A Staffordshire-based student film maker is hoping for festival success with a short film shot in Blackpool starring two Lytham actors.
The five minute long The Paper Bag Project took almost three months to make and will be screened in the BFI film theatre in Stoke and entered in film festivals internationally.
“Hopefully it will build up a bit of a following and get a lot of hits which is ultimately what film-making is about in my opinion – getting your films out there,” says writer, director and producer Holly Morris.
“Although overall it took about three months to make – including the development of the idea, the paperwork and the editing process I actually shot the film in just one day on November 6 last year.”
Her stars – Eleanor Lockwood and Richard Withnell – were selected through an audition process after advertising on talent websites and were cast because they were a couple in real life.
“Being a love story it meant they had chemistry on screen as well as off screen and they are both from Lytham so live close by where the filming was done,” says Holly.
The Paper Bag Theory is a girl-meets-boy story about the bag-headed Ellie, a misguided young adult who feels adrift and unattached from society meeting Rick, a like-minded and similar character.
“Together they feel they belong and explore the sights and sounds of the resort – from the arcades, to the beach, to fairground rides,” says Holly.
“It not only encapsulates the town’s busy and bustling atmosphere but mixes it together with a captivating and sweet blossoming relationship between the misfits.”
So why paper bags?
“I wanted to use them as a way of representing the characters’ insecurities,” says Holly.
“I felt that it was quite a quirky and unconventional way to show that, as well as it bringing something new and interesting to the bog standard girl-meets-boy story.”
Blackpool itself proved a mixed blessing.
“Being winter it was tough as it meant we lost daylight very early on – not helped with it being very overcast on the day of shooting,” she said. “However, the Illuminations were a big part of the film so shooting at winter didn’t bother me.
“Blackpool North train station and Blackpool Council were overwhelmingly brilliant and helpful with giving me permission to shoot, the rest was guerilla style, which resulted in us having to shoot in about four arcades as we kept getting asked to leave.”
Previously Holly has produced a music video for the band Sonic Boom Six as well as directing a spoof music video which raised over £300 for charity. Previous dramas and documentaries have been selected to be screened at film festivals internationally. After graduation Holly hopes to become a producer for both television and films.