add some tit-bits to this old thread. Bear in mind this is a long time ago and my memory may be lacking! I had no direct involvement with the filming (though I did go up to the set), but I worked for the independents involved.

The film was a BBC co-production made for a budget of around 3.5 million.

The co-production was put together with John Dalton - he was a racing driver from the 50s and 60s (Healeys, mostly, and powerboats) and had also financed Downhill Racer - a doc about skiing. His family owned Silkolene Oil in the past.

A lot of the money came from an Aussie called Danny xx (I have forgotten his surname, sorry) who had been into iron mining. He had also fronted money for Crocodile Dundee as a birthday pressie for his wife. He was an interesting character!

Anthony Hopkins really got into the character and spent a lot of the 6 weeks on Conniston wearing the famous overalls that Campbell wore. Many people visited the set who had been involved in the actual event. The Express Journalist who had covered the story came up. When he arrived, he saw Hopkins leaning against the Bluebird mockup, reading a script. He looked so like Donald that the journalist burst into tears.

At the Bafta screening of the film, members of the family were quietly escorted from the theatre before the shots of the accident. This colour footage had not been screened before. It was decided not to recreate the accident, but to just use this footage. (I may have got this a bit mixed up - but this was the gist of it)

When the replica K7 was being built, someone did offer us an Orpheus engine. Except our boat was smaller and not steel - the engine would have shot out the front, taking Hopkins with it!

If I remember right, the boat was powered by a Yamaha 250 outboard, but also had a hot-air balloon blaster to recreate the beginnings of the jet-spray that fountained out of the back of the proper boat. They only needed to shoot the first few feet, so that was enough. Cinema is really good at cheating!

The six weeks was very wet, except for the one day they actually needed rain! So the local fire brigade supplied the downpour.

Tony Maylam followed this gig by shooting a corporate for Coca-Cola, for which he was paid much more!

Everyone on the set was very close. In some ways, it mimicked the closeness of the people at the real event. This included copious bacon and eggs every morning.

I have a vague memory of Maylam needing a dawn shot and rushing out every morning hoping the weather was right. I am not sure he ever got it.

The crew while filming worked out where Donald's body might be. However, with respect to his family, they kept quiet. Everyone involved knew Donald's feelings about the Donald staying with the boat. When later his body was found, a lot of people were very upset. His feelings should have been respected. I really felt for his daughter. The people involved with finding his body probably had nothing malicious in mind, but they should have left it alone.

At the screening at the Bafta theatre (I was there), you could feel the audience hold their breath when the boat crashed, even though everyone knew what was going to happen. Maylam really did direct a very good film. Low-budget it might have been, but it felt real, and it was one of the best performances Hopkins every pulled off - cleverly realistic. I know he has warm memories of this film and it was important as he rebuilt his career.

I want to end with a note about John Dalton, someone who is mostly forgotten in the history of racing. He died a long time back now, but I remember staying at his villa in Majorca. He picked me up at the airport and drove me there by the twisty cliff-coast road in an old modified BMW 5 series. I don't think he dropped below 70 once! I had a taste of an old-time racing driver. The kind of person who does it because he can, not because he should. The likes of him, Graham Hill (he lived down my road when I was a kid and I used to race Damon on our little bikes), Campbell, Sterling Moss and others have long gone. It is a different world now - not worse, just different.

For those who have seen the film, I hope you enjoyed it. It is not the best film ever, but it is honest, and the feelings of the people who knew DC were taken into account. That is rare.
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by mtskull »

I think you will find that Sir Stirling Moss is very much still with us......
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by chorlton19 »

I found this article in Motorsport magazine on the making of Across the Lake. ... /hand-fate
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by f1steveuk »

I was present at the filming and the screening. I was involved, through Ken Norris in the construction of the mock up, as the production company had sent Jack Lovell a hotch potch of very poor photocopies depicting K7 in various forms, and poor old Jack didn't know what he was supposed to be building, and he was building it to the wrong dimensions, which he had also bee furnished with. So old told, not a bad job considering!

I know Tony (Hopkins) did such a good job that several times, Jean (Donald's sister) actually called him Don.

The production company also refused use of the original Jetstar, twice. First they refused to pay to transport it, then they refused to insure it if they did. It was about then Ken Norris started to loose interest.

I recall Alain only drove the "front end" mock up, not the full size one, which did little more than poottle about as the prop was amidships, not at the stern.

I seemed to spend most of my time with Dexter Fletcher, who was portraying a character we weren't certain who it was supposed to be, being told David Watt or Clive Glynn, whichever, it wasn't accurate to either, and a bit disrespectful.

At th time I was splitting my time between being a motor museum curator (which included looking after the Leo Villa collection and Blue Bird K3) and writing and researching TV documentaries, so I had a handle on what was going on, and I, and a few others (like David Benson, the Express reporter alluded to, who was a close friend of Donald's felt uneasy about some of the "plot", even considering the storyline has to be adapted to fit it in the allotted time. I still watch it from time to time though
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by Black Knight »

Personally i love the film, with all it's inaccuracies, it's still a good watch with a great soundtrack.
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by longarmedgibbon »

I still carnt figure out what tony hopkins is saying on the first record run, speaking of which i wonder if he knows all about the BBP ?
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Re: Across The Lake

Post by ThornyBush »

Does anyone know of a decent, watchable copy of the film - available you tube versions are quite poor resolution - a link or pointer where to buy a decent copy would be appreciated
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