An iconic Tayside diner was transported back to the 1990s this weekend as a Bafta-nominated film crew set cameras rolling on a retro crime drama.
The Horn, a long-standing favourite among football fans and festival goers, is the setting for Pram Snatcher, a BFI-backed production that follows the misadventures of a heavily-pregnant career criminal as she struggles with impending motherhood.
The short film is set in and around the A90 establishment over the course of one night in 1994. Vintage vehicles from the Britpop-era were rolled into place for night-time shoots on Saturday and Sunday.
Producers have told how they were thrilled to find The Horn, complete with its famous rooftop cow, during a nation-wide location scout.
And they said owner Kenny Farquharson’s speciality dish helped seal the deal.
“The film is set in and around a roadside diner, so we scoured the UK to find something that was reminiscent of an old Little Chef,” said Sorcha Bacon, of Try Hard Films. “Our director Theo Krekis used to work in a Little Chef, so he knew what he was looking for.
“We fell in love with The Horn as soon as we turned up. And the bacon sandwiches were the icing on the cake. After we tasted them, we were more determined than ever to film there.”
She said: “It’s so nice to see this really charming diner with wooden panels and pink chairs, nestled at the side of the motorway. I think its a really special place.”
The film is backed by the BFI Network scheme which supports new and emerging talent across Britain.
The cast and crew have been in a bubble to comply with guidelines set down by the British Film Council.
“The lockdown came in as we were travelling up to Scotland, but fortunately film production was allowed to continue,” said Sorcha. “We were very worried that we would get half-way up the motorway and then have to be turned away.
“But we have been able to continue working safely, while following the guidelines.”
Mr Farquharson said he was delighted to have his establishment taken over for a couple of nights. “It’s something a bit different, isn’t it?” he said. “It’s a welcome diversion from everything else that’s going on at the moment.”
He said: “The film looks really interesting. It’s maybe more Pulp Fiction meets Trainspotting, than the Sound of Music.
“I’ve managed to wangle some of my family in front of the camera, so that’s a nice experience for them. And the other upside for us, is that we are on hand to supply catering for all the cast and crew.”
The film is expected to be released at film festivals later this year or in 2021. Previous short films by Try Hard Films have been shown at Cannes, Sundance and SXSW.