The Chameleon: Why a movie set in Texas was filmed in Hemsby

The Chameleon: Cast and Crew filming on location on Newport Road, Hemsby. Photo: October Films

The Chameleon: Cast and Crew filming on location on Newport Road, Hemsby. Photo: October Films - Credit: Archant

One is the largest state in the south of the United States and the other is a small coastal village in Norfolk - yet Texas and Hemsby have come together for an award-winning movie.

The Chameleon: Jim Greayer (director) on set outside Newport Caravan Park in Hemsby. Photo: October

The Chameleon: Jim Greayer (director) on set outside Newport Caravan Park in Hemsby. Photo: October Films - Credit: Archant

A well known location in Norfolk hit the silver screen last Friday night as The Chameleon, a crime thriller based upon the true story of notorious 1980s serial killer Stephen Morin, debuted in the UK as part of a sold out show for the British Independent Film Festival 2016.

Directed by Jim Greayer and filmed in various locations across Europe in spring 2015, the movie features several scenes shot in Hemsby and includes lots of Norfolk extras.

A vast majority of scenes were shot along an expanse of Newport Road, with specific locations including Newport Caravan Park, the Holiday Diner and The Seabreeze Club.

The Chameleon: Filming equipment on location in Newport Road, Hemsby. Photo: October Films

The Chameleon: Filming equipment on location in Newport Road, Hemsby. Photo: October Films - Credit: Archant

Ian Pratt, the owner of Newport Caravan Park, said he was surprised when the film crew initially contacted him regarding turning his holiday destination into a film set.


You may also want to watch:


'They were very enthusiastic about using the caravan park.' he said. 'They came to look around and were waving their arms about and pointing at things. I was very surprised that they wanted to use the location, but they clearly knew what kind of thing they were after.'

Bar Manager, Marie Olley, was also working at Newport Caravan Park during the filming and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. 'It was really interesting to watch them film, they completely turned the place around, at some points the club didn't even look like the club,' she said. 'Everyone was lovely though, especially the main actors, they were really great to talk to.'

The Chameleon: Cast and Crew on a low loader on location in Hemsby. Photo: October Films

The Chameleon: Cast and Crew on a low loader on location in Hemsby. Photo: October Films - Credit: Archant

Most Read

According to the film's producer, Steve Murphy, Hemsby was selected because of its retro feel, which was ideal for the image the crew wanted to construct.

'The Hemsby locations were picked by our production design team because the interiors suited the film. We wanted something that looked and felt like a roadside bar and was close to our base at RAF Coltishall,' he said.

The film stars Joseph Millson (Casino Royale), Sarah-Jane Potts (Kinky Boots) and Amy Manson (Once Upon A Time) and has already been shown on television in the U.S as a three-part series entitled Serial Thriller: The Chameleon.

On Friday the film premiered in the UK at Empire Cinema in Leicester Square as part of the British Independent Film Festival 2016 and snapped up several awards the following night during the festival's closing event. These included Best Feature Film, Best Actress for Sarah-Jane Potts and Best Cinematography.

Murphy is excited for the future of the film in the UK, which he hopes will be screened at several other similar events. 'We're working with a really great distributor and have applied to show the film at other festivals following the success at BIFF last weekend. It's still early days but hopefully everyone will be able to see it soon,' he said.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter