Police called as locals are spooked by movie scouts

Lily James and Danny Boyle during filming of Yesterday in Halesworth Picture: Nick Butcher

Lily James and Danny Boyle during filming of Yesterday in Halesworth Picture: Nick Butcher - Credit: Nick Butcher

Police were called as residents refused to believe that a film production company scouting for a location in their area was genuine.

Door-knockers from The Norfolk Film Company were in Gorleston and Great Yarmouth, asking residents if their homes could be used for an upcoming feature by award-winning Portuguese director Marco Martins.

But they met an "unusual level of suspicion", and some were turned away as locals doubted their legitimacy - with one calling the police and another referring to the experience as "really very bizarre".

But Crispin Buxton, owner of the Norfolk Film Company and location scout for the film, Provisional Figures, said: "It's fair enough that people might question why we're at their front door, but it's completely normal practice to do that when trying to find places to film.

"We've been involved in every film here for the last 10 years and couldn't be more bona fide. We've already explored about 15 homes in the last few days, and lots of people have expressed enthusiasm.

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"There seemed to be mini hornet's nest on social media casting doubt about the whole thing, but we are genuine, and were looking for a sizeable residential home as one of the prime locations for filming."

The film is a social thriller and love story based in Yarmouth, adapted from Martins' theatre performance of the same name at the Norfolk and Norwich Festival last year.

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The tale follows individuals of different nationalities as they navigate economic and social uncertainty in an increasingly hostile urban environment.

The title, Provisional Figures, is the statistical name used to classify migrants whose status is unknown or undecided.

"The last thing we want to do is upset people here," Mr Buxton said, "because our aim as a company is to provide a force for good in the local economy." Other films Mr Buxton's company have scouted locations for are Yesterday (2019) and The World's End (2013).

In a statement, Great Yarmouth Borough Council said: "We actively encourage appropriate film-making here as part of raising Yarmouth's cultural profile.

The project organisers will be meeting with the council soon to discuss their aspirations for permission to film in council properties. However, this is a private project, and the council has no control over how the company goes about seeking locations to film."

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