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UON helps movie get ready for its close up

Date 23.04.2021

A vacant University building ensured the cameras could roll when an awareness-raising film about deaf people was made last year.

Veneer was produced by Mutt & Jeff Pictures for the British Sign Language Broadcasting Trust with co-producer and University of Northampton partner Screen Northants.

The short film is about middle-aged sisters Mimi (who is deaf) and Martha who still live together. Martha cooks, cleans and oversees Mimi’s life, afraid that her sister cannot cope on her own.  Mimi, in turn, hides behind a veneer of make-up and wigs to avoid confronting her non-starter life.

But everything is not what it seems.

Screen Northants were tasked with sourcing the right filming location in the county. Walgrave, a vacant building on the University’s former Avenue site, was available.

UON’s Conference and Events team worked closely with Screen Northants and a Covid supervisor to ensure the building was Covid secure and otherwise fully compliant for filming. The film is now finished and can be viewed online.

Tracy Brockton, Conference and Events Coordinator at UON, said: “It was wonderful to welcome our ScreenNorthants partners back to our former campus. We were more than happy to help them out and it’s great to see Veneer is now available to see.

“People might not realise that the University has a room hire facility across its Waterside buildings. With Covid restrictions starting to relax, we look forward to welcoming people who need to use our spaces for corporate or private events.”

Becky Adams from Screen Northants added: “After the production was postponed due to Covid-19, we were tasked with finding a space in which the filming could take place with strict health and safety protocols and we worked closely with the University of Northampton to make that happen at Walgrave.

“Instead of filming out on location, we used Walgrave to build sets and to be our base for production for about a month. We’ve filmed loads at Avenue Campus over the years, including scenes for our feature film Fortune Cookies just before the pandemic took hold and it was lovely to be back for the last few months of its life!”

Tracy and the team recently achieved the Good to Go standard, Visit England’s newly launched Covid-19 industry standard. This means that the University demonstrates a commitment to Government and public health guidance in relation to Covid-19.

Find out more about room and location hire at the University and download the conference and events brochure here.

You can also email the team: roomhire@northampton.ac.uk