Wednesday, 23 August 2006

Chance for closer view of Atonement

The public will be given a fascinating chance to get an even closer view of Redcar Esplanade's incredible transformation into 1940s Dunkirk when filming for the hoped-for blockbuster, Atonement, is completed.

The stretch of the Esplanade, from the Regent Cinema to the boating lake, has been out of bounds to the thousands of people who have flocked to see the action this week, involving 1,000 locally-recruited extras for director Joe Wright's adaptation of Ian McEwan's bestseller.

The road closure is expected to be lifted some time on Sunday when the tons of rubble, which have been strewn across the surface, will have been cleared, but there will be be plenty to see on Bank Holiday Monday and Tuesday before three days of work starts on Wednesday to dismantle the scenery.

Redcar and Cleveland Council will complete the final stage of work to return Redcar back to 2006, with the reinstatement of street lighting and street furniture, as well as restoring the stone penguins to their spot near the boating lake after that.

The Council's Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Tourism Councillor Dave Fitzpatrick, who has been given an inside tour of the action, said: "I was absolutely fascinated to see how they've altered the buildings, camouflaged them and turned the area into a film set.

"The town has been packed all week and I'm sure we've seen an awful lot of investment come into the area. Now there's this marvellous chance to see close-up how much work has been done."

Location manager Adam Richards, who earmarked Redcar as the 'perfect' location in December last year, is still thrilled at the end product. "I've been doing this job for 20 years and I'm staggered by the scale of what we've achieved."

There will still be a few permanent reminders of the days Hollywood came to Redcar with 300 crew, the £50 a day extras and 40 assorted vehicles.

The Regent Cinema, which has been turned into a French bar for a fight scene, involving 25 stuntmen, is being given the scenery - and Universal Pictures are in discussions over the prospect of a Redcar premiere, when the film hits the big screen in September next year.


Liberal Neil said...

An international film premiere at the Regent?

Now that IS an acheivement ;-)

Chris & Glynis Abbott said...

It certainly would be a feather in our cap Neil.