The happy smiles of people at a tea party in Fleet are hiding a much more sinister undercurrent.
Drinking tea, nibbling cake and making small talk with fellow guests in the beautiful grounds of Battleford Hall, the guests are all playing a part – literally.
They – and everyone is invited to take part in this – will be extras in a feature film due to be partly shot in Fleet from mid-June.
If you are free on Saturday, July 9 and prepared to dress in 1950s costume then the producer and director of the forthcoming film Hallusinogen wants to hear from you.
The seemingly agreeable tea party is one of the scenes that turns to horror after a group of friends who have come together for a house party take hallucinogenic drugs.
Jack Percy, who founded the film company Sun Eats Moon in 2012, describes Hallusinogen as “a horror and murder mystery, but it’s got other genres in it, so it’s a genre film”.
When assembling the cast and crew, Jack tapped into some of the local talent involved in the film Dishonoured that was largely shot on South Holland’s soil last year.
So Jake Pearse, who was involved in Dishonoured is acting for him, while his sister Lauren is make-up artist. Charlotte Thorn is costume designer, Cara McWilliam-Richardson is script supervisor and Theo Salisbury is special effects.
Production assistant and crew member Jamie Webb – who was script supervisor for Dishonoured – lives in Spalding when he is not studying Film and Television at Nottingham University.
Jamie tries to get as much practical experience as he can outside of university. He said: “It’s great, especially as it’s in the local area. Most TV and film you have to go to London or Manchester, so to have this opportunity is really great.”
It was Dishonoured crew members who mentioned Battleford Hall has been used as one of their film locations.
Jack said: “I got the grand tour and I thought, ‘This is amazing’. You could film ten films here and not know it’s the same place.”
Battleford Hall owner Peter Day was only too happy to oblige. His grand home has previously been used as the backdrop for a music video for his niece Kay Jay, and some of Dishonoured was shot in the garden.
Peter says: “I am quite happy to support up and coming local film companies, if I can.”
And when filming starts in June, Peter may be happy to step into a role: he was an extra in the 1980s film White Mischief.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org to be part of the tea party with food and music – it will raise funds for Fleet Preservation Trust.