The Scouting Book for Boys


The Scouting Book for Boys, the coming-of-age love story with a sting in its tail, stars the excellent young talents of Thomas Turgoose (This is England, Eden Lake) and Holly Grainger (Waterloo Road, Demons). Having grown up together on a caravan park on the Norfolk coast where their respective parents work, young teenagers David (Turgoose) and Emil (Grainger) have become close friends, deeply reliant on each other for distractions and mischief. Things soon take a dark turn when David learns that Emily is being forced to move away and he helps her hide out in a remote cave on the beach.

The Scouting Book for Boys was supported through the Screen East Content Investment Fund which is an award of funding from the European Regional Development Fund Objective 2 Programme administrated by GO East, Government Office for the East of England, and was successfully launched at the 2006 Cannes Film Festival with internationally celebrated director Michael Winterbottom and producer Andrew Eaton.

Finding a working caravan park that the film could be set on was crucial to the production and Screen East Locations hosted recces extensively in Norfolk and Suffolk for producer Ivana MacKinnon to find the right park. Jack Thorne had written the script after his own experience of growing up having caravan park holidays. Dramas about life on caravan parks can be somewhat grubby and unpleasant but the filmmakers wanted it to be both magical AND brilliant. Eventually, the film settled on Broadland Sands Holiday Park in Suffolk which received a 4 Star Rose Award in 2007. In order to make the most of their location, the cast and crew lived on the caravan park for the duration of the shoot. Producer Ivana MacKinnon said, “We gave our actors the option – stay in a hotel or on the caravan park, in a van, with us. They lived with us, ate with us, played the arcade dance machine with us”.

The stunning Norfolk landscape was also key in bringing a sense of beauty and isolation to the story. Holkham Bay and Hunstanton Beach were used for many of the wide beach shots. “There’s something quite wild about it, and yet it’s very flat,” explains MacKinnon. “You get these tiny figures in these huge landscapes.” Road scenes were also filmed on location in Kings Lynn and North Norfolk.

Building the cave location was a challenge for the production. It was impossible for the location scouts to find cave environments large enough and effective enough to serve the purpose, but at the same time be accessible and practical enough to accommodate a full crew. Therefore, cave scenes were shot in a warehouse on a local industrial estate in Great Yarmouth, where interconnecting caves were constructed.

Text courtesy of SceneonScreen.co.uk

For more information on the East of England locations used for The Scouting Book for Boys, and for many other films, go to sceneonscreen.co.uk

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