DK / NS: Trevor Eve and series creator/producer Robert Banks Stewart by all
accounts worked very hard indeed on making the series the success it was.

MF: Trevor was totally dedicated. A real pro, with a complete understanding of
who Eddie was. Bob Banks Stewart and he worked closely in defining the
series from an early stage. Bob is a huge enthusiast. I went on to do the first
BERGERAC with him.

DK / NS: How do you feel the show stands up?

MF: I haven't seen it since, but I imagine it would stand up fairly well. The film
picture quality (technically) would look inferior now.

DK / NS: What are you thoughts on the series as a whole now?

MF: I enjoyed directing SHOESTRING. It was a lot of fun. Also we felt it was a
good show while we were making it.


Director of "STAMP DUTY"
In this memorable scene Eddie,
pumped full of whiskey, is
dumped on the motorway
"STAMP DUTY" on location...
Andy (DAVID ASHTON), who has
witnessed a murder, pursued by
ganglord Strickland's thugs
...and in the studio
The experienced television director Martyn Friend, director of the marvellous
Series 1 episode "STAMP DUTY" (written by John Kruse), discusses his work
Dene & Nick: How long did work on "STAMP DUTY" take?

Martyn Friend: I probably worked for three months on SHOESTRING. That's
about the production period in those days for a 50 min episode. Five weeks
prep, two weeks shoot, six weeks post production.

DK / NS: Did you have any say on the script, casting, editing etc. (and did the
script need any work, or was it pretty much perfect straight off)?

MF: The script was in good shape but like all directors I added my thoughts which
were incorporated. Editing is done by the director and editor together, as film is
shot to be edited in a certain way.
DK / NS: Was there a house style that you were asked to adhere to with the
programme, or were you given carte blanche to interpret the scripts, characters
etc. as you saw fit?

MF: We all aimed to give the stories pace. The regular characters (particularly
Eddie) were established by the time I did "STAMP DUTY" so I built on that, plus of
course adding the characters for my particular story.

DK / NS: Was Shoestring filmed entirely on location?

MF: I think we were on location for everything except perhaps the radio station.
This may have been a set. The idea was to use Bristol - a very visual city - as a
strong background.
(Martyn Friend's many other credits include Summer's Lease, Rumpole, Anna
of the Five Towns
, Campion, Wycliffe, Where The Heart Is and the first
Inspector Rebus episode, 'Black and Blue')

Our appreciation to Mr Friend for taking the time to give us this insight into the
directing of SHOESTRING.

Dene Kernohan & Nick Stewart (7 December 2001)