BAFTA director works with Staffs students on Somme film

"It's been a long process but it's been amazing. Our students get hands-on real-world experience with industry credits and have had the opportunity to work here in the UK and across Europe."

Fiona Graham, Senior Lecturer in Film Production Technology

Film students from Staffordshire University are documenting the journey of a reconstructed World War One plane as it soars over the Somme this weekend.

Directed by BAFTA nominated filmmaker Stephen Saunders, Bristol Scout Rebuilding History  tells the story of Shropshire man David Bremner who rebuilt his grandfather's WW1 bi-plane from original parts found in his garage, and is flying across Europe visiting Gallipoli and the Somme in his grandfather's memory.

Fiona Graham, Senior Lecturer in Film Production Technology and Television Production Technology, is Development Producer for the documentary and has enlisted the help of two students on the project.

Elliott Bell, graduating from the BSc (Hons) Film Production Technology course this summer, and Callum Woodward, who has just completed his second year, are both part of the crew filming in Greece and France this week commemorating the 100th anniversary of the infamous Great War battle of the Somme.

Fiona said: “The film has been in development for a long time. Now it is coming to the fore and the First World War plane is actually flying, it’s wonderful to see.

“It's been a long process but it's been amazing. Our students get hands-on real-world experience with industry credits and have had the opportunity to work here in the UK and across Europe.

“The students accompanied the plane to Thassos and shot using a range of technology to capture a wonderful experience. They have now moved on to The Somme this weekend for the July 1st commemorations in France where the plane be flown.”

The film is shot in HD and go-pro cameras on board the plane bring to life this personal story of one man's dream. The project is also supported by Lord of the Rings director Sir Peter Jackson who aided the reconstruction of the plane by donating a replica engine through his company Vintage Aviators.

You can watch the plane taking off from Greece, captured by students this week, and view the film's trailer here.

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