Do you remember the transformation of our town for the British crime drama Broadchurch? It was so exciting! Well I thought so!
Lavington Close became the home of the Latimers, St Andrews Church and cemetery became the Broadchurch Parish Church of St. Bede, Hill Road became the Broadchurch High Street in the first series, with Seeleys newsagents transformed into the offices of the Broadchurch Echo. Lloyds Bank became the exterior of the Traders Hotel while Alexandra News in Alexandra Road was used for the interior of Jack Marshall’s newsagents.
Clevedon School became South Wessex Secondary School and I spent the morning filming with one of my favourite actresses Olivia Coleman. It was so exciting, I imagine as exciting for me as it was for lots of the students in March 2014, when under strict secrecy and security One Direction helicoptered into Clevedon to ﬁlm the video of ‘You and I’.
Yes, it was just a crowd scene but it didn’t matter because watching her perform, as we did the twenty third take of one tiny snippet of a scene was just a pleasure! Olivia was so patient, kind and enthusiastic throughout. The scene was cut sadly but all was not lost, although I didn’t make it, a gigantic piece of recycled art which I did with a group of lovely students was clearly seen when David and Olivia visited the Discovery Centre which was posing as a computer room! I was happy with that! I didn’t realise until recently that there is a Broadchurch Town Trail around Clevedon, check it out here:
Today sees the start of another very exciting film project when the TV production company Red Planet Pictures commissioned by ITV and Masterpiece, start filming a new sumptuous, eight part ITV period drama series ‘Sanditon’. Sanditon was the final book from Jane Austen, left incomplete, part way through chapter twelve, on March 18th 1817, only months before her death. We know the date as it is written at the end of her manuscript. The novel was completed in 1975 by “Another Lady” who, although a previously published author herself, chose to follow Jane’s own example of anonymity.
The scripts for the show have been written by EMMY and BAFTA-winning screenwriter Andrew Davies whose work includes War and Peace, Pride and Prejudice and more recently BBC1’s Les Misérables. In the Guardian Davies describes his adaptation as the story of “a spirited young heroine, a couple of entrepreneurial brothers, some dodgy financial dealings, a West Indian heiress and quite a bit of nude bathing”.
The story is set in the 1820s and Clevedon is playing the part of an emergent English seaside resort known as Sanditon. The ‘spirited young heroine’ is Charlotte Heywood, eldest daughter of a family of fourteen.
When Charlotte is invited to visit Sanditon and stay with Mr and Mrs Parker, she readily accepts, keen to visit the once quiet town being promoted by Mr. Parker as the newly fashionable resort for sea-bathing.
“…………….she is introduced to a full range of polite society, from the local reigning dowager Lady Denham and her impoverished ward Clara, to the handsome, feckless Sidney Parker and his amusing, if hypochondriacal, sisters. A heroine whose clearsighted common sense is often at war with romance, Charlotte cannot help observing around her both folly and passion in many guises. But can the level headed Charlotte herself resist the attractions of the heart?”* Jane Austen Centre
I don’t want to spoil anyone’s viewing of what promises to be a fabulous adaptation so I think that’s enough said about the plot!
The impressive cast list features Rose Williams of Curfew and Changeland fame as Charlotte Heywood.
“I am absolutely thrilled to be playing Charlotte Heywood. This role is such a blessing. She’s a brilliant character – modern, headstrong, with heart and a voice.
Theo James from The Divergent Series and Downton Abbey takes the role of self-made man and Charlotte’s love interest Sidney Parker.
And who better to play the imperious Lady Denham, no other than Anne Reid star of Last Tango in Halifax and Hold the Sunset.
All the parking bays on The Beach road will be suspended for the day and horses and carriages will be in action during the scene. Access to properties and driveways on The Beach road will be available as will pedestrian access but marshalls will be on hand to let the public know exactly when the scene is being filmed. They will also advise where it is safe to stand should you want to go and watch the filming which I am sure many will want to do.
During the day of filming the crew’s base unit vehicles will be on the Salthouse Fields Technical vehicles will be adjacent to the filming to service the crew , in the morning next to the Marine Lake and in the afternoon adjacent to The Beach road.
The south – west is a popular setting for T.V. and film makers, it is a lovely way to showcase the fabulous area that we live in; it supports the visitor economy, it gives you an insight into the world of television and film production and if you’re very lucky you may even get to make a cameo appearance!
All the best to Red Planet Limited for a successful film shoot.