PART of the Hythe area of Colchester was turned into a war zone for two days, as film crews arrived to shoot scenes for a movie devised by a former Colchester soldier.
Ex-para sergeant Craig Wyting is the man behind the screenplay of Ten, a movie about the lives of soldiers returning to civilian life after leaving the Army.
The film explores the way society treats former soldiers and is being produced by award-winning Scruffy Bear Pictures director Darren Cook, a past winner of the Coup de Couer prize at the Cannes Film Festival.
The cast and crew spent two days shooting around the Hythe area of Colchester and Mr Wyting said everyone was delighted with the result.
He added : “We were over the moon to wake up on the first day of filming to find 89 members of the cast and crew had turned up for two blistering days of intense filming.
“Military vehicles, equipment, guns, a trench and derelict buildings formed part of the set, as well as effects for gunfire and bombs exploding, to bring the set alive.”
Mr Wyting, who lives on the Barn Hall Estate and is secretary of the North Essex Film Makers lives on a £600-a-month Army pension , plus just 10p a week in jobseeker’s allowance.
Earlier this year, his house was repossessed and he says he has spent years looking for work after 22 years in the Army.
Mr Wyting served in Colchester, first in 3rd Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, and then with the Royal Military Police and at the Military Corrective Training Centre, before leaving the Army in 2005.
The story in the film follows a soldier in Afghanistan, who is on his tenth tour of duty and about to leave the Army.
Mr Wyting said: “Darren Cook, the director, brought with him a fantastic and experienced crew.
“Many volunteers turned up to assist behind the scenes, including St John Ambulance people and the Colchester security company, Herlihy Secpro.”
Colchester and District Pipes and Drums band also played live on the set for some scenes, to provide background music.
Mr Wyting added: “A bugler sounded Reveille for the 3.30am start on the first day of filming and cameras rolled for the first scene at sunrise.
“The footage captured was impressive and many tears flowed as the production paid its respects to our fallen heroes in a scene which captured the saddest of moments when the reality of war was captured among the smoke and debris.”