ESSEX is the setting for a new film telling the story of how not to make a movie, TV funnyman Rik Mayall was among the cast and crew shooting the film, Just for the Record, at Prested Hall Hotel and Leisure Club, near Kelvedon, yesterday.

Director Steve Lawson who lives in Dedham, said the film aimed to strip away the glamour which surrounded the movie business.

“It’s about a failed film,” he explained. “Rik Mayall’s character goes back to find out why it went wrong, interviewing the people involved.

“It boils down to the director being an idiot and the producer a drunkard who spends most of the budget in strip clubs.

“We want to show the audience this is what the film industry can be like. It’s not as glamourous as people think.

“Only one out of every ten films made gets to the cinema and I would say 99 per cent of people in the industry will have had experiences in their early careers, similar to the story we’re telling.”

The film also stars American actors Dirk Benedict – smooth-talking Face in the A-Team – and Martin Kove, who was Kreese in the Karate Kid films plus Swedish former Playboy centrefold Victoria Silvstedt.

Mr Lawson said: “To get the cast we’ve got, it must be considered a pretty good script and story! We hope to have it finished later this year and put it forward for the big American film festivals such as Sundance and Raindance.

“Hopefully, it will take off from there.”

Three weeks of filming started on Monday at the Katz lap-dancing club, of Southernhay, Basildon, and will move on to Romford and central London.

Mr Lawson added: “Essex has some perfect locations for making films, and we are trying to show you can make good-quality films in Britain, with local talent and locations.

The film is the first directing role for 32-year-old Mr Lawson, who grew up in Chadwell Heath, although he was previously involved in the making of British movies The Business and The Football Factory.

He said: “I haven’t even directed a short or an advert before, so it’s a big thing for me to start with a feature film.

“However, it’s all going very well so far,” he said.