Media students in Bath have achieved what many filmmakers can only dream of when they watched their own film on the big screen.
The year-long project for City of Bath College students to write, fund, film and edit their own feature film culminated with a red-carpet premiere at the Little Theatre.
The sell-out crowd applauded and cheered after watching the screening of the 30 minute comedy-thriller film Cliché.
The 16 Moving Image students aged 16 to 20 crowdfunded their final year project, raising the £2,000 for production costs in just seven weeks.
Ed Powell, Lecturer of Media Production and Film Producer, said a project of this scale had put students one step ahead in their film careers.
He said: “This is what a lot of filmmakers with years of experience can only dream of.
“Many just have ideas and don’t even get the chance to put pen to paper let alone see their work shown at a commercial cinema.
“But these 16 young people have created a film that they got to share with their friends and family on the big screen. That is an amazing achievement.
“We hope that students now have a taste of what it’s like to be at a film premiere and will hopefully take up the challenge to be involved in many more. I look forward to being invited to their future screenings.”
Students were initially asked to pitch their film ideas to a panel of industry experts in a scriptwriting competition. The winning script was written by Paddy Hall who said seeing his work turned into a film was “a great feeling”.
Cliché tells the story of a group of students who go away to make a film in an old manor house then one-by-one go missing in mysterious circumstances.
Having raised the money needed through the Crowdfunder website, the students acquired the necessary equipment to ensure they could set up a proper film set.
They spent up to 16 hours a day filming during their week’s stay at Quantock Lodge in Somerset, then they had to edit the film from about four hours of footage.
The film was a collaboration of the TEMPA department as Performing Arts students made up the cast and Music students worked on the score.
Ed said the final days had been “a frenzy of finishing touches” so the premiere came as “a big relief to everyone.”
He said: “Looking back, making a film was probably a crazy idea but I knew that with the 16 students we had it really was possible.
“It’s certainly been an adventure. The students have been on an incredible journey and the film is a credit to them.
“It’s taken hundreds of hours of work but the skillset of students has gone through the roof.
“They should see the film as their calling card as they embark on the next step in their careers. They can now leave the course knowing they really have achieved something special.”
The premiere was a formal affair with the students’ family and friends walking along the red carpet. As people arrived they enjoyed a selection of music videos, which had also been made by the students, as well as a question and answer session with the film crew.
Production Manager Jay Carter-Coles, 18, said it felt “so surreal” to see their own work on the big screen.
He said: “The pressure was on during filming as we had to shoot 15 scenes in just 3.5 days.
“But everyone worked together and we pulled it off. It was hard work and needed a lot of tweaking but we did it, and that’s all that matters.”
John Panting, 19, who was responsible for the lighting and sound, said: “I’d done directing before so I wanted to try something different and see things from a new perspective.
“It was so much fun and this is such a good step in the door to our future careers. We’re really lucky to have had this experience.”