Perfect town for major teen film

Highly acclaimed film director Gurinder Chadha of Bend it Like Beckham fame thought Eastbourne was the ideal location for filming when she began reading Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging.

The 47-year-old had spent holidays in the town as a child and felt Eastbourne would be the perfect setting for the story of eccentric but irresistible Georgia Nicholson as she struggles with the trauma of being a teenager.

"I started reading the book and wanted to set it in a seaside town," explained Gurinder.

"I knew Eastbourne anyway and have always thought it was lovely. I love the bandstand here. Eastbourne has this quintessential English feel to it and it seemed like the perfect location."

As well as directing and producing, Gurinder co-scripted the film with her husband, Paul Mayeda Berges - with whom she has three-month-old twins - after being approached by Paramount Pictures which bought the rights to the series of books about the troublesome teenager Georgia.

"The books are absolutely huge in America and when Paramount sent me Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging, I took one look at it and knew I had to do it.

"We had a lot of fun writing the script and it is a lovely opportunity to do a teenage comedy drama in a seaside town."

For the uninitiated, the best seller, Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging was written by Louise Rennison and follows Georgia's emotional journey.

Misunderstood by her parents (Jonathan Creek's Alan Davies plays her father and has been in Eastbourne during the week), buoyed by the love of her old cat Angus and her tight knit group of friends.

The Ace Gang, 14-year-old Georgia strives to achieve her two main desires - to get a gorgeous boy as her boyfriend and to throw the greatest 15th birthday party ever.

Gurinder added, "In Georgia we have a wonderful character that anyone who is a stroppy teenager, or has even been a stroppy teenager, will completely relate to and understand how parents, teachers and in fact the world conspires against you just as you are bursting with adulthood - a kind of Bridget Jones at 14 but with more attitude!

"Eastbourne beaches were fantastic backdrops for filming some of the shots of Georgia who is going through some very typical teenage emotions."

While much of the filming has taken place along the seafront, in Cavendish Place and in the Fish and Chip shop on Eastbourne Pier, other scenes have been shot in Regents Park and Twickenham.

Making those locations look like Eastbourne is the job of production supervisor Nick Ellis.

"Eastbourne has its own distinctive blue colour, the deckchairs, the paint on the railings and the blue bins around the town which have Eastbourne's crest on them," explained Nick.

"We were able to get some of the bins and put them in Regents Park to make it look like we were in Eastbourne. It's all about continuity and we wanted to make sure it was just right."

A scene due to be shot in London was also filmed in Eastbourne at the last minute.

Russell Turner, the assistant location manager, was tasked with finding a Georgian style house with a balcony at the eleventh hour and on Wednesday afternoon he found a suitable property in Holywell Close in Meads.

"The house in Holywell Close was perfect for what we wanted," said Nick.

"We spoke to the homeowner, arranged refreshments with the Pilot pub and did a 200 letter drop to residents in the area informing them we would be filming."

The next morning the crew and cast were up at Cliff Road, Holywell Close and Holywell Road shooting the scenes.

Finally yesterday (Thursday) the sun shone and the film crew were able to shoot scenes in Cavendish Place before moving on to London and a ten week stint at studios.

The film is due for general release next summer.