UWE STUDENT CHOOSES 'HARTCLIFFE' FOR FILM BACKDROP

Issue date: 26 May 2004


ISSUE DATE: 26/05/04

The Hartcliffe estate in South Bristol has formed the backdrop for an innovative short film by David Robertson, a final year student from the Time Based Media course at the University of the West of England.

David comes from Birkenhead and understands what it is like to grow up on a council estate. “As a ten year old I watched a lot of films that were probably much too old for me but from this started a love affair with cinema’ said David. “I started writing scripts at quite a young age and always dreamed of directing and producing my own films.” David realised his dream almost by accident. He spent a decade as a Hydraulic Engineer on an oil rig when a fall caused a head injury resulting in David becoming epileptic. “Luckily the seizures are under control and usually only happen at night but the accident meant that at age 29, I had the chance to retrain.”

The film is entitled ‘Tuesday’ and focuses on two young boys who could be living on any estate environment in the UK. ‘Tuesday’ will be shown at the Degree Show at the Faculty of Art, Media and Design on 12 to 16 June 2004.

David explains “I wanted to present a snapshot of an ordinary day and to inject a shot of social realism but in an entertaining way. The film opens with the two boys trying to sell a car wheel outside a pub. They fail miserably and after kicking a ball around one of the boys persuades the other to steal his Dad’s video camera. This is when the fun starts. The boys lark around and the film shows what the two boys actually filmed. They enjoyed doing this part of the film so much that the laughter is genuine rather than contrived. There is a moment when one of the boys pulls a blown up condom over his head and his fits of hysteria really add something to the atmosphere of the film.”

The story develops as the boys go on to harass an older man and the ending is left to the viewer to guess the outcome. The actors, Charlie McDonnell and Sam Lawrence were auditioned from the HTV drama workshop. The film is called Tuesday to reinforce the everyday ordinariness of the story.

“Before starting the course at UWE I knew that I had plenty of ideas for script writing but needed to learn all the other tricks of the trade. The great thing about the UWE Time Based Media course is the chance to get hands-on experience including filming, editing, sound etc which means I now know how to do all the jobs making it easier for me to organise teams for future productions. My work has already had some recognition when ‘Taking the Lease’ was short listed in the Depict 90 second category at Brief Encounters Festival in Bristol last year.”

When David leaves UWE he already has plans to make two short films. “Social realism is where my current interests lie and I will be writing and directing a film about people working at a carwash in Birkenhead and another set in a beauticians. I am determined to make it in this field and will be showing ‘Tuesday’ at Film Festivals over the next year.”

-ENDS-

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