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About A Boy

Leila Johnston
November 19, 2011
750

About A Boy

I did this talk at Boring 2012, for the first and probably last time (unless someone decides to run an event about filming locations?)

So... here are the slides for internet posterity.

The collaborative google map is at http://g.co/maps/tetfw

Leila Johnston

November 19, 2011
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Transcript

  1. About A Boy
    The film that taught me what it means to be bored
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s coming up to the 10 year anniversary of About a Boy. I’m sure you all have your own
    private ways of celebrating. This is mine.

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  2. Will invents a son and attends groups for
    single mothers to try to meet women
    Meets a woman who leads him to her
    friend Fiona and son (Marcus)
    Fiona attempts suicide, Marcus tries to
    hook her up with Will to fill the gap
    Will befriends Marcus and meets a better
    single mum
    The End
    The plot
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  3. But really it’s
    all about
    being bored
    in London
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  4. Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  5. 91%
    9%
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  6. 91%
    9%
    Percentage of About a Boy
    that is about boredom
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  7. 91%
    9%
    Percentage of About a Boy
    that is about boredom
    Percentage of About a Boy
    that is about A Boy
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  8. Romcom
    French ennui
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  9. Romcom
    French ennui
    Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  10. Romcom
    French ennui
    Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Bridget Jones’s Diary
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  11. Romcom
    French ennui
    ‘Allo ‘Allo
    Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Bridget Jones’s Diary
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  12. Romcom
    French ennui
    ‘Allo ‘Allo
    Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Gerard Depardieu
    Bridget Jones’s Diary
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  13. Romcom
    French ennui
    ‘Allo ‘Allo
    Four Weddings and a Funeral
    Gerard Depardieu
    About a Boy
    Bridget Jones’s Diary
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The French invented boredom

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  14. Will Freeman, a modern flaneur
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s Will’s embracing of boredom that’s most incomprehensible to his critics. In another
    culture, he would have been accepted.

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  15. Will Freeman, a modern flaneur
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s Will’s embracing of boredom that’s most incomprehensible to his critics. In another
    culture, he would have been accepted.

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  16. Player... Self-indulgent... Idle rich?
    Will Freeman, a modern flaneur
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s Will’s embracing of boredom that’s most incomprehensible to his critics. In another
    culture, he would have been accepted.

    View full-size slide

  17. Player... Self-indulgent... Idle rich?
    Will Freeman, a modern flaneur
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s Will’s embracing of boredom that’s most incomprehensible to his critics. In another
    culture, he would have been accepted.

    View full-size slide

  18. Player... Self-indulgent... Idle rich?
    ...or innocent victim of a society intolerant of
    boredom as a Baudelarian lifestyle choice?
    Will Freeman, a modern flaneur
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    It’s Will’s embracing of boredom that’s most incomprehensible to his critics. In another
    culture, he would have been accepted.

    View full-size slide

  19. “The key is to think of the day as units of time, each
    consisting of no more than 30 minutes. Taking a bath:
    one unit. Watching Countdown: one unit. Having my
    hair carefully dishevelled: two units.”
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The film is all about organised boredom. Will basically lives life as an old lady. To criticise
    him is therefore ageist.

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  20. Filming locations in
    About A Boy
    The best places to shoot Hugh Grant
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    Some of my learnings

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  21. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I started getting interested in and blogging about it

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  22. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    and then I made a google map

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  23. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    and then I started going out and taking photos in the exact places I remembered scenes
    being shot

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  24. Thresholds
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

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  25. Thresholds
    St James W
    alk
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

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  26. Thresholds
    St James W
    alk
    West Hill Primary
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

    View full-size slide

  27. Thresholds
    St James W
    alk
    West Hill Primary
    28, Lady Margaret Road
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

    View full-size slide

  28. Thresholds
    St James W
    alk
    West Hill Primary
    28, Lady Margaret Road
    St Stephen’s Gardens
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

    View full-size slide

  29. Thresholds
    St James W
    alk
    West Hill Primary
    28, Lady Margaret Road
    St Stephen’s Gardens Oseney Crescent
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    I noticed a lot of the key moments for Marcus occur around doors, those liminal spaces. It’s
    all about being on the verge of things. But most interestingly, this preoccupation helps to

    View full-size slide

  30. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    One of the first locations I found was Will’s front door, specially built for maximum threshold
    impact

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  31. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    There they are having one of those “threshold conversations” for which AAB should be known

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  32. What about when you
    can’t find a location?
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  33. tomatogoodness Says:
    November 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm
    The scenes where he’s in Mothercare and stamping
    crisps into the baby seat were filmed in Kew Retail
    Park.
    Reply
    Abby Says:
    November 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm
    Hang on! There’s no Camden HMV!
    I’m annoyed you already knew the Lady Margaret Rd
    one, as I used to live nearby; I remember when they
    filmed it and wanted to smugly inform you of this
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    November 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm
    “Hang on! There’s no Camden HMV!”
    Ah but there *used* to be! I take you on a journey
    through time as well as space, like the Ghost of
    Christmas Past.
    And hey, you were there for the filming. That’s
    amazing and no one can ever take that away from
    you.
    Reply
    Phillip Leonard Says:
    December 20, 2009 at 9:20 pm
    I am fairly sure that the school is my old school,
    Earlsfield Primary School in Wandsworth.
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    December 21, 2009 at 12:51 am
    Bingo. Superb work, thank you. Competition closed:
    we have a winner.
    http://www.earlsfield.wandsworth.sch.uk/
    Reply
    Barry Beatmaster Says:
    January 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    it’s actually West Hill Primary school- the building is
    almost identical to earlsfield primary school, but
    has a fence in front, whereas Earlsfield primary has
    a wall in front. also the extension on tghe left is
    slightly different.
    Reply
    jp Says:
    March 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm
    Just finished watching “About A Boy”, airing on
    BRAVO. Have seen the film a few times and it holds
    up very well every viewing. Thanks to everyone
    who’s written in with their knowledge of locations. I
    love London. I live in Canada but work in London on
    a regular base, it’s always a pleasure to see those
    wonderful locations in what I regard as one of the
    most exciting cities in the world
    Reply
    4. Hamster Cages · Says:
    November 4, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Rachel Weisz should have been always the leading
    lady of the Mummy movies because she really fits
    that role .
    Reply
    Andrea Lithgow Says:
    February 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    Does anyone know the location of the duck pond
    where Marcus kills a duck with a loaf of bread? It
    looks very much like the pond in the park which is
    near my friend’s house in Highbury.
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    February 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    (From memory) I thought that looked like Regent’s
    Park.
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    ...to paraphrase Lucille Ball. Bored people are surprisingly motivated. What do you do when
    you can’t find a location?

    View full-size slide

  34. tomatogoodness Says:
    November 1, 2009 at 12:50 pm
    The scenes where he’s in Mothercare and stamping
    crisps into the baby seat were filmed in Kew Retail
    Park.
    Reply
    Abby Says:
    November 3, 2009 at 12:09 pm
    Hang on! There’s no Camden HMV!
    I’m annoyed you already knew the Lady Margaret Rd
    one, as I used to live nearby; I remember when they
    filmed it and wanted to smugly inform you of this
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    November 3, 2009 at 10:58 pm
    “Hang on! There’s no Camden HMV!”
    Ah but there *used* to be! I take you on a journey
    through time as well as space, like the Ghost of
    Christmas Past.
    And hey, you were there for the filming. That’s
    amazing and no one can ever take that away from
    you.
    Reply
    Phillip Leonard Says:
    December 20, 2009 at 9:20 pm
    I am fairly sure that the school is my old school,
    Earlsfield Primary School in Wandsworth.
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    December 21, 2009 at 12:51 am
    Bingo. Superb work, thank you. Competition closed:
    we have a winner.
    http://www.earlsfield.wandsworth.sch.uk/
    Reply
    Barry Beatmaster Says:
    January 17, 2010 at 4:43 pm
    it’s actually West Hill Primary school- the building is
    almost identical to earlsfield primary school, but
    has a fence in front, whereas Earlsfield primary has
    a wall in front. also the extension on tghe left is
    slightly different.
    Reply
    jp Says:
    March 21, 2010 at 9:10 pm
    Just finished watching “About A Boy”, airing on
    BRAVO. Have seen the film a few times and it holds
    up very well every viewing. Thanks to everyone
    who’s written in with their knowledge of locations. I
    love London. I live in Canada but work in London on
    a regular base, it’s always a pleasure to see those
    wonderful locations in what I regard as one of the
    most exciting cities in the world
    Reply
    4. Hamster Cages · Says:
    November 4, 2010 at 8:04 am
    Rachel Weisz should have been always the leading
    lady of the Mummy movies because she really fits
    that role .
    Reply
    Andrea Lithgow Says:
    February 21, 2011 at 9:15 pm
    Does anyone know the location of the duck pond
    where Marcus kills a duck with a loaf of bread? It
    looks very much like the pond in the park which is
    near my friend’s house in Highbury.
    Reply
    enemyofchaos Says:
    February 22, 2011 at 3:54 pm
    (From memory) I thought that looked like Regent’s
    Park.
    If you want something doing, ask a bored person
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    ...to paraphrase Lucille Ball. Bored people are surprisingly motivated. What do you do when
    you can’t find a location?

    View full-size slide

  35. Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  36. The Statistical Outliers
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  37. The Statistical Outliers
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  38. The Statistical Outliers
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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  39. Saturday, 19 November 2011
    People care about the facts. Just a couple of comments on my blog analysis of locations,
    2009. Can’t believe we didn’t spot that, jeez.

    View full-size slide

  40. “I am fairly sure that is my old school,
    Earlsfield Primary in Wandsworth”
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    People care about the facts. Just a couple of comments on my blog analysis of locations,
    2009. Can’t believe we didn’t spot that, jeez.

    View full-size slide

  41. “I am fairly sure that is my old school,
    Earlsfield Primary in Wandsworth”
    “It’s actually West Hill Primary school, identical to
    Earlsfield but has a fence rather than a wall.
    Also the extension to the left is slightly different”
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    People care about the facts. Just a couple of comments on my blog analysis of locations,
    2009. Can’t believe we didn’t spot that, jeez.

    View full-size slide

  42. “I am fairly sure that is my old school,
    Earlsfield Primary in Wandsworth”
    “It’s actually West Hill Primary school, identical to
    Earlsfield but has a fence rather than a wall.
    Also the extension to the left is slightly different”
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    People care about the facts. Just a couple of comments on my blog analysis of locations,
    2009. Can’t believe we didn’t spot that, jeez.

    View full-size slide

  43. The Golden Rules
    of location spotting
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    Finally, some rules to help your location spotting.

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  44. 1. “Anything becomes interesting if you look at it long enough”
    – Flaubert
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    To be honest it helps to be slightly autistic.

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  45. 2. It’s not quality, it’s quantity
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    The whole point of location spotting is to find as many as you can. Here’s the soup kitchen
    church, in real life, a former home of LRUG.

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  46. 3. Use the boredom of crowds
    Saturday, 19 November 2011
    Bored people are incredibly motivated. They will help you find those seemingly impossble
    locations

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  47. Leila Johnston
    Finalbullet.com
    @finalbullet
    Saturday, 19 November 2011

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