Don’t Panic Mr Mainwaring! We’re finally ready to share our annual Christmas Video!

This year, we take part in a memorable episode of Dad’s Army – A Brexit Special…


A Note From Nick Forsyth:

After the lovely feedback that you provided us with last year, I knew we had a challenge on our hands for this year’s message. As usual, from late October we’ve been asked “what are you doing this year?” and the answer was a polite “not sure so you’ll have to wait and see”, when actually the head was saying “no idea, must come up with something!”

It’s a challenge and even yesterday I was shown a client email that said “When is the film coming? Christmas doesn’t start for us until we’ve seen the film!” That’s probably a first for a firm of Chartered Accountants and “Christmas Starters” remains an unpublished service of the Firm.

Dad’s Army is one of the classic TV shows and I doubt that it will have passed many of you by. As we are getting older, we seemed to be fitting in better with the characters and with this being Chris’s last opportunity to join in, it was that now or never moment.

 LP team 2 LP team

Having decided on the topic it seemed that we had a reverse situation on our hands if we picked Brexit as our subject matter. In the series the Nazis had pinned us back following Dunkirk as depicted in the show’s opening titles, whereas the Referendum had as the Scots might say “sent them (the Europeans) home to think again!” But how could we depict the opening titles? I liked the idea of filming it from a drone but never thought it could or would happen.

However, when I spoke to Richard Hart at Blue Cube Studios Limited and asked if he knew a drone pilot he said yes I do. It turned out to be him and he was keen to include such footage. When we spoke again and he asked if we had set a date, I said we were still waiting on news from the Church Hall to which he asked – “oh so the drone has been dropped?.” No I said, that’s still on we will just film it first.

LP filiming

Creating the triangles was a challenge. We needed something robust enough to film from above whilst being able to take the paint so we found that our recycling bags worked well and with Chris working out the holding pieces – gaffa tape on garden canes – I spent a couple of nights with the poster paint in the kitchen.

UK flag triangle

On the day, I was worried that it wasn’t going to come out too well. The English Channel was two pieces of string and looked too narrow and we were standing so close together to start I was sure we wouldn’t get the required effect from above. Plus the triangles looked so small. But when you see the finished article, Richard has laid over the top the English Channel and got the coastline in well – it works for me.

Reworking the song wasn’t too difficult and Richard did a great job mirroring the way in which the titles worked. I put in the episode title from both perspectives, “The Good Old Days” from the LEAVE perspective or “How Did We Get Back Here” from the REMAIN point of view.

The hall worked well and with a willing cast keen to deliver a topical message in it. When it came to the songs I had to look at YouTube footage to get the actions and wrote them out in stickmen for circulation.  We also had Andrew Sparkes – another keen drone pilot – to direct the action and give Richard advice on camera angles that kept the production moving.

Hopefully we’ve included most of the well known Dads Army catchphrases and some were used by the public as we walked back to the office at filming’s conclusion. There are some issues over the number of Countries. Has Frazer got it wrong – or is he as a canny Scot suggesting Nicola will be sitting at the negotiating table?

 dad's army lambert chapman

Our last act was to do the You Have Been Watching section and this was done in the street outside much to the amusement of bus drivers etc. passing by. Paul put in a stellar performance of Frazer in this section that nearly lived up to Nigel’s performance as Wilson.

We must thank Richard Hart for his efforts in putting the film together so quickly and professionally for us and Andrew for his drone piloting and direction. I think we may use the drone again for next year to keep them firmly on board. That’s a challenge for another day but for now “Don’t panic, don’t panic, don’t panic Mr Mainwaring!”    

We wish you all a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

If our efforts raise a smile please share with family, friends and colleagues.

Lambert Chapman Chartered Accountants

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