Behind the scenes of the film Lancaster

The producers and directors of next year’s Lancaster talk about the creative process behind their ambitious, powerful new feature documentary work

Lunch at a pub on the outskirts of Sheffield, overlooking the verdant Loxley Valley A weekday afternoon pretty much like any other, it seems. But, gradually, an unmistakeable sound swells from the west, its effect possibly heightened by the topography. It can only be the RAF Battle of Britain Memorial Flight’s Avro Lancaster, PA474. Sure enough, the bomber comes into view, passing overhead and then gradually turning away, heading back to its Coningsby base. It’s September 2020, during a season ravaged by the effects of COVID-19, so a return from a public appearance seems unlikely. But then an AS350B3 Ecureuil helicopter appears, following the same course. Put two and two together, and it becomes clear: this must have been a filming sortie, and they’ve come from the direction of the Derwent Reservoir, No 617 Squadron’s pre-Ruhr dams raid training ground.

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