Lights, camera, action on film set in Suffolk village

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A QUIET and picturesque Suffolk village was transformed this week into a busy, bustling movie set.

Film crews and cameras moved into Woolpit on Wednesday for a day of shooting for new British movie based on a story by the acclaimed writer of War Horse.

Private Peaceful Productions took over the former village shop, Addisons, and converted it into a 1910 grocery store.

The shop will make up part of the Suffolk set for the film, Private Peaceful, which was written by Michael Morpurgo. Produced by Fluidity Films, the production will also be filming at several other locations across the county.

The film crew gained permission to close Woolpit to the public on Wednesday as they filmed scenes for the film, which is directed by Pat O’Connor.

Woolpit Parish Council chairman John Wiley said it was very exciting to have the film crew in the village.

“We are always open to accommodate film crews into our very photographic village,” he said.

“It looks very surreal here but we are very pleased to have them here. It’s the place to come to film!”

The film, set in rural Devon and the battlefield of Flanders during World War One, stars Richard Griffiths and Frances De La Tour.

It tells the story of Tommo Peaceful as he faces the trials and tribulations of family life and love and, after enlisting underage into the Army, the many horrors of the Great War.

Author and executive producer Michael Morpurgo wrote Private Peaceful after penning the huge hit War Horse as a result of a meeting a World War One veteran.

“I then wrote Private Peaceful, after visiting Ypres and learning of the 300 British soldiers executed for cowardice or desertion – two for simply falling asleep at their posts,” he said.

“I read transcripts of their trials and saw how unjust it had been.

“I visited their graves and knew I had to tell this story.”

The book went on to win a number of awards, including the 2005 Blue Peter book award and the Red House book award in 2004.

n Film crews were in the village earlier in August filming for a National Geographic programme about the green children of Woolpit.