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pound;10,000 for school film

ITS BUDGET was even tighter than The Blair Witch Project and 10,000 times smaller than that of Titanic. Yet Penketh county high school in Warrington has completed its own feature film with just pound;10,000 and the use of Pounds 8,000 of equipment.

Graeme Baxter, the deputy head and director of the film, said the project had succeeded because around 500 pupils had been involved. School technicians operated the professional digital video cameras, while pupils did everything else, from recording the sound and composing the music to providing its cast.

"With enthusiasm and a little bit of backing, anyone can do it," Mr Baxter said. "To be honest, it really wasn't that hard."

The 90-minute film, titled Days, was based on a previous end-of-year show at the school. It tells the story of a young girl whose father is in jail and who struggles to fit into a new comprehensive.

But how did Mr Baxter persuade the head to give him pound;10,000 from the school's budget? "We are a specialist media college and it has been good for the pupils. They have made their own videos and promotional material about the film," he said.

Days will be premiered in Cheshire in June, and may be shown at selected UK cinemas if a distribution deal, being discussed, gets the go ahead.

Faye Bellas, an 18-year-old pupil who played the lead, Kate Scott, said:

"There's a lot of hype in school about it. One little boy even came up to me and asked if I was going to win the Oscars."

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