Budding filmmakers get a taste of Hollywood as Barnes’ historic cinema hosts film premiere


‘The Naughty Step’ was created by students at Barnes Film Academy.


By Charlotte Goodwin and Liane Lau

An historic cinema and recording studio played host to the premiere of a horror film created by talented young filmmakers in Barnes last weekend.

Barnes Film Academy (BFA), a holiday workshop for budding Spielbergs, allows students aged 10-15 to take part in every step of the filming process, from acting to working behind the scenes and post-production.

Beaming with pride is Samuel Cullis, project leader at Barnes Film Academy and head of media studies at Harrodian School in Barnes, who guided students to create ‘The Naughty Step’.

“I want to make the film industry available to young students who are getting more and more technical,” says Mr Cullis.

He adds he has always loved film and it was due to his own lack of film opportunities when he was younger that he decided to provide youngsters with this creative chance.

“Seeing your work on the big screen creates a big buzz for the students,” he said.

The Naughty Step’, heightens the fear with a nod to infamous horror film ‘The Ring’, as a ghoulish figure appears before the protagonist, accompanied by an ominous soundtrack.

The audience is not allowed to get too scared though, as subtle humour is dotted around with a characteristically modern feel added by the plot, advanced by the use of mobile phones failing to save the day.

Mr Cullis says that the show’s BFA mentor, Rory Campbell, did an amazing job on advertising, editing and post-production from start to finish.

Rory, 18, says what is seen on the screen is a fraction of the 108 hours he spent editing the footage, as he and the team were met with several difficulties, including strong winds in outdoor scenes.

The cast is made up of rising stars, including 14-year-old Alex Haug, who has recently starred in a Nickelodeon advert.

“What I find really amazing was changing locations from one set to another. It was really fun and I enjoyed the whole process,” he says.

“The first thing that was a bit of a difficulty was that we had to film during the day.

“The second difficulty was working with a big range of age groups. We all came together and worked as a group.

He added: “The biggest problem was learning the lines but we had extra coaching to learn the lines better.”

The Olympic Studios boasts a powerful Dolby Atmos sound system, one of only a handful of cinemas in the UK showing selected movies on the sound system.

Madeline Knight, Front of House at Olympic Studios, says: “Part of the studio has remained upstairs to keep history ringing true of the place.”

Plush red seats and deep red carpets decorate the screens, keeping in line with the theme, while popcorn and sweets are offered in paper bags, along with homemade ice cream.

Like its name, the studio has run its full Olympic lap since it started life as a cinema in 1906, and now has plans to tap into the market of showing more independent films.

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