Debbie Isitt – The making of Nativity 2

Nativity 2: The Second Coming is the sequel to Nativity which was released in 2009 and filmed in Coventry. The Director, Debbie Isitt, who lives in Coventry, came to the University to talk about the filming of the sequel.

Nativity 2 follows in the footsteps of the first film in that some of it has been filmed in Coventry and it also features some well known names. Martin Freeman doesn’t seem to be making a come-back in the sequel but instead, David Tennant is filling in the role as a new teacher. At the start of the talk, Debbie was asked as to how it was working with David Tennant to which she replied: “He was wonderful,” and said that the reason he couldn’t also make it to the Coventry Conversation is because: “He’s so popular” and that everywhere he goes he has a group of fans. The question was then furthered and Debbie was asked whether he was good to direct and she answered by talking about all the actors she worked with saying: “They had to take a huge leap of faith,” and she always admires the actors she works with. This was in reference to the fact that Debbie has a unique way of directing and that she doesn’t reveal too much of the narrative but tells the actors what they need to do as they go along.

Written by Alex Maidment – First year student

She said that David Tennant was: “There every day apart from one.” And it was mentioned that it is quite rare for well-known actors to be there from the very beginning to the very end of filming. She moved on to discuss how they had just finished filming and that they now have to go through the editing stage meaning the film should be released in November 2012. Nativity 2 moves away from Coventry during an exciting adventure in which the characters end up in Wales and Debbie talked about how the crew expected the filming in Wales to be difficult but was actually very easy as they managed to capture the exact effect in which they wanted for the film. She said that there was lots of travelling for the film and that: “It was a real adventure.”

Whilst moving on to the audience she is aiming the film at, she said that she likes to try to hit big audiences. With this, she has to be careful what goes in as Nativity 2 is a family film and it needs to be understandable and appropriate for all ages. The discussion moved on again, this time it was Debbie talking about working with children. She explained that some directors say it is difficult working with children, especially when a film or show is scripted but said that: “It was a revelation,” and that: “Working with children is inspiring.”

Debbie explained how she actually comes up with an idea and she said that when she has idea and begins the production process she keeps the narrative to herself and just explains little bits at a time to the actors. She said that the way she works requires: “A team of people who like to work on the edge of their seats,” and that it is an “exciting” but “dangerous” way of working. She then went on to say that her style of filming is: “Not for everyone!”

She summed up the Coventry Conversation by answering a few more questions, one of which being about why she picked Coventry to film in, to which she replied: “I live in Coventry,” and “It’s an absolute pleasure to film here.” To end the talk she gave some advice saying: “Follow your passion.”


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