Teenagers in trenches to make war film

A GROUP of teenagers have put worries about their GCSE results to one side to make a film about life in the trenches for soldiers in the First World War.

A GROUP of teenagers have put worries about their GCSE results to one side to make a film about life in the trenches for soldiers in the First World War.

Ed Turner and Theo Boardman-Pretty, who attend Colchester Royal Grammar School, set up Silver Lights Media earlier this year and are now in the middle of filming an adaptation of the R.C. Sherriff play, Journey's End.

Journey's End follows the story of five officers in the three days leading up to an attack on the English trenches, with heartfelt drama along with lighter moments of comedy.

The teenagers are filming this week and the family garage at Ed's home in Fingringhoe has become the officers' quarters before shooting moves to Akenham in Suffolk where there are professionally built trenches.


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The 16-year-olds received an Essex County Council grant of £8,000 towards the project from its youth opportunity fund and hope the completed film will be used as a study aid for English Literature pupils at GCSE.

Theo is producing and playing the role of flawed hero Stanhope.

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He said: “Me and Ed thought we should make a film of this but thought it may be one of those things that did not get done. But the more we talked about it, the more we thought 'yes, let's go for this'.

“We were absolutely ecstatic when we got the grant as it has given us the opportunity to make the whole film as authentic as we can as we did not want it to be a back garden mess around.”

The grant went towards props, uniforms and the impressive set that forms the backdrop of what will be a 60 to 70-minute film.

Theo, who lives in Nayland, added: “It has been working very well. There were a couple of problems with lighting on the first day, but that was sorted out.

He said much of the inspiration to create Journey's End came from filmmaker John Worland who taught them on a number of different courses.

Although the filming will only take place on a tightly-scheduled eight days, director and editor Ed is expecting to spend a lot longer editing.

He said: “We're trying to make this as professional as possible, using a high quality film and computer technology.

“We've gone to a lot of trouble to ensure that the set, uniforms and props are authentic.”

Other main roles are played by Peter Fogarty, Richard Bland, Rhys McDowall and Chris Smith.

Many of the teenagers involved in the film will be collecting their GCSE results today.

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