Film award for UN student’s spook short

Date 11.11.2015

A scary short film by movie-makers from the University of Northampton found favour with the public when it was premiered on the silver screen.

Horror flick The Presence​, by third year BA Media Production and Moving Image students Chris Anderson and Aaron Freeman, plus Tom Walder, who has completed an HND in Digital Film Production, was runner-up in the Public Vote category at the Film Northants awards.

The eerie five-minute ghost tale was picked out by cinema-goers from around 40 productions screened during the festival, which was held at Northampton’s Errol Flynn Filmhouse on October 10 and 11.

“It was an amazing experience to watch my film on a cinema screen,” said Chris, who wrote, directed and produced the film – and also oversaw the casting of professional actors and the hunt for locations across Northamptonshire.

“I was happy with the final cut, but you never really know how it will translate to the big screen and it seemed to go down very well with the festival audience – with a few jumping with fright in the right places, so it did its job.

“The festival showcased how much talented film-makers there are around the county, so to have my film endorsed by the public is a huge honour.”

Chris’s course-mates Tom and Aaron played an instrumental role in the making of The Presence, working on the editing, storyline, cameras and sound.

“I can’t thank Tom and Aaron enough for their work on the film, which was two months in the making and really seemed to take over our lives, but the buzz we had when we were shooting was incredible” said Chris.

“I actually enrolled onto my degree with the intention of focussing on script-writing, but the course also covers directing, producing and using the cameras and now I want to pursue film-making for a career.

“I’d like to specialise in short films, and also work in television – to receive the Public Vote runner-up award has really helped to spur me on and follow my ambition.”

Tim Coley, Senior Lecturer in Video Production at the University, said: “The beauty of short films is that film-makers can illustrate their breadth of talent in an exceptionally small amount of time – Chris’s The Presence is a perfect example of a film that exhibits great camera and lighting skills as well as reflecting his talent in directing.

“The Media Production degree’s Short Film Production module now feeds directly into the Film Northants festival, ensuring an audience for students’ work, as well as providing a calling card for making industry contacts.”

The Presence can be viewed on YouTube. All the award-winning entries for Film Northants 2015 are available to watch online. Details about the University’s Media Production and Moving Image degree course can be found on the course page.

Chris Anderson is pictured at Film Northants awards with Charlotte Carne, who played the lead role in The Presence.