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Massachusetts, USA - 2022

Not far inland from the storied harbour of Nantucket lies a wonderfully named bar - The Brotherhood of Thieves. Our desk research had led us to believe it could be a perfect location as the walls and ceiling looked timeless and there appeared to be good window light.

When I arrived in town, I went straight to the bar which was being refurbished ahead of the start of the summer season. It was better than I had dared to hope and I told the team that so long as we got permission from the owner to shoot there, our quest for strong indoor locations on the island was over. We had our spot.

The owners could not have been more accommodating and we had four days to put together a strong line up. The storyline was always going to have a maritime leaning and my instincts were to go back to the island’s leading position in the whaling industry in the 19th century. Nantucket was, of course, the starting point for the doomed whaler - Essex - and integral to Herman Melville’s classic novel - Moby Dick

I imagined that The Brotherhood of Thieves would have a drinking den for returning whalers, salty sea dogs and gamblers and this assembly may have attracted the more opportunistic girls on the island. A picture of the bar’s clientele evolved daily in my mind as I wandered around this old town thinking of ideas. I knew we could have no bland characters, everyone had to earn their right to be a thief, a gambler or indeed a lady of the night.

We then had a stroke of luck. One of the team was passing by a store in town and saw an old Jules Verne type diver’s outfit. Knowing my love for the bizarre, he immediately alerted me but also told me that the owner had no interest in selling or loaning this magnificent historical artefact. It was extremely heavy and apparently had not been touched since 1972.

It was time for a charm offensive with the owner and ultimately, I wore the poor fellow down. We had our golden prop. The real hero, however, was my team leader in America - Thomas Rosenthal - who somehow managed to get into the diver’s outfit. The fact that you see one of his eyes through the glass door adds further to a picture that will soon grace The Brotherhood of Thieves.

I can’t imagine anyone not wanting to be in this bar. What could possibly go wrong?

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