Freddie Hill, one of the two young actors who shared the part of Peter Pan in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s Christmas production a couple of years ago, has turned film-maker.
Unforgettable features a cast of two, one of whom is Shannon Hay who was also in the CFYT’s production in 2016. It was filmed in Billingshurst.
The film, lasting 25 minutes including credits and titles, gets its premiere at the Capitol Theatre and Cinema in Horsham on Sunday, July 1, at 6pm (tickets 01403 750220).
Freddie, 17, who lives in Coldwaltham, said: “Myself and my friend Tom Carter (of Watersfield) are both keen film-makers. We said at the start of January 2017 that we wanted to do something professional. As 17-year-olds, we thought ‘Why not!’
“I had a couple of ideas of what I wanted to do. I wanted to do something that was thought-provoking and that threw up some topical ideas and shed light on some situations and hopefully make an awareness film.
“I had the ideas, but I am not a writer, so I advertised for writers and I was inundated with responses.
“I said that it was potentially non-paid but that we were all wanting to make something very professional, and after going through lots and lots of writers, I came across Phil Davis, a recent screenplay graduate in Manchester. We collaborated on some ideas and he started writing.
“By July 2017, I had a final draft of the script, which is when I started looking at auditions. I brought in Jacob Thomas, a trainee producer from the CFT. I thought it was a great chance for him to get some experience.
“The film is called Unforgettable. It’s about an old man called Albert who has recently lost his wife. He is coming to the end of his happiness in life. The other character is called Charley, a young woman who has lost her family as well. She is an orphan and has been homeless for a long period of time. They are both troubled characters who are suffering from loneliness.
“They come together in the unlikely circumstances that start with a suicide attempt by Albert. Charley ends up saving him. They go on to share their confessions and talk about their lives. We find out that Albert used to dance with his wife to ‘Unforgettable’ by Nat King Cole, and now she has gone, he no longer can, but at the end of the film, Charley and Albert dance to the song as the camera fades out.
“Ed Waller, an ex-CFYT member, composed the brilliant score to the film, Shannon Hay starred, alongside Paul Dewdney, an industry professional. I hoped that by collaborating with such a passionate team of aspirers, we could assist each other and push towards the place that we hope to be.
“It is just the two actors. I put out an open casting call and I got responses from all over the country. Every single night for a month I was replying to emails. We narrowed it down and saw people in Chichester in the rehearsal room at the CFT. We saw about 20 people over the two days.”
And now the premiere.
“This is the big reveal where we show everyone what we have been working on for the past year and a half. It will be really exciting. We are really grateful for the support we have had from our sponsors.
“We managed to raise around about £1,500 to go towards making the film. We had a lot of equipment already, but we wanted some funky bits of equipment so we could do really smooth drifting shots to pull it altogether, and we paid the actors and made sure that all the equipment was right for them.”
For more information, visit The Capitol Theatre website at www.thecapitolhorsham.com.
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