Film crew on sea front


Six Edge Hill students got the kind of hands-on experience you can’t get from a lecture, working behind the scenes on Bill Nighy’s latest film.

The acclaimed actor was filming Sometimes Always Never, a new movie by Hurricane Films written by Frank Cottrell Boyce and directed by Carl Hunter.

The comedy-drama follows the story of a father (Nighy) searching for his missing son, with whom he shared a passion for the board game Scrabble. The film, a journey of mystery, self-discovery and hope, is on commercial release across the UK and has gained many favourable reviews.

Robert Cox was one of the lucky students to work on Sometimes Always Never. During his placement, the third year Film Studies and Film Production student acted as Floor Runner and also had the opportunity to shadow the Third Assistant Director to increase his understanding of film making.

“It might sound like I made a lot of cups of tea (which I did),” said Robert, “but I also had to keep an account of what shots had been filmed, alert the cast and crew when a take was about to be filmed, operate the radio headsets, walk the lead actors from their vehicles onto set and make sure the location was quiet when a take was in process – I even stood in for one of the lead actors so the crew could set up the lighting and camera for a scene. Basically making myself as useful as possible and finding a solution for every problem that comes your way on a busy film set. Having the opportunity to work professionally alongside industry experts, an enthusiastic crew and very humble big name actors was amazing and will be an essential part of my ability to get more film production jobs moving forward.”

Fellow third year Film Studies and Film Production student Faye Darwent also jumped at the chance to enhance her CV through practical experience.

“Working on the film gave us an insider perspective into how the film industry operates in the real world,” said Faye, “and it helped me decide on which career I would like to pursue after university. Hurricane Films and Carl gave us all extra attention by giving us tips and advice on how to develop our skills and progress into the film/media industry. I learnt so much from my experience, and I also got some extra work experience from it.”

Carl Hunter in black polo-neck jumper

Carl Hunter

Director, Carl Hunter, said:

“Working on this film offers Edge Hill students the unique opportunity to be mentored by and shadow industry professionals. It’s like a bespoke training programme for them.”

This is not the first time Frank Cottrell Boyce, award-winning writer and creator of the iconic London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, and Carl Hunter, bassist of legendary Liverpool band The Farm, have collaborated on a project. The pair, along with senior lecturer and filmmaker Clare Heney, have also worked on an award winning children’s book, an online narrative project and Beatles-inspired short film, A Day in the Life (24 Zero Hours), which won the Short Fiction prize at the London Labour Film Festival’s International Contest.

All expenses for student trips to the film set were met by Edge Hill’s innovative Student Opportunity Fund which gives financial support for activities which enhance employability and develop transferable skills.