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Lights, camera, action! Film crew takes over Frome

Loredana Graziano and Paul McGann

THE streets of Frome resembled the back-lots of Hollywood last week when a film crew descended on the town to make a short film.

Using the familiar and picturesque sights of Frome, a film crew arrived in town to make the film “Perplexed Music’ inspired by a poem with the same name by poet Elizabeth Barrett Browning.

Amongst the crew were two of the famous McGann brothers, with Mark McGann directing the film starring his older brother, Paul McGann.

Local cafe owner Loredana Graziano found herself in the thick of the action with her business Paccamora Cafe on Catherine Hill being used for filming. “It was a very long day filming but a lot of fun,” said Loredana.

“The film crew arrived at 8am and didn’t leave until gone 9pm and they only filmed two scenes – I was really surprised how long it all takes.

“The production company got in touch with me three months ago so I’ve had to keep it a secret as they didn’t want there to be lots of people around.

“They chose my cafe as the location because they were looking for a lovely cafe setting which was unusual and had a romantic and vintage feel and the location of Paccamora gave them this. The shop front and location was just what they were looking for.

“It was incredibly exciting to have them here filming. There were at least 15 people in the cafe, cameramen, sound, runners, makeup – it was a great experience and everyone was so lovely and patient.

“It was great to have Mark McGann here, he was very friendly and made everyone feel relaxed.”

The Valentine Lamp on Catherine Hill also plays a starring role in the film. “I was delighted for the lamp to be used in the film,” said creator and caretaker of the lamp Reg Ling.

“The Valentine Lamp is for everyone, so for the lamp to appear in a film that might be seen across the world is a fantastic thing. It’s also an opportunity for the world to see Frome as well!”

Producer of ‘Perplexed Music’, Julie Eagleton spoke with Frome Times to explain why Frome was chosen as the setting for the film. “There were several influencing factors. Our director, Mark McGann, lives and works in the area, and is obviously very familiar with the natural beauty of Frome, and its landmarks.

“The Valentine Lamp on Catherine Hill which features in ‘Perplexed Music’, represents devoted and enduring love, mirroring the themes of our film, and is therefore incredibly symbolic.

“We’re greatly appreciative to local resident, Reg Ling, who restored the lamp, and accommodated us so graciously whilst we filmed.

“We are also hugely grateful to Paccamora Cafe for allowing us to film on their premises, and to the HUBnub centre where we set up our base.

“Frome is an incredibly artistic town, and we have all been deeply touched by the level of interest shown, and by the constant support received from the local community and council during the making of the film.”

Describing what the film is about Julie said, “‘Perplexed Music’ is a short film project that was inspired in part by an Elizabeth Barrett Browning poem of the same name, and like the poem, it tackles some of the more perplexing existential challenges we face as human beings.

“It is essentially a story about the cycle of long term devoted love, loss and rebirth, and how the temporary madness caused by the loss of a loved one can leave us suspended between this world and beyond.”

The film reunites actors Paul McGann and Emma Campbell who together starred in the mini-episode of ‘Doctor Who’  titled ‘The Night of the Doctor’ in 2013.

The film also stars Paul’s son Jake McGann as well as Abra Thompson, and actress/musician, Stephanie Grace Kennedy.

Filming finished at the end of July and the film is now in post-production with a release date yet to be confirmed.

To find out more about the film and to follow its progress, you can visit the film’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/perplexedmusic or follow the film on Instagram: @perplexedmusicmovie