'The Wrong Flowers film' by Brenda Cook

When I went to St Werburghs, Dave asked me what I’d like to do; I said I’d like to make a film and talk about my life.

When I was young I wanted to get a flower from private property, but my dad said I wasn’t allowed. It was a purple iris flower. I hadn’t seen that colour before, and it stuck in my mind that I wanted it but couldn’t have it.

There was a lady who let us in her garden and she had a purple flower. I told my dad that I liked it, and the lady let me take it home and put it in a vase.

My gran had some lovely flowers in her garden. One of my earliest memories is playing in the garden before I ever went to school. Flowers remind me of her, and remind me of being happy.

My dad called me the sunshine girl. He knew he’d always find me in the garden with the daisies.

My brothers and sisters and their children and grandchildren have seen the film and they all like it. They moved to Australia, but I was at the BRI (Bristol Royal Infirmary) and they wouldn’t let me go with them. I’m glad I stayed in Britain because I have got a lot of friends in Bristol and in art + power. I’ve seen a bit of life.

I’d like to make a film about where I was born and about my family.

We went to Fair Furlong school in Bristol. I sat on a chair under a tree and the children crowded all around me asked me a lot of questions about my childhood and took my autograph. They thought I was a very famous artist. They were lovely; when I was young kids used to make fun of me because I was a bit slow to learn. They wrote some poems of their own. It makes me feel different than I did at school and we learnt a lot about each other, sharing our ideas with each other. I have a photograph of them.

My friend in the film was six months older than me and she went to another school. I lost track of her and have never seen her again.

Nicola from Picture This came to my house to talk about the film. She even made me a sheet to match my bed, and made me a yellow dress for the film. The girl who played me as a child in the film was sweet. She was very good. It was filmed at Ashton Gate school, which is an old school. Our uniform was green, so the grey uniform in the film wasn’t quite the same, and I remember the winter uniform from my school - it was a summer uniform in the film.

They made lots of fake flowers for the scene in the woods at the arboretum at Westonbirt. It was a lovely day, though we had to film it lots of times to get it right. We had a barbecue and a special cake there after the filming. It was a perfect day.

Main characters: Brenda Cook, Lucy Hayman-Hart, Peter Sinclair, Nathalie Gregory, Laura Kriefmann, Grant Elbourn, Leo Dexter, Lou Everhard.

Extras: Aimee Clark, Megan Gardner, Giles Dexter, Sophie Elbourn, Tyler Hooper, Adele Hooper, Felicity Taylor, Edward Taylor, Olivia Merry.

Written, produced and directed by Nicola Williams 2001

Executive producer: Josephine Lanyon.

Art director: Melanie Leeson.

Director of photography: Nicola Williams.

Editor: Andy Moss.

Music composer: Jonny Mussen

1st assistant director: Ray Grewal.

2nd assistant director: Al Coley.

Camera: Will Pugh.

Camera assistant: Sam Morris.

Assistant art director: Anna Marrow.

Sound: Graeme Hogg.

Sound assistant: Will West.

Line producer: Jenny Apps.

Costumes: Claire Brett.

Fantasy costumes: Warren Haigh.

Hair and make-up: Louise Allen.

Grip: Kosta Fiakkas.

Cast and crew driver: Robert Williams.

Production assistants: Dan Jones, James Menteth.

Child matrons: Cindy Everhard, Rebecca Hutchinson.

Based on the poem, ¬ėThe Wrong Flowers¬ķ by Brenda Cook.

Financial support from: British Film Institute, South West Media Development Agency.

A Picture This moving image production.

Thanks to: Nicolas Hatton, Margaret Williams, Koru, Neal Williams, Rachel Moore, Libby Bass, Penny & Chris Devrill, Gemma & Marie Everhard and all who gave their support. Also Art + Power, B&Q Warehouse, Bristol City Council, Bristol Old Vic theatre school, Films@59, HTV West, Stagecoach theatre arts school, Wordsworth Books.

Shot on location at: The National Arboretum Westonbirt, Ashton Gate primary school, Central Studios Bristol.

Note: In the Resources section you can find further information and teaching materials based on The Wrong Flowers, including schemes of work for KS2, and KS3 English. These have been written, developed and tested by teachers, and provide ideas for using film in the classroom, for discussing issues raised in the The Wrong Flowers, and for developing an understanding of film language.Back to the video