Filmmaker’s loss inspires latest work

Local film producer Gaz Corward is in the middle of shooting his latest piece on location in Blackpool..'Actor James Holdsworth, Gaz and carmerawoman Sophie Ball film a scene on the prom.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-11-2014
Local film producer Gaz Corward is in the middle of shooting his latest piece on location in Blackpool..'Actor James Holdsworth, Gaz and carmerawoman Sophie Ball film a scene on the prom. PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-11-2014

A Fylde coast filmmaker has embarked on his next major project in memory of a close friend who died of cancer.

Gaz Coward, 27, from Hambleton, has been filming on Blackpool Promenade as work gets underway for his latest movie, Ten Memories Until Freedom.

Local film producer Gaz Corward is in the middle of shooting his latest piece on location in Blackpool..'Gaz and carmerawoman Sophie Ball film a scene on the prom.  PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-11-2014

Local film producer Gaz Corward is in the middle of shooting his latest piece on location in Blackpool..'Gaz and carmerawoman Sophie Ball film a scene on the prom. PIC BY ROB LOCK'14-11-2014

The film is his first solo effort as a director and a complete departure from the gangster film, Playing With Fire, which he shot in the resort earlier this year and which is awaiting release.

He said: “It is being made in memory of a very good friend of mine, Rebecca Joyce, who passed away in 2012. She started a charity called Kick 
Cancer.

“I lost my step dad in November last year to lung cancer and it’s being dedicated to them.”

The film centres around a young couple facing their own struggle with cancer.

It starts with them in a hotel bedroom before a series of items trigger memories, prompting flashbacks which combine to tell their story.

“It’s a very emotional tear-jerking drama,” added Mr Coward. “It had people in tears while we were filming.

“There’s no happiness when it comes to cancer – we are trying to portray cancer as it is. Everybody working on the film has either known somebody with cancer or lost someone to it.”

And despite facing some last-minute challenges when cast members dropped out, filming was able to go ahead as planned earlier this month.

With just a couple days to go, James Holdsworth, from Blackpool, stepped in to play a leading role opposite Mina Renoir, a London-based actress.

Mr Coward added: “We have now shot all the bedroom based scenes and we have still got all the memories to shoot – we are treating that like seven short films.

“We will be filming them in February and hope to release the film in April.”

The film will be released on DVD but he is also hoping to show it at a local cinema and will be submitting it to studios in the hope it will be picked up and distributed.

He said he also hopes to use the film to launch his new production studio, AUDAX Film Productions, which is one of two involved in putting Ten Memories Until Freedom together. He set the company up with fellow directors and producers Graham Moody and Matt Greenhalgh in order to support emerging talent in the industry.

“Our goal is to team up with other production companies in the area and help other local filmmakers,” he said.

“We want to get them to where we are.”

Gaz has made more than 25 short films, three feature films and an online TV show, Paranormal Intent.