A British Film Maker from Thailand has saved a Thai Youth Orchestra by making a horror film.

Many years ago, when he was just nine, Paul Spurrier appeared in Victorian Scandals by Granada TV.

He said: “It was just after Minnie Caldwell left Coronation Street and I remember visiting the set and seeing her home,”

That is why he wanted Messenger readers to know how his new film rescued an orchestra in trouble.

Paul first visited Thailand almost by chance.

He said: “In 1999 a friend asked if I could help with a documentary. It was called Clever Dicks, about smart animals and they wanted to feature a Thai elephant.

“it was the festive season. No-one from the BBC wanted to go, so I agreed and it changed my life.”

Paul fell in love with Thailand and has lived there for almost 20 years.

He was the first Westener to film a Thai language film with ‘P’ in 2004 soon to be followed by The Forest and Eullenia which can be viewed on Amazon Prime.

When Covid struck, Paul became concerned about the Siam Sinfonetta, a youth orchestra which had performed in New York, Prague, Berlin andf Bayreuth.

He said: “Lockdowns made public performances and rehearsals illegal and Zoom doesn’t work for orchestras.

The orchestra’s founder, Somtow Sucharitkul was concerned for his players’ mental health.

He discussed their plight with Paul and they discovered a loophole. Rehearsals, performances and recordings were legal if part of a TV or Film production.

Paul and Somtow raised the money with help from supporters and veteran Thai actors and The Maestro was created.

Somtow Sucharikul, a prolific composer, was also known as S. P. Somtow, author of the Rock-and-Roll Vampire series, Vampire Junction and creator of the Science fiction series Mallworld. He agreed to take the lead in the film.

The orchestra not only played over an hour of original music but also starred as actors.

The Maestro is about a frustrated composer whose popularity has dropped.

He can’t find an orchestra to perform his latest symphony so he kidnaps one and eventually goes mad.

Paul said: “The film will have its Thai premiere in July. We all hope it will be released in the UK.”