Movie blockbuster to score with Gills fans plot

Tuesday, December 23, 2008
12:31 PM

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Gillingham FC could earn a place on the world movie map when a comedy based on its supporters hits cinema screens next year.England legends John Barnes and Peter Beardsley have cameo roles in The Shouting Men, as does the chairman of Kent's only Football League club Paul Scally.The film was originally intended to be an ITV1 sitcom series but director Matt Daniel-Baker, of Away Days Productions, decided to aim higher when he received glowing reviews of the pilot episode's script.He told KOS Media: 'We received such positive feedback that I left ITV, and then we raised the production money and did it ourselves. It hasn't been easy - in fact it's been a nightmare - but we've managed to do it and actually finished filming on Tuesday.'Once it's all put together we'll get a distributor on board, put it in the cinemas and then try to sell it around the world. We're very confident it will do well.'The Shouting Men tells the tale of a set of fans who travel north to watch the Gills play Premiership giants Newcastle United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.However, their trip goes pear-shaped when they abandon a wheelchair-bound accomplice due to his football hooligan ways. The elderly supporter tells his side of the story to the news, which sparks a national witch-hunt for his former travel companions.Mr Daniel-Baker said: 'We wanted the right sort of club to be featured, one that has seen little success over the years but still has loyal supporters who maintain a glimmer of hope.'But perhaps more importantly for us was that because of where Gillingham is, its supporters always have to travel fair distances to watch their team play.'The staff at the club were amazing and they let us use Priestfield (Stadium) as our production base for four weeks. We shot most of the match scenes there, and we also filmed around the University of Greenwich (at Chatham) and at (Gravesend hotel) the Inn on the Lake.'The name for the film comes from the Latin words 'domus clamantium' - meaning 'home of the shouting men' - that once adorned the Gillingham club badge.Mr Daniel-Baker said: 'The sitcom series was originally going to be called Away Days, but there's a film about football hooliganism that has that name so we had to change it.'Fortunately Gillingham is known as the home of the shouting men, and that fit perfectly.'Craig Fairbrass, who played Dan Sullivan in EastEnders, and former Lovejoy star Dudley Sutton also star in the film, which is due to be released late next year.

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