Entombed under the battlefields of the First World War, a loving husband will do anything he can to get back home...
What is the film about?
The Trench follows Herbert, a soon to be father and Collins a fresh faced boy soldier as they dig tunnels under no-mans land to lay explosive charges. Until the day Herbert receives the news; Loss of blood preceded loss of life and the two things he held most dear, his wife and unborn son have passed away in childbirth.
Shortly after receiving the tragic news an enemy mine collapses the tunnel, seriously wounding Collins and endangering both of their lives. As the horror threatens to engulf Herbert; he discovers another world beneath the mud and death...
Setting off on a journey of salvation, where the boundaries between reality and fantasy blur, he begins to question what is real, what is not and whether it even matters.
Bert is guided through his journey by a disfigured unearthly creature who sets him three challenges with the promise that if he succeeds he will be rewarded with what his heart most desires, however if he fails he will be trapped in the tunnels forever.
The trench location in which large sections of the film will take place
Where did this all start?
We first came across the story at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2013, where Oliver Lansley and his theatre company Les Enfants Terribles were performing their 2012 5-Star, award winning sell-out show The Trench.
From that moment we were in love and set about working with Oli to secure the rights and develop our vision for the adaptation to screen. We are still working closely with Oli, and Alexander Wolfe, who created the incredibly immersive and spellbinding soundtrack to the play, to make sure no stone is left unturned in the film.
Who are we?
We are a group of final year students studying Film Production at The University of York's Department of Theatre Film and TV. This project will be the last major film we undertake at the University, but will also mark the start of our progression into larger, more challenging films.
As well as our on-screen heroes, Bert and Collins, we have an incredible production team...
Director: Alex Campbell
Alex's background in directing started in theatre, working on and even taking shows to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the past 5 years. His latest film Journey Home is currently on the international film festival circuit and just last month screened at The International Sun & Sand Festival in Mississippi.
Producer: Lucy Shepherd
Lucy began making films over ten years ago and has since then won national awards, worked for HBO in NYC, Aito Media in Finland and made adventurous documentaries in some of the world's most extreme environments. The Trench is her next huge challenge that she will put her all into to make it work.
Director of Photography: Ryan Cook
Having started paving the way for a career in film since the age of 14, Ryan has not only the experience but also the raw passion needed to make films. As the Director of Photography Ryan hopes to bring a distinctive style of cinematography, not only wowing the audience with beautiful aesthetics but also allowing the story to unfold in a powerful way.
Production Designer: Alice Catchpole
Alice began her career helping to introduce young people to the world of film. She has then gone on to make various shorts, focusing on production design, including the design of a time machine. Creating the world of The Trench is the next exciting project for Alice to explore.
1st Assistant Director / Line Producer: Sabrina Hutchison
Sabrina has worked closely with the team before on numerous short films and TV shows. Her ability to keep everyone happy makes her a vital asset on set for the cast and crew... She also makes a cracking cuppa!
Sound Recordist: Megan Minh
Megan’s love for film started by simply helping with the setting up for events like Gone in 60 seconds, Oxfam Music event and ASFF. She has also worked on many students films, focusing on the sound department, from location recording to post-production sound in studios.
Post-Production Sound: James Lewis
Having previously worked on various projects with the director including his latest production Journey Home, James has been brought on board again to push the post-production sound process and ensure the final product reaches its full potential.
Why do we need your money?
The crew has been working tirelessly for the past 3 months developing Oli's stage show for screen and with production now confirmed for February 2014 we have to go about raising the entire shooting budget.
We've already managed to raise a fair proportion from our own pockets which will cover essentials such food, travel and accommodation for the duration of the shoot.
This means that every pound that you pledge will go towards materials for the set design, costumes, make up and specialised equipment such as a camera crane and special effects, making a visible difference on screen and to the final look of the film.
Close up of detail within the pre-existing trench networks.
Where will the film end up?
We want this film to screen at as many festivals across the world as possible to tell the stories of the hundreds of tunnellers that spent months, and even years of their lives under the battlefields and to share this unique and compelling story.
After its festival life we hope to propel the film to larger audiences outside of auditoriums and cinemas, through online and broadcast distribution.
Risks and Challenges?
We recognise this is going to be an incredibly ambitious project but from the moment we first discovered this story we knew we wanted to turn this into a film that would be perfect for the big screen and bring the inspiring story to a wide international audience.
There are always risks and challenges to any filming project. The greatest challenge we face, despite all of the physical production work, is raising enough additional funding to keep the cameras rolling and to give the film the post-production treatment it deserves.
We want to make the film to the highest possible quality, and to do justice to this incredible story. Regardless of what happens we will end up with a unique and compelling film, but the support and investment of other individuals and organisations will be essential if we really wish to realise our full creative vision for the film.
Department of Theatre Film and Television at The University of York
Q: When are you shooting The Trench?
A: The Trench will be shot over 10 days from 31st January 2014 to 10th February 2014.
Q: How long is The Trench?
A: We plan on The Trench being no longer than 30 minutes.
Q: What is the music playing in the video?
A: It is Alexander Wolfe. Alexander created the original soundtrack for The Trench stage production.