I was reminded earlier this week of that startlingly wise old saying that “art is never finished, only ever abandoned.”
Our resident resourceful solver-of-practical-problems Jan Grimshaw (an essential crew member on The Last Bookshop, responsible not only for conjuring up a school badge using only a dust cloth and Wonderweb; but also for extensively illustrating the Boy’s story-scrapbook) had recently taken a trip to Morecambe. While there she stumbled inside The Old Pier Bookshop, and later told me that upon entering she felt like she’d stepped straight into our film.
Her descriptions of doorways framed with bookshelves; ceiling-high shelves; scattered boxes, and – naturally – a stuffed goose, sent me hurrying to the Internet to seek out images. And when I found these cracking pictures, I couldn’t help agreeing that The Old Pier Bookshop was clearly yet another brilliant bookshop which could have made yet another perfect filming location.
But, of course, filming on The Last Bookshop has wrapped. And we have been lucky enough to film in some of South-East England’s most remarkable independent bookshops. Also, let’s not forget that the film shoot was practically complicated and lengthy enough as it was, without factoring in the notion of having relocated cast and crew to Morecambe or elsewhere!
It is always difficult to draw a line under a creative project and say “it is done.” The mind keeps redrafting, tempting you to add a bit there, or cut a bit here. I sympathise with the author who picks his novel off the shelf and finds sentences (or worse, characters) in want of extra crafting.
Don’t confuse this with dissatisfaction on my part, by the way. Far from it, I am very happy with how The Last Bookshop has come together, and I can’t wait to share it with a wider audience.
So, to be honest, I hope that I do indeed happen upon a good many additional bookshops in the near future. Bookshops which feel like magical, unexplored avenues of our very own Last Bookshop. Bookshops which fire my imagination with ideas of what aspects they could, in alternative universes, have lent to our film.
Because of course, that’s why we made this film in the first place: to embrace and support all those fabulous bookshops that are in danger of disappearing. And I hope that, in promoting our film, I will find out about a great many more of these brilliant shops across the UK. And hopefully get to pick up a few purchases along the way.