TINSELTOWN COMES TO RHYL
EXCLUSIVE JOANN RAE
Picture KERRY ROBERTS
HOLLYWOOD film director Sara Sugarman is planning to shoot a movie in her hometown of Rhyl.
In an exclusive interview, Los Angeles-based Sara, who is also a writer, revealed the plot of the film will be based on a real life event involving Rhyl�s most famous musical export, Mike Peters and The Alarm.
Sara broke the news to the Journal even before it make the pages of the world renowned Hollywood Reporter which is the film industry�s trade paper.
Sara said although work on The Poppyfields is in its early stages she is determined it will be shot on location in the town where she was brought up.
An independent film, it will be produced by John H Williams, who produced both of the animated blockbusters Shrek and Shrek 2.
It was Williams who first told Sara about the project in a bizarre twist of fate, not knowing that as a teenager she had played in a band that supported one of Peter�S early groups, The Toilets, on the local punk circuit.
Sara, whose previous film credits include Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen for Disney and Very Annie Mary which and starred Holywell born Jonathan Pryce, said: “It was such a big coincidence.
“When I was 14, I was in a band called The Fractures and we supported The Toilets, Mike�s first punk band, a couple of times.
“So there I was in Hollywood when the producer of Shrek, John Williams, rings up because he wants to talk to me about an idea for a film.
“He tells me that an American guy has written a story about a band, based on a true story and it all turns out it based on Mike Peters and The Alarm.”
The Poppyfields was the assumed name Mike Peters and The Alarm went under when they released a new single, 45RPM, earlier in the year complete with a pop video featuring a group of teenagers.
The band wanted to make sure the single was judged fairly and it was only when it went into Top 30 that Peters came clean.
Not only did this story of quality in music trumping the industry�s obsession with image make headlines in the UK media, it was also picked up by American TV, newspapers and magazines.
Sara, who was in Rhyl visiting family last week, will direct The Poppyfields and co-write the script, with John Williams on board as producer.
Although the other writer and the producer are from the USA, Sara is keen to emphasis that it won�t be a typical American production.
“It is still a Brit film and they�ll want to do it on low budget. But it will be shot on location in Rhyl, I�m adamant about it. It�s going to be a proper film within the industry, it�s not going to be something that gets lost somewhere.
“I�ve had meetings about in London and things are just kicking off with it really. Hopefully this will kind of bring something different to the town.
“We are definitely filming in Rhyl. We got two offers to change it to an American story and all of us, the whole team – the other writer and the producer – said no, we want to keep it as it is.
*Read next week�s Journal for the rest of our exclusive interview with Sara.