SHOPPERS in Palmerston Road were shocked when they tried to break up a fight last Thursday - only to discover the scuffle was part of an ongoing film shoot.
A 20-person crew from Lexicon Film Productions has been shooting footage for the film 'Falklands Square' across Portsmouth since Sunday August 18.
The film, which has a budget of £55,000, follows the story of Dave Simms, a Falklands War veteran, as he attempts to rebuild his life after his post-traumatic stress disorder leaves him homeless.
Following scenes in Southsea and by The Yomper statue on the Eastney seafront, the crew will be in Mill Lane car park, Portsdown Hill, until Friday August 6.
Emsworth-resident Russell Meyers, who wrote the film and plays the homeless veteran, said Portsmouth provided a 'visual feast for the eyes' - while the shot has been providing a confusing spectacle for some passers-by.
He said: 'We were in Southsea and we didn't close off the area, because we wanted to get the reactions from people.
'There was this little scuffle with a teenage character, which is why my character has to leave the city and move out to the countryside.
'And you can tell the scene went well because people walking past tried to intervene.
'Mistaking acting for reality - that has to be a success.’
Russell, who moved to Portsmouth 15 years ago, said the city’s mix of ‘beautiful and gritty’ areas was perfect for the film.
He added: ‘We wanted a lot of opposites in the film, and in Portsmouth there is a lot of tension between places like the beautiful seafront and the gritty inner city.’
The film, which will have a 120-minute running time, is director Myles Petford’s first full-length feature.
The 24-year-old, who graduated from the University of West London in 2017, said the project’s 25-day schedule was leaving little room for mistakes.
He said: ‘The biggest challenge has been time.
‘There so many little details that bring the set to life, and it takes a lot of time to get them right.
‘But I have been enjoying it - we have a wicked crew.’
The film is set to tour film festivals next year.