Place to Stay', set against the magical landscape of Wiltshire,
is a romantic story of love between a traveller and a gypsy woman.
It is 'a tale of fate and the human capacity for endurance in an
Colm O'Maonlai and Amanda Ray-King play the star-crossed lovers
in 'A Place to Stay'.
Marcus Thompson explains that it was an aborted attempt to film
an adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude The Obscure which led him to
set the story in Wiltshire.
said: "I started out planning to adapt Jude The Obscure until
I heard Michael Winterbottom was doing it for the BBC so I had to
shelve the project. In the process of preparing it, I'd walked every
inch of Jude the Obscure and had scoured locations and fallen in
love with the Ridgeway in Wiltshire."
coincided with a suggestion from Marcus'
art director who asked him to consider doing a story about crop
circles. As Wiltshire is renowned for being the world centre for
crop circle formations, Marcus knew there could be no other setting
for the story.
was the crop circles that took me down to Wiltshire," he said.
countryside just blew me away. In terms of the script, I thought
how do I go about this? Who lives there and what is there? I found
that it is one of the most magical landscapes in the world and the
people who live there are a great mix of cultures - villagers, travellers,
gypsies and farmers."
Thompson directing 'A Place to Stay'
described what people can expect from the film when it is released
later in the year.
wanted to make a supernatural love story and the magical landscape
lends itself to that. I've
also really gone out of my way to make this film as watchable and
as accessible as possible.
trying to make something that is a bit didactic in its content,
dealing with racism and environmental issues as that landscape is
slowly slipping away."
well as the Ridgeway, a great many well-known locations in Wiltshire
were used including the market town of Marlborough and the hamlet
of Alton Barnes.
also played a major part in the making of the film as it was while
filming was taking place last summer, that possibly one of the most
intricate and impressive crop circle formations ever, appeared at
Milk Hill near Alton Barnes.
900 feet in diameter and consisting of over 400 separate circles,
the formation, nicknamed 'The Orgasm' has amazed and puzzled crop
circle enthusiasts the world over.
well known we did make a couple of crop circle for the purpose of
the film," said Marcus. "But we couldn't possibly have
dreamed of having access to one like that. There is absolutely nothing
like it, it's fantastic. We got some lovely scenes with the lovers
in that crop circle."
ensure scientific accuracy in the script, Marcus enlisted the services
of acknowledged crop circle expert Colin Andrews. Colin is also
involved with the new Disney movie 'Signs' starring Mel Gibson which
is due out in August and is also primarily about Crop Circles.
well-known crop circle enthusiast involved with the movie and who
also makes a cameo appearance, is Reg Presley, frontman for '60s
pop group - The Troggs.
is currently halfway through post production on 'A Place to Stay'
and is hoping to take the finished movie to the Cannes Film Festival
in May in the hope of picking up a distribution deal.
all goes to plan, he is confident it will get a theatrical release
during the latter part of the year.
filming of 'A Place to Stay' inside a crop circle.
to sum up the film, Marcus had this to say: "It is somewhere
between a David Lean movie and a Ken Loach film. It has epic pictures
in it although it is a story about very humble people."
also speaks profoundly about the Wiltshire countryside and the affect
it had on him while filming.
abiding memory would have to be simply the incredible landscapes
and the presence of those crop circles. For anyone with an imagination
or anyone with an open mind, Wiltshire is a very powerful place