A Blackpool born film director who has worked on major Hollywood movies is set to return to our screens next month.
Peter Chelsom, whose parents Reginald and Kay ran an antique shop in Blackpool, has a new film out on February 10 entitled The Space Between Us.
It tells the story of a teenage boy, born on Mars who has only had contact with 14 people and who falls in love with a girl on earth he communicates with online.
He travels back to earth to find his father and to meet the girl, but falls foul of Earth’s gravity which begins to affect his health.
It stars Asa Butterfield who played the lead role Jake in Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, partly filmed in Blackpool, as well as top British actor Gary Oldman.
Peter who shot to fame with films Funny Bones and Hear My Song, both of which had scenes filmed in Blackpool, said: “I think the new film has quite a broad appeal. It’s a family movie without being condescending or cynical.
“They do a lot of testing in the USA before films are released. They show the film in cinemas all over the country and send us comments. It seems to play well with audiences.
“It is kind of like a small film inside a big film. It has the massive scope of Mars and space travel and then here on Earth, it’s like a road trip movie with an intimate heart at the centre of it.
“It is about communication, relationships and isolation amplified by the vastness of space.
“It was a lot of fun to make, but very hard to make. Its was a real ambitious cut shot in a ridiculously small amount of days.
It is kind of like a small film inside a big film
“We had just 39 days for the principal photography compared to 48 for Hear My Song and 60 for Funny Bones.
“You are forced to be much more decisive. But you tend to hang back more and let things play out and that makes it feel more epic.”
The dad-of-three said he still manages to get back to Blackpool now and again to see his family including his brother who owns Chelsom Lighting and he said he spoke with Asa Butterfield about his time filming in the resort for Tim Burton’s Miss Peregrines’s Home for Peculiar Children.
He said: “I met him to discuss The Space Between Us at around the time he was shooting Miss Peregrine’s so it was great to compare memories.
“I love Blackpool. I was there last two years ago – my brother lives in Lytham. They have done so much good work to the Promenade, it looks great.”
He now lives in Studio City Los Angeles with his Boston-born wife Lindsay McCracken.
On leaving Blackpool he studied at the Central School of Drama in London and acted with the Royal Shakespeare Company before developing further his interest behind the camera.