DON'T panic if you witnessed an attempted robbery at a Dorset village shop - it was part of a new horror film being shot in the county.

Producers of the new indie feature film - 'Perran' - say residents of Winfrith Newburgh may have witnessed some very bizarre behaviour on High Street as the cast and crew descended on the village to shoot a number of scenes for their movie.

So convincing were the acting skills of the cast that one member of the public attempted to chase the 'gang' after they left the scene, according to John Capel, a spokesman for the production company, Hard Road Films.

"A camera had been hidden in the ‘getaway’ vehicle parked outside the shop so it wasn’t really visible to the general public," he said.

"When the gang left the shop, chased by a very irate shopkeeper, it looked just like a real robbery - so much so that a passing member of the public decided that he should try and help."

Fortunately, the director, Rad Brown, was on hand to reassure the brave man that they were just making a film.

Due to the nature of the scenes the production company had pre-warned the police and approached all of the households in the vicinity to let them know in advance.

Jonathan Moore, the owner of Winfrith Village Stores where the 'robbery' was staged, said: “We were delighted to have had the opportunity to support the UK film industry - and we had a lot of fun watching the all-too realistic action take place in our shop.”

Spokesman John Capel - who has appeared as an actor in productions such as Broadchurch - added: “We were so impressed by the community spirit of that person for checking to see if he could be of assistance.

"It is obviously a very special place to live, in fact we were overwhelmed by the hospitality and co-operation afforded to us by the local community during our stay in the village.

"We would publicly like to extend our thanks to everyone for their patience and sincerely apologise to those that may have been inconvenienced by our arrival.”

  • ‘Perran’ is scheduled for release early next year.