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Enterprising students secure grant for live jazz show

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A group of Edge Hill University Film and TV students secured a prestigious grant from Liverpool Jazz to create their own live television show.

Eight to the Bar, a jazz roadshow, filmed in front of a live TV audience in a similar style to Later…with Jools Holland, and The Old Grey Whistle Test, was originally devised by Film and TV students as part of their module coursework, before attracting the attention of Executive Directors of Liverpool Jazz, Michael Swerdlow and Victor Greenberg.

The local organisation agreed to sponsor the group of enterprising students to make the TV show after hearing about their proposal, and will use individual clips from the final cut to promote jazz in the North West.

Watch a behind the scenes video from the production of Eight to the Bar below. 

Connor Richmond, 3rd year Film and TV student and Director of Eight to the Bar said:

“We’re delighted that Liverpool Jazz agreed to sponsor our full production, allowing us to cover the costs of professional touring performers, bands, actors, set design and even the hiring of a Grand Piano. We had to fight for the sponsorship and bargain with the CEOs from Liverpool Jazz which was a fantastic experience in how the television industry works.”

As well as acquiring support from Learning Services, Media Development Studio Managers Ian Steel and Paul Farrell, and Media Tutors Mark Fremaux and Gary Westhead, the Film and TV students worked collectively during the full week in the Studio. Connor Richmond worked as Director, Katy Hook took on the role of Producer; Matthew Harrison as Writer and Vision Mixer; Sophie Malone as Floor Manager; Bronagh O’Brian and Sarah Hendry as Set and Props Supervisors; Shaunagh Taylor, Matthew McCabe, Scott Mitchell, and Luke Pearson as Camera Operators; Craig Dunne as Lighting Operator; and Katie Linacre worked as Sound Operator.

Together the Film and TV students secured the services of professional actors Lee Craig and Joanne Sartorius, as well as notable local jazz artists The Bobby Swing Band, The Weave, Sue Yo and Kirsty Tattler, to perform in Edge Hill University’s state-of-the-art Creative Edge Television Studio in front of a live audience.

The grant also allowed them to commission the construction of a set including their own bar area, a performance stage, interview area, audience area, and funded the hiring of a Grand Piano. The finished 30 minute episode of Eight to the Bar will be available to view online, although the team of students are keen to develop the idea further.

Connor added:

“We’ve produced Eight to the Bar as a pilot episode and we fully intend to pitch it to local TV stations with the hope of making an episode two in the future. We’re creating our own website to allow us to host the programme online, and drum up a bit more attention and views through adding content like interviews with bands and Liverpool Jazz themselves.

“Our aim is to promote jazz and live music in the North West as there’s no current TV show which does this. It’s surprising and a real shame because there is so much talent locally and there doesn’t seem to be a clear way of showcasing it.”

“We’ve really tried to raise the bar and produce a top quality production which doesn’t pass for a typical student project and will hopefully to get people excited about local jazz music.”

Edge Hill University’s £17million Creative Edge building opened in September 2013 and includes industry-standard facilities for students studying courses in Media, Film, Animation, Advertising and Computing. Creative Edge’s TV studios have broadcast capacity and full production capabilities for news, drama, documentary and experimental work, rivalling the facilities at BBC’s Media City.

Read more about studying Film and TV at Edge Hill here