Jaws drop as famous film characters invade Epsom
The people of Epsom couldn’t believe their eyes on Bank Holiday Monday when they spotted Darth Vader in Leightons Opticians. And customers in The Absolute Barber Shop felt their hair stand on end when Boba Fett popped in for a trim. Then, browsers haunting Waterstones were suddenly confronted by the Ghostbusters team.
As word spread that Hollywood had invaded the town, children and adults began queuing up, desperate to have their photos taken with the famous fictional characters.
The actors were all dedicated cosplayers – people whose hobby it is to role play characters from films, games, books, and comics. Many of those involved were local but some came from as far afield as Suffolk.
They were taking part in a film to promote the forthcoming SATISFIED EYE International Film Festival (SEIFF) which holds its inaugural event in Epsom in October.
Artistic director Chris Hastings said: “We want people to realise that SEIFF is all about bringing film to town. The festival will be showcasing the latest and best movies by up and coming filmmakers from around the world. Epsom will be cooler than Cannes, and with fewer yachts!”
Seven local shops took part in the filming, some of them opening especially for the event. Dozens of other local people were involved both in front of and behind the camera.
Scenes were also shot at Rosebery Park (Atomic Blonde’s Lorraine Broughton), Stitch Mouse (Walking Dead’s Negan), The Toy Barnhaus (Iron Man), Epsom Lawn Tennis Club (Transformers’ Bumblebee), Hatty’s Sweet Shop (Batman), and JF Daughters (Deadpool pawning the Infinity Gauntlet).
“I can’t thank local businesses and people enough for responding so magnificently to our request to take part in the film,” Hastings said. “We were on a crazily tight schedule trying to fit all this in and against all the odds we managed to do it. The one thing we hadn’t allowed time for was all the people wanting to take photos. Everyone had tremendous fun.”
Cinematographer for the shoot was 14-year-old Luke Whatley-Bigg, an upcoming Epsom filmmaker whose stunning drone videos of Surrey and iconic locations such as First World War cemeteries and the Jurassic coastline feature on YouTube.
The film, which will be available on YouTube and other websites, will also advise people in the Epsom and Ewell area who want to attend the festival that they can pre-register now for first pick of the tickets when they become available in the autumn by visiting the pre-registration page.