Why Cromer has ‘the magic’ for the BBC this Christmas

Cromer was in the TV spotlight this evening with the first airing of a short film made in the town focusing on togetherness this Christmas.

Written by BBC creatives Edward Usher and Xander Hart, the two-minute film aims to encourage families and friends to make the most of their time together during the holiday season.

Wonderland follows the story of a teenage boy who lives with his family in a small seaside town. The demands of everyday life mean that he and his mum don’t get to spend as much time together as they used to. But one day, with Christmas fast approaching, everything changes and they get to spend a unique afternoon together that they’ll never forget. The message is simple; when you do manage to get some time with the ones you love, be sure to cherish it.

The feeling was that Christmas is a time to slow down, pause life and spend time with family,” said Edward. “We wanted to see them take a moment and really cherish it.”

The team chose Cromer for filming as “it had the magic”. “We wanted it to be filmed at a traditional seaside town. The seaside is very much associated with the summer and holidays but we wanted to focus on the feel of these places for the people who live there all year round. We loved the timeless feel of Cromer.”

They decided on the town as a location through research. “We wanted a quintessentially seaside town with a pier. We went to see all of them and they were all amazing but when we saw Cromer it had the magic,” said Edward.

The 70-strong crew spent four days filming, staying at the Cliftonville and eating out locally. There were also local extras and crew involved. As well as the two-minute film, they created shorter vignettes to use between shows over the Christmas period celebrating the BBC’s “oneness”. The first showing of the two-minute film was tonight between Strictly Come Dancing and Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Xander said: “We were amazed by the interest we created and how many people showed up to watch the filming. The locals were absolutely wonderful, everyone was so friendly. We are so grateful for that.”

The production has meant the pair have been thinking about Christmas since April when they started writing the script. Now they hope everybody in the town and local areas likes the end product.

Edward and Xander’s work can also be seen in a promotional trailer for the World Cup.

If you missed it you can see it here https://youtu.be/j3G0UCk3DFA

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