Last week saw a zombie breakout and slashers in the classroom! But there is no need to call security as it is all part of an exciting film project which is being undertaken by students from A-Level Film Studies and BTEC Interactive Media (Film & TV) with the help of former students Becky Hilton, Jake Leese and George Raymond who are now studying Film Production at Staffordshire University. Another former Sixth Form College student also featured in front of the camera as Richard Bailey took on the main character’s role.
Students have been tasked with making a short two minute film in a chosen genre, but like all good films, there is a twist in the plot. They all have to combine their two minutes to make one long film!
The film features the story of a student who is running late for lesson, but keeps opening doors to find himself in weird and wonderful film scenarios.
“We chose the zombies for the theme of our film”, said Tom Armstrong and Josh Lomax. “We had to create fake blood by using honey and food dye, used dry PVA glue to create flaky skin and powder to make the zombies look pale. The research was fun as we got to watch lots of clips of zombies.”
Film Noir also features as part of the compilation. “It’s our favourite film genre”, said Shannon Kinnersely, Elana Smith and Andrew Kilbride. “We combined Film Noir and Come Dine With Me. It’s even got the voiceover.”
The process was a real learning experience for the students as they found out how much work actually goes into making a film. “We couldn’t believe how long it took. For a two minute clip, we were filming for over two hours. It’s made me appreciate how much goes into making an entire feature film.”
There was also a slasher on set as students looked to thrill the audience. “We had to talk a lot to the zombie film makers as our scene leads into theirs. Communication between groups was important to make sure it flowed”, said Jay Ashcroft, Chloe Lloyd and Melissa Cottam. “We had a laugh filming it, it was a lot of fun but it was also a lot of work. We had to do scripting, storyboarding and organise props before we got on set. It took longer than expected. You have to be organised and know what you’re doing. Our tutor, Nikki Simpkins, helped us a lot with the planning.”
The film will be completed for the end of term and the students are looking forward to seeing the final piece come together. “It’s great to see the shots on screen. When it comes together, it will look good”, said Team Zombie. “Shooting it was enjoyable. Seeing everyone dressed up and reading our scripts was great”, said Shannon, Elana and Andrew from the Film Noir Team.
Following on from last week’s Creative Minds Festival story, the two documentaries that our students are contributing to are close to wrapping up. Shaun Boden, Amy Sheldon and Jack Sargeant, along with Linden Wade, Beth Earl-Davies and Tom Wells, filmed the 6 minute documentaries.
“Filming was great for me as it was the first time I’d done anything like this”, said Linden. “We don’t get to use this quality of equipment outside of College so it is a good experience.”
“We got to experiment with different shots and angles”, added Beth. “One thing we needed was lots of footage.”
The short documentaries will be screened at the festival from 3rd - 7th July at the Regent Theatre in Hanley.