TV extras featured in their own film

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A GROUP of local film extras who met on set came together to create their own film.

And now the short, directed by Bradford-based music producer Tim Walker, has been shortlisted to screen at two top film festivals.

Three years ago, Tim met actors Michelle Jennings and Michaela Williams in Crewe, on the set of Sky TV’s “Cobra”.

Playing the roles of soldiers for a key scene at a roadblock, where Michelle had a small speaking role alongside Robert Carlisle, they came up with the idea of ​​producing a short film that would showcase their acting and production skills. .

They started a WhatsApp group and back in Bradford, Tim started writing the screenplay and putting together a production team for the zero budget project.

He recruited two other local actors, Sophia Leanne Kelly, with whom he has since worked on Ackley Bridge on Channel 4, and Jax Griffin, who runs Bradford’s Drunken Film Fest. The four women play the roles of Angela, Mandy, Jane and Grace.

The production, Support Group, was filmed at the Assembly Bradford creative co-working space in North Parade. They were offered the two-day shoot for free.

“The film is about a support group for women victims of violence. Sally, the woman who runs it goes missing, ”said Tim.

Jim DeBarker, whom Tim knew as a live music engineer, was recruited as sound recorder, Jonny Ridout as lighting cameraman, Nick Taylor as boom operator and David Ayres as assistant director. With more crews in place and Tim as a director, all working for free to add to their shows, they shot the 14-minute film.

Tim’s interest in cinema began when he was a young boy. “I was in a Wellington Middle School film club in Undercliffe. It was great that they had this club – we made some humorous films with our teacher John Richardson using his Super 8 camera. He wrote his first screenplay when he was 12.

After months of post-production at Bradford’s Voltage Studios, run by Tim, the short made its way to film festivals, where it immediately won two official selections, at the UK Monthly Film Festival and Lift-Off Sessions, which takes place from Pinewood Studios. .

“Both of them included the short film in their programs which was awesome,” said Tim, whose latest film Reflection was covered by three festivals.

The support group also received an ‘honorable mention’ from the London Seasonal Short Film Festival.

Michaela said: “After waiting many months because of Covid, having the opportunity to work with director Tim Walker and his brilliantly talented crew on this fantastic piece has been a privilege and a relief.

“Many opportunities for upcoming artists were lost during the pandemic and although we didn’t have long to rehearse this short film, being accepted into various film festivals has definitely given me the confidence and will to continue. to follow my passion to become an actor.

Michelle said: “It was wonderful to work with such a talented cast and crew. This work was a gift to perform and each character was carefully created and performed by our writer / director Tim.

Advances in technology have led to a growing interest in making independent films, Tim said.

“There’s a lot going on in Bradford, with Bradford City of Film and Screen Yorkshire. There are so many opportunities in this area and for independent cinema.

The support group is now awaiting selection choices from other festivals. It can be viewed on Youtube by searching for ‘Support Group Tim Walker’

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