Posted: 02/06/2014 23:15:06 by Nigel Nixon
The glamorous world of cinema got a distinctly Cumbrian twist as the premiere of a new British comedy came to Ambleside.

Cast, crew and audience paired evening gowns and suits with hiking boots and walked down a grassy red carpet as the curtain went up on ‘Downhill’ at Zeffirellis.

Shot entirely on location, the comedy tells the story of four friends who take on Wainwright’s Coast to Coast Walk from St Bees in Cumbria to Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire.

The event was attended by cast members Jeremy Swift and Richard Lumsden and director James Rouse, who was visibly emotional at seeing his feature debut on the big screen, and the warm audience reaction.
“It’s a story about four guys going on a walk which doesn’t sound very sexy but it’s the characters, hopefully, that make you stay with it.”

The small crew were a ‘tight unit’ and helped each other carry equipment up hills while dealing with the downpours.   “If a film showed a two-week walk in the north of England with wonderful weather no one would have believed it.  The landscapes were extraordinary and I think England looks really good in this film.”
The event was held in aid of the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, with a total of £900 raised.

Tagged with: Downhill, Film, Premiere, Ambleside


Posted: 20/08/2011 11:29:41 by Nigel Nixon

SPACE pirate and alien life forms could soon be seen zooming around the Lake District – thanks to a new million dollar movie.

Old Hutton writer and director Rick McLeod has teamed up with a group of American producers to make a science fiction film based on cult television series Firefly.

The US consortium, one of whom has done sound-tracks for Mr McLeod in the past, originally began filming experimental sequences in county – but then the idea turned into a feature-length film.

Although $1 million is a relatively small budget for a movie, Mr McLeod said he was ‘shocked’ when the group gave the figure.

“Last year was a good one for us – we’re still reeling from that – so when they approached me my first question was ‘Are you serious?’

“It’s not easy to make films in Cumbria, especially with the UK Film Council gone. When we had Leslie Grantham here, he was unpaid because he loved the script.

“It’s great to know that our hard work is starting to pay off.”

The film, called Lost Transmission, follows the lonely adventure of Blake, captain of a mining ship, with no-one but his computer to talk to after war breaks out on Earth. But he leaves the planet to find life on other worlds.

Filming is expected to start in early 2012, and will be split between Cumbria and America.

CGI effects are already being worked on by the studio, which created a castle in the middle of Windermere in a previous flick.

Before filming begins in earnest, Mr McLeod is shooting a short promotional video with action sequences in Old Hutton.

And he is looking for ‘23rd century pirates’ to star as extras in a fight scene on Sunday, to be led by a trained fight choreographer.

“We’re seeking punks, goths and heavy rockers. Long or short hair, tattoos and piercings are a bonus but not essential. The more outrageous the look the better,” said Mr McLeod.

Filming will last for between two and three hours and anyone interested can email celticstormfilms@live.com.

Participants are requested to send a head shot with their email.

Discussions with actors to play the role of Blake are still going on.

Tagged with: Film, Lake, Move, district


Posted: 04/06/2011 10:16:05 by Nigel Nixon

A GOVERNMENT appointed planning inspector has ruled that an ancient Lake District fell pass is out of bounds for motorised vehicles.

The decision by the Secretary of State to make Garburn Pass, between Troutbeck and Kentmere, a ‘restricted byway’ follows three years of legal argument.

It means that any motorist or motorcyclist using the pass is committing a criminal offence and could face serious legal consequences.

The inspector went through hundreds of pages of documents ranging from maps of 1822, guide books of the 1880s, and photographs of motorbikes using the pass in the 1920s.

The Lake District National Park Authority has also announced that thanks to around £55,000 of Government funding invested in repairs following the 2009 floods, the pass is probably in better condition than it has been for hundreds of years.

“The storms of November 2009 badly damaged both sides of the pass, especially the western side where the track effectively became a river, and most of the surface ended up on the main road,” said National Park Countryside Access Adviser Nick Thorne.

“We were able to obtain significant funding under the Paths for the Public Project, funded by Defra, the Rural Development Programme for England, and Cumbria County Council. And we have now completely rebuilt the worst affected areas in three stages with the work being carried out by our own staff, the National Trust, and a local contractor.”



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