Geoff Thompson's Bouncer

Geoff Thompson and his wife Sharon celebrate his Bafta win
by Ben Glass
January 2, 2010

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THE Coventry roots of award-winning writer Geoff Thompson shape his books and movies.

The former nightclub doorman first saw success with his short film Bouncer – starring Ray Winstone and Paddy Consadine.

It was shot over three days and nights at Scholars nightclub in Far Gosford Street in 2002.

The 49-year-old said: “I’d known the owners Gus and Tracy McGraph for years because I worked for them at one stage as a bouncer.

“Filming in Coventry was very strange because it was my first film and I’d always told my kids you can do anything, be anyone and go anywhere.

“And there I was at a nightclub with Ray Winstone and Paddy Consadine shooting a film. It was very weird and wonderful.”

Scholars nightclub in Coventry where Bouncer was filmed

Later that year the film – made with a £10,000 grant from Screen West Midlands and The Film Council - won a Bafta nomination. Winstone had loved the script so much he worked for free.

To date that is the only of Thompson’s films to be shot in Coventry.

Both the Bafta award-winning short film Brown Paper Bag (2003) and his first feature film Clubbed (2009) – based on his autobiography Watch My Back - were shot in Birmingham.

Geoff thompson with Renee Zellweger at The Bafta awards


But Coventry’s influence runs through much of his work.

He said: “There’s a poetry in Coventry. It’s a very poetic city. The people are poetic, even when it’s accidental.

“My writing is drawn from this city - from the people I’ve met working on the doors, delivering pizzas, brick laying, working in factories …
“This city has the most colourful 3D characters.”

Thompson said location scouts struggled to find suitable spots in Coventry for shooting.

But he hopes that will change.

He is working on a factory-set TV series with IT Crowd producer Ash Atalla and Last Will And Testament - a film based on his book Red Mist.

Thomson said: “I think there will be more filming in Coventry.

“Filmmakers now want their work to be as authentic as possible, they want to look at where the script was born.”

Trailer for Clubbed which was based on Thompson's experiences in Coventry

To find out more about Thomson, who has written 34 books, two stage plays and is also a martial arts instructor, visit his website here.

There you will also be able to watch Bouncer and Brown Paper Bag – both of which are exceptional!

View more films and TV series shot in Coventry

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