The museum committee put their full support behind the idea of making a film that involved the whole village and local schools. They engaged a Dunwich based film producer to direct and manage it. The Local Heritage Initiative agreed to fund it, and soon talents came out from every quarter: from dress designers and local artists to builders and managers - never mind the village acting talent begging for parts as Romans, Saxons and Normans.
With the help of a professional drama director and the children of Halesworth Middle School we spent three days shooting six hours of material. The Ship Inn started to look like the canteen at Pinewood Studios with our actors taking refreshment between scenes. On the last day of filming we arranged a medieval ‘hog roast’ for the whole village, all in costume of course.
After showing the ‘rushes’ to the village at our Reading Room, and explaining what we were going to do, the footage was edited down and the painstaking process of animation was completed by a local artist and a son of Dunwich now working in Bristol. Through their combined talents they managed to re-create the medieval town and the great storm.
Finally, a broadcaster with the highest reputation living in Dunwich kindly agreed to read the commentary script. The music, written by a top contemporary composer and based on East Anglian tunes was played by Thomas Mills High School orchestra in Framlingham. After the soundtrack was mixed we arranged a showing for the village and all the people who had taken part at Aldeburgh cinema.
The Dunwich Museum is indebted to everyone who helped to make this project a terrific success. We hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.