Students' Horror Movie Début

Posted on 10 October 2011

Students from the Department of Theatre, Film and Television have won a commission from York Maze to produce a short horror movie for the attraction's forthcoming Hallowscream horror nights.

Students filming for the York Maze Hallowscream event.

The three students - Tom Day (19), Danny Ord (19) and Dan Atherton (19) - are currently filming at York Maze and other locations in York for a short film which will form the centrepiece of York Maze’s new Halloween attraction ‘See No Evil’.

Tom Day, who is directing the movie, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to work on a real project. The three of us have been working together over the summer writing scripts and auditioning actors. The storyline is based on a group of teenagers who come to the York Maze Hallowscream event but arrive a day too early. They decide to go inside the haunted houses anyway expecting them to be closed and deserted, but find that they have a life of their own and residents who don’t appreciate the intrusion.

“It is a cross departmental effort with theatre students in the acting rolls, and students from the technical courses helping with lighting, make-up and production. We’ve already had some late nights filming the chase scenes at the maze, but it's fantastic fun and everyone is really excited about seeing the final edit.”

Professor Andy Tudor from the University of York’s Department of Theatre, Film and Television, who has a long time interest in the study of the horror movie genre and has published a book on the subject, has been advising the students.

“Horror movies require certain technical skills, in particular the ability to build tension as economically as possible, and as such are a very good training ground for young filmmakers. There is a long tradition of people getting their early experience of film making with low budget horror movies, Francis Ford Coppola for example. It’s great to see the students applying what they have learnt during their studies to a real film project. I have given them a few pointers on what to watch out for in horror movie making and can’t wait to see the results.”

‘See No Evil’ will be screened as part of the York Maze Hallowscream nights which run for five nights only from Thursday 27th to Monday 31st October. Other scary activities on offer include ‘Curse of the Corn’ a tractor trailer ride which turns into a terrifying trek through the maze, ‘Barnaggedon’ a horror maze themed on a journey into a subterranean world inhabited by freaks and mutants, and ‘The Carnevil’ a circus themed haunted house

Tom Pearcy from York Maze said: “It's great to be able to play a small part in helping the filmmakers of tomorrow take their first steps in moviemaking. The students have really got behind the project and have come up with a brilliant script. There are some very original ideas being put forward, and I can guarantee some unexpected twists that will have visitors to the Hallowscream nights jumping out of their seats.”

Organisers are expecting a big demand for tickets, which must be purchased in advance at  www.yorkmazehallowscream.co.uk and will not be available on the door.