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Ramsgate's Granville Theatre hosts premiere of Thanet-based film The Lost Choices

By James Rose

A film starring Thanet residents and locations is being released nationwide.

Dedicated director Jamie Thomson used the last of his savings, called in a few favours and even took part in clinical trials to make sure his film made it to the big screen.

The Lost Choices is a success against the odds story, which was also the case for director Jamie Thomson who wrote, edited, recruited the cast and crew and directed the film.

The Lost Choices is due to be shown at Ramsgate's Granville Theatre
The Lost Choices is due to be shown at Ramsgate's Granville Theatre

The premiere is at Ramsgate’s Granville Theatre on September 7, 8 and 9.

Jamie said: “I have never experienced anything like this, along the way I have had no idea what to expect.

“Four years ago, I was in East Africa with my brother doing charity work and we spent time writing stories and screenplays.

“One of these was The Lost Choices and we were on a shoestring budget to shoot it.”

Jamie grew up in St Lawrence in Ramsgate until he was 15 before going to Canterbury College and is glad to put his home town in the spotlight.

He said: “A total of 300 people auditioned and we had a cast of 85 and a crew of six. About 90% were not actors – the job centre person was actually the job centre person.

“Most participants were from Thanet and we used my house, family members’ houses, friends houses and of course the Thanet beaches and King George VI park among other locations.”

Jamie secured a cast, including trained actors who performed for free – Mark Wingett better known as Jim Carver from The Bill and Jamie’s cousin Gabriel Thomson, better known for portraying Michael Harper in BBC comedy series My Family.

He said: “They all loved it, especially the kids. Lots of them were nervous, but that was the beauty of it – people were speaking from the heart and we found the ideal people to fit those scripted lines.

“There were three main characters from Hartsdown Academy and eight or nine extras. The bully, Alex, was played by Levi Hart and the bullied kid, George, was Callum Pease.

“The three main actors in the film are Lou Murrall, Anna Brook and James Kenward and there were only a handful of trained actors on set. But the money ran out when it came to editing the film – I had to go on an editing course for a year to learn how to edit films.”

Jamie Thomson
Jamie Thomson

After the editing was done, the money ran out again and Jamie signed up for clinical trials to afford the sound and colour.

He said: “I took blood pressure medication to measure the side effects, but fortunately I was on placebos, and my friends and family chipped in with the rest of the funding in the end.”

Jamie shot the film in three weeks in the summer of 2011, but post production has taken two and a half years.

He said: “The sales agent seemed to love the film and after six months it was taken by Metrodome. They sat on it for nine or 10 months and got back to me last month with the release date.

“I would absolutely do something like this again – maybe next time I’ll have a higher budget and a bigger crew!”

Reservations can be made to watch The Lost Choices on September 7, 8 and 9 by calling the Granville Theatre on 01843 591750.

The nationwide release is on September 14. See the trailer at www.facebook.com/thelostchoices.

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