Beach set to make splash at movies

A SOUTH Tyneside beach will be hitting the big screen as a location for a TV star's latest movie.

Coastal Productions, North East actor Robson Green's film company, has decided Marsden Beach in South Shields is the perfect setting for scenes in its latest creation, Ways To Live Forever.

The film, the company's first to be made for the big screen, follows the last three months in the life of an 11-year-old boy suffering leukaemia.

The youngster knows he'll never see his teenage years, so he embarks on a quest to find answers.

Producer Martyn Auty said: "The film itself is not actually set in the North East. We decided to use the area because obviously it's very nice, but also due to lighting aspects.

"In the autumn especially, the quality of the light in the region is lovely to film in."

The cast and crew have been on location since mid-week and will be moving on to Cullercoats in North Tyneside within the next few days.

The sight of a production crew has been causing a bit of a stir among locals.

Jim Hunter, of Marsden, South Shields, was out walking his dog on Thursday when he spotted the actors on the beach.

The 72-year-old said: "I'm out almost every day walking our Sam, and it's usually very quiet, but I spotted a lot of people huddled beside the stairs in the cliff so I went over and had a nosey.

"There were cameramen on the stairs filming the people on the beach."

Laughing, he added: "It's very exciting. You never know, I might have a cameo appearance."

Andrew Dixon, executive director for Tourism Tyne and Wear, said: "The North East has always been a favoured location for film-makers.

"Atonement at Redcar Beach and the Harry Potter films at Alnwick Castle have resulted in film enthusiasts flocking to these great locations, with 70,000 people visiting Redcar in Tees Valley during the Atonement shoot.

"This new production firmly places the spotlight on Tyne and Wear and can only impact positively on the region.

"South Shields is already beamed around the world annually as a result of the Great North Run, and the decision to shoot scenes for Ways to Live Forever at Marsden will help showcase our stunning coastline to millions of people worldwide."

The film – starring Robbie Kay, Greta Scacchi, Ben Chaplin and Emilia Fox – is expected to take a year to complete.