BRAVE NAKED PRINCIPAL PHOTOGRAPHY was shot on location in the central London district of Fitzrovia in two days in February, 2015. The team gathered again eight months later for an extra day and shoot what the notoriously unpredictable British weather hadn't allowed to get at the first go.
EALING STUDIOS WHERE ORIGINALLY considered as location for the exterior shots. Its buildings, on top of being of great historical value not only for British cinema, offered fascinating views and interesting backgrounds that would have fit perfectly the mood and colours of the film. However, the option was soon discarded as the site was secured for the same dates by the popular TV series production Downtown Abbey, which obviously had priority. Despite the initial frustration this turned out being a very lucky coincidence as it led Brave Naked to no less interesting sites in Fitzrovia.
All the exterior shots and the final scene on the landing were shot in gorgeous St Margaret House, then head office of Framestore, a listed 1930 ca. building whose rear façade clad with white faience bricks substantially contributes to the visuals of the film. Whereas the bedroom, bathroom and breakfast interior scenes were photographed in various rooms inside Passion Pictures main building, an industrial conversion only a few blocks away.
Both locations were also pretty familiar to the director, who had previously worked at Framestore on such feature productions as Spike Jonze's Where The Wild Things Are, Alfonso Cuarón's Gravity, James Cameron's Avatar and the animated film The Tale of Despereaux, and is currently a regular collaborator at Passion Pictures.
DUE TO THE PARTICULARLY DIVERSE weather conditions of the footage and in order to make it seamlessly cut together, the rain was removed in post-production from a few shots, and the colours adjusted to keep the lighting consistent all the way through each exterior sequence. Hard and successful work of compositor Valeria Romano and colourist Daniele Bigi.
ONLY A FEW DAYS PRIOR TO THE RESHOOT actor Alex Freeborn had to pull out because of an unexpected conflicting commitment. In order to not reschedule the entire shoot and taking advantage of his similar body shape, colourist Daniele Bigi kindly accepted to be Alex's double for the day. So in the section immediately after the breakfast sequence, when Vince is seen from afar coming down the stairs, up to the point where he leaves the box on the ground, it is actually Daniele, not Alex.
THE LOVELY BOOK Smith is reading is an old collection of works of Shakespeare and it's own property of actor Jon McKenna. The line he is mumbling are the first two verses of the wonderful Sonnet 138: "When my love swears that she is made of truth / I do believe her, though I know she lies,"
As a minor, hardly significant detail, the Old Man was originally meant to read a passage from Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, which had lamely inspired the general tone of the characters and the story as it was conceived. However, both Jon and Aldo agreed that the attachment the former had to the Shakespeare book made it a much better and more realistic choice. Besides the tender tone of the sonnet contrasted quite effectively with the surly look of the character, anticipating his more gentle side as revealed in the final part of the film.
THE ANGLE, FRAMING and character pose of the opening shot is inspired by the masterful 1480 ca. painting Lamentation over the Dead Christ by the Italian Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna.
THE OPENING QUOTE, 'Let death find you alive' is the literal translation of a Latin aphorism, revived and made popular in the Seventies by the Italian prolific writer, humorist, playwright, screenwriter and director Marcello Marchesi in the slightly different form, 'L'importante è che la morte ci trovi vivi' ('The important thing is that death finds us alive'), eventually published in 1971 in the anthology Il malloppo.