Essex Boys - Shooting in Essex

Last Update: 18 April 2000

Nearly all of the movie was shot in Essex. However director Terry Winsor says that this was not just in the spirit of authenticity: "We shot most of the movie in Essex because it interested me as a location. It seems to me to be a county that hasn't been exploited yet - areas like Jaywick Sands, Clacton and Brightlingsea haven't really been seen on screen. Also, I feel that the area has a unique quality that is very different from other counties. So we achieved a very specific look to the movie."

For the interior scenes the production took over a disused shoe factory. Jeff Pope explains: "The location people found the old Bata Shoe Factory - they had to scour the area really because there are no studios in Essex. It's funny, it's only as far away from the centre of London as Pinewood and Borehamwood, but there are no studio complexes so we had to make our own as it were. Their shopping list was a big shell, in a quiet place, close to transport, with an office block attached.

"I actually really liked working in this huge space. There were some distinct practical advantages. If you want to shoot around what is your set - say you have a nighttime exterior scene - it's very easy to do because it's all your place. It's easy to spill out into the surrounding area. In a film studio, it's more difficult. I think it also creates togetherness with the crew although they won't thank me for the distance they had to travel. But that said, once they were there, I think it increased the sense of togetherness.

"Shooting in Essex we were of course on 'home ground' the whole time. It did cross my mind that we might get visits at night because people perceive the film to be a true story. But on the whole, I think people were interested rather than hostile to it. I think that the people we came across from Essex just felt that it was their story. The fact that we moved away from the real-life murders calmed down a lot of potential problems. All our extras came from Essex, and where possible the crew came from Essex too. All the locations were places that they would recognise - houses that we shot at, etc. I think they felt that it was their film, and when it comes on at the cinema I hope the returns from Essex are going to be huge."

The Inspiration

The Working Method

The Green Light

Shooting in Essex

The Casting

The Shooting Schedule

The Stunts

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