Students set to break records in film project

Image Credit: Lucy Shepherd

An ambitious film project is being run by a group of third year students from the University of York’s Theatre, Film and Television (TFTV) department.

‘The Trench’ will be a short film adaptation of the Oliver Lansley play of the same name.

“We first came across the story at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013, where Oliver Lansley and his theatre company Les Enfants Terribles were performing their 2012 5-Star, award winning sell-out show The Trench” the team stated.

“From that moment we were in love and set about working with Oli to secure the rights and develop our vision for the adaptation to screen.”

Set during World War one, the film is loosely based around the events involving a British tunneller called William Hackett who gave up his life in order to help his injured colleague during the collapse of a rescue tunnel.

Image Credit: Lucy Shepherd

“The film is ultimately trying to make awareness and tell the stories of the hundreds of tunnellers that spent months, and even years of their lives under the battlefields.” Lucy Shepherd, producer of The Trench, told Vision.

“The Trench is by no means a war epic, but instead an intimate character driven story of one man’s physical and psychological quest for survival through the horrors of the First World War” Alex Campbell, director of the Trench, said.

In “taking on the challenge of blurring the lines between fantasy and reality” the film’s plot involves Herbert’s life depending on succeeding in three challenges given to him by a “disfigured unearthly creature” who he encounters on his journey.

The team have already secured all rights to The Trench and plan to shoot the film over ten days, starting on the 31st of January 2014.

In order to cover the grand scale of the project, they must raise £12,000 which will go towards costs such as materials to build the underground set, food, equipment, costumes and the renting of a replica trench.

Image Credit: Lucy Shepherd
Image Credit: Sam Wyes

“We have a website for funding which we really want to push and spread” Lucy Shepherd stated.

“We know that with the help of some generous donations and sponsors, we will be able to make this happen.”

The team have high hopes for The Trench and eventually want the film to be screened at as many festivals across the world as possible. They also hope to propel the film to larger audiences outside of auditoriums and cinemas, through online and broadcast distribution.

“Regardless of what happens we will end up with a unique and compelling film” the team stated.

“But the support and investment of other individuals and organisations will be essential if we really wish to realise our full creative vision for the film.”

If you want to find out more about the project or are interested in donating towards it, please visit:

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