REALITY TV stars of the future are in front of the camera in Portsmouth’s own version of The Only Way is Essex.
Filming has started on a new project which is hoped to emulate hit TV shows like Towie and Made In Chelsea.
Called Portside Stories, it aims to shine a light on fictional characters from parts Paulsgrove and the more affluent Port Solent.
It already features a ‘cast’ of about 40 people – including amateur actors, children, lighting engineers and even a professional director.
The idea was the brainchild of filmmaker Louisa Hart, who runs Portsmouth-based UK Film Academy – where much of the cast is drawn from.
She said: ‘We’re really looking at boosting the skills and confidence of our children.
‘A lot of them have a real desire to be actors. But television acting now is becoming more and more naturalistic.
‘So getting them in front of the camera and being comfortable with who they are is really important to us.’
Filming took place at Port Solent last night, and has been going on for the past week.
Most of the children follow a loose script but are allowed to improvise their dialogue.
Adults get more freedom, with director Jaxon Scott giving them a rough idea on topics to talk about.
The 42-year-old from Brighton said: ‘It’s really Made in Chelsea, meets The Only Way is Essex by Port Solent.’
Eastney teenager Jack Cottan is the star of the pilot.
The 17-year-old actor plays a rich lad from Port Solent looking to set up a house party with his mates.
Jack, who filmed his part in the show last week, said it has been a challenging role.
‘It’s not like your normal acting job,’ he said. ‘You’re basically taking part of yourself and multiplying it by five. So in my character’s case, that’s his pride.’
The pilot show is set to screen at Odeon cinema in Port Solent later this year.
It will then air online, with Louisa hoping it might be picked up by TV producers.
She added there is still time to join the cast, with more filming taking in August. To join, see ukfilmacademy.co.uk