THE Argus has received the Scorsese treatment.

Our former print hall in Hollingbury was transformed into the scene of 1970s Boston shoot-out for new film Free Fire, out today.

Brighton-based director Ben Wheatley was behind he camera with the legendary Taxi Driver director stepping in as executive producer.

Revolving around two gangs squaring up in a warehouse, The Argus’s building in Crowhurst Road was the perfect location.

Wheatley is a big fan of scouring the city for the perfect location having set his first major motion picture Down Terrace entirely inside a Brighton two-up-two down.

During the filming of Free Fire in the summer of 2015, The Argus staff were sworn to secrecy.

The only sign of the daily shoot-outs were police signs warning passing traffic not to worry about the sound of gunshots.

Dozens of workers were on set each day with catering vans, trailers and make up studios.

Having identified the vast print hall, which was used until 2010, Wheatley then used the video game Minecraft to create scale models for his set.

The film features Oscar winner Brie Larson, Cillian Murphy and Brighton Rock star Sam Riley.

Wheatley still lives in Brighton, where he and his wife, regular screenwriter Amy Jump, run their company Rook Films.

Describing his choice of location, Wheatley said: “If Free Fire had been set outdoors in a town, we’d have gone to America to shoot it.

“While I’m making films produced by my own company, it’s much more comfortable for me.

“Also, it’s nice making stuff near your house. You don’t have to move around.”

The film also features Shoreham Port as another location. While filming at the port the production even found an abandoned Gran Torino car close by.

“We looked at it and it had tax discs in it from New York 1974,” he said.

Wheatley said having Scorsese on board was a dream come true as he regularly cites Taxi Driver as his favourite film of all time.

Wheatley studied for a degree in fine art sculpture before posting short films online which led him being given TV and commercial work.

His previous films include Sightseers and Kill List.

Free Fire has plenty of black humour and the script upends gender stereotypes by casting Larson as the solitary woman in a hyperviolent world of testosterone-crazed men.

Wheatley will be doing a question and answer session at a special screening for fans at the Duke of York’s Cinema, Preston Cricus, Brighton, tomorrow.

l For a review of the film turn to page 33