Filmmaking student produces award winning short film 'Shattered'
BA (Hons) Filmmaking student at Leeds Beckett, Oliver Duffy, heads up production of award-winning short film.
‘Shattered’, a short film set in the Netherlands during World War ll, focuses on the tragedy that was experienced by Jewish people in Europe. The film tells the story of a young woman and her brother who lived in fear and whose life was shattered by the horrors of the war. Eventually surviving the concentration camp, she returns home to find out who betrayed her and informed the Nazis of her location.
Brogan Waller-Parkinson, an avid researcher and historian of this period, wrote the film and after a few initial hitches the project was taken up by Filmmaking student Oliver Duffy, along with co-producers Nicholas Teslich and Bethany Goode. The three wanted to work on the film to help make the ambitious idea a reality and deliver a piece that was as authentic as possible.
The Northern Film School and the BA (Hons) Filmmaking course came together to form the Shattered team, utilising some existing and some new working partnerships. The project collaborated with Leeds City College students and drew on the numerous specialisms of the film school in areas like; production design, costume, camera, lighting, sound, logistics and editing.
The film has recieved a lot of recognition over the last year with reviews from critics such as New York based Occhi Magazine. Shattered has also gone on to receive awards from film festivals, such as: Best Historical Film, Best Production Design, Best Costume and Best Hair & Makeup, from festivals in places such as New York, Paris, Istanbul and the UK. Towards the end after obtaining its accolades, it was then praised by newspapers such as Leeds' own Yorkshire Evening Post.
Pulling off the period project on a limited budget and in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic was a challenge but utilising their skills allowed the production team to overcome various difficulties and turn Leeds city 2020 into Netherlands 1940. The 14-minute thought provoking and heartfelt short film has been a success and reminds us of what Jews sadly experienced during the second world war.
Studying at the Northern Film School
Unlike many universities that focus solely on theory, The Northern Film School prides itself on being considerably focused on learning through experience. When Oliver started his studies he did a crash course, working on four different teams to create four films over the first semester, learning and deploying his skills in various specialisms and departments. The departmental setup aims to mirror the industry standards way of working in film/high-end tv production. Students are taught by individuals that have industry experience and have access to industry standard kit and facilities such as studio space, editing suites and sound rooms.
Oliver says in an interview, ‘For me, the main reason I chose to study at the Northern Film School was all down to the final year projects. You spend the 3 years learning through not only theory, but constant practical experience and practise to finesse your skills and choose a specialist area and department to work in, such as directing, writing, camera and lighting, producing, production design or editing. Everyone has the opportunity to be the head of their department on a project and then also work in other roles to assist on their peers' projects.’
After all the skills and practical lessons leading up to the final year, students spend the majority of their third year working on these various productions.
Oliver commented, ‘I think the Northern Film School is a great place to study because of this unique footing, if you are looking to learn from step one all the way to the very end, working in a professional way with peers on your final year films with a real cash budget to balance. Doing all of this equipped me with the vital experience and confidence to pursue industry work in high-end tv and film production.’