Anansi Boys

“There aren’t that many black people in Scotland”…. is what I was initially told when I took up the role of 2nd Assistant Director (Crowd) for the Amazon Studios original TV production of Neil Gaiman’s Anansi Boys, which was being filmed in Edinburgh.

The studio was concerned that the limited number of ethnically diverse SAs (that’s movie speak for Extras as they are normally called) within the casting agencies in Scotland, would not be enough for their demand. So, they hired BE United to find and recruit around 200 African and Afro- Caribbean SAs.  

The turnout? Staggering!

There aren’t that many black people in Scotland

By the time we wrapped up, over 1033 people had signed up, and we cast more than 500 of them. This generated over £180,000 of revenue back into the community.

I achieved this by going into and genuinely engaging with the community. I didn’t just sit behind a desk and hire people. My team and I got out there and became part of the community. With authenticity and honesty. I’m talking about going to weddings, kicking a ball around with the local Sunday football crew, getting invited to christenings, dining at black owned restaurants and attended cultural events. The big plus was that I had a blast meeting so many amazing people! 

Neil Gaiman, the author of the novel being adapted for this series, tweeted his thoughts about the following clip where Be United was interviewed by Screen Scotland about our work on the production.

“I’m so proud of everything that Anansi Boys and Good Omens have brought to Scotland and its culture and economy, but when I see something like this interview I am just joyful.”

Neil Gaiman on Twitter

Check out the interview here! – https://lnkd.in/ejyJmpu2

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