Filming has started for The Knife That Killed Me, the Universal Pictures backed thriller being made just outside of York, at the newly refurbished Green Screen Studios.
The film is a gripping and tragically topical story of one boy’s spiral into knife-crime. The script has been adapted from Anthony McGowan’s award winning novel by Marcus Romer and Kit Monkman, who will also direct, and is being produced by Thomas Mattinson and Alan Latham.
The project is being shot entirely against green screen, with live actors composited into stylised computer-generated scenes utilising an all-digital production pipeline. To create its unique look, multiple passes of both real and CG footage are processed to reflect a collage of memories.
The film centres around Paul Varderman, a lanky sixteen year old whose world is the coarse litter strewn grass of the playing fields of his run down city school somewhere in Northern England. Paul and his Dad, a feckless has-been of a character, are like ships that pass in the night. Whilst both know something is amiss, both do nothing about it. The coldness and lack of love that surround Paul pose the question in our mind – is the grim battleground of the playing field a warmer and more welcoming world than his home life? At sixteen for all these kids it’s sink or swim and each one is a prisoner in this world where fear rules. There are friends, there are enemies, there are gangs you do belong to, gangs you don’t, and as a late arrival at the school there is pressure on Paul to make a choice, and of course, there is the girl of his dreams.
The film has been written and will be directed by Kit Monkman and Marcus Romer, first time feature film directors, but well known in the theatre and visual arts industries both across the UK and internationally.
Kit, a leading and prolific innovator across stage, film and public environments, says of the film, “This film is going to be very different. The entire story is told from Paul Varderman’s perspective from fragments of his memory. It’s like a radio play with pictures; it asks its audience to collaborate in creating the visual story. The techniques we’re using to achieve this are complex – hence the green screen – and have been four years in the making. The result however will be very simple, drawing the audience away from being spectators and towards being participants in his drama. It really is a new approach to cinema for a new generation of film-goers.”
Marcus is the Artistic Director of Pilot Theatre, based at the Theatre Royal, York, and recalling the journey of discovering and securing the script, he said, “A few years ago, I contacted Anthony [McGowan] with my ideas for the adaption and how we might approach this. He agreed to the adaption on the condition of approving our first draft, from which we’d then be able develop the script further.
“We then went back with the developed version, meeting with Anthony and his agent in London and inviting them to our theatre work at Pilot. They were delighted with it and gave the project the go ahead.”
So with excitement building over this locally filmed feature film keep your eyes on One&Other for further updates on the progress of the making of a major feature film, right here in our back yard.