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Bury St Edmunds West Suffolk College makes film The Sheriff with Motion Impossible whose work includes Taylor Swift and Adele

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West Suffolk College staff and students have been on location across East Anglia for a new production called The Sheriff.

Written by Tom Crich, the short action film follows on from the success of a film project the Bury St Edmunds-based college was involved with last year called Maximus.

The Sheriff is being directed by Ben Pryke, who is also course director for film at the college.

He said: “Students were heavily involved in the process supervised by heads of departments. We brought in a mixture of professionals to support us and the students on the level four film course have gained real-life work opportunities.

"Two have worked with a Hollywood director and our storyboard artist Hana Al-Aride has also been approached by a household name from the film world. Sadly we can’t name them until later in the year.

“The students have also been working with a company called Motion Impossible who worked on various high-profile projects including Taylor Swift, Adele, Top Gear, Le Mans and Hollywood features. So the opportunities that have come from this have been amazing.”

Director Ben Pryke on set with the main character Stan, played by actor David Howels (57387780)
Director Ben Pryke on set with the main character Stan, played by actor David Howels (57387780)

Colin Ramsey, owner of DragonLight films in Cambridge, is the producer of the film.

He said: “People can expect a similar tone to Hot Fuzz and Mall Rats for this short comedy drama.

“The story has a vintage feel to it and it’s quirky and quite retro. It centres on a security guard called Stan who is heading towards retirement before he has to confront a major issue in his life.

Joe Nial and Billy Tonks behind the scenes (57387784)
Joe Nial and Billy Tonks behind the scenes (57387784)

“There is lots of action, we’ve built our own sets and there has been a real interest in what we are doing when we’ve been on location.

“It’s been exciting working with Ben and the students. Everyone has risen to the challenge.

“We are now going into a period of post-production and we will be submitting this to lots of film festivals once we have the final cut. We can’t wait for people to see the final results.”

Student Esmee White on set (57387782)
Student Esmee White on set (57387782)

One of the students involved is Esmee White, 19, from Assington near Sudbury. She said: “I’ve been helping with props, set design and hair and make-up. I think this experience will help me in the future. When it premières, it will be surreal to see my name in the credits."

Joe Nial, 19, from Stowmarket has been a second camera assistant. He said: “It’s been an amazing experience to be part of this.”

The Sheriff, a 15 to 17-minute short, will première in 2023.

The producer Colin Ramsay (57387786)
The producer Colin Ramsay (57387786)

The film has been funded by The European Social Fund and Place 21. Andrew Wheeler, Joe Stocking, Electric Theatre Collective and Motion Impossible have also supported the production.