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Degree students film murder mystery at historical Bradford hotspots

A talented group of Bradford College HE students have been asking the question “who did it?” this week, in partnership with Screen Yorkshire.

As part of a completely student-led project, learners from across several degree courses have brought to life their very own murder mystery short film.

The process began when film and media students from the Bradford School of Art wrote and pitched script ideas, with the best one – ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ – being chosen to create.

Following this, students from Media Makeup, Fashion and Performing Arts have all contributed to making the vision a reality.

film degree students using cameras and sound equipment

Karl Sherwin, programme leader for Film & Media for the Creative Industries, has been heavily involved in this unique experience. He had this to say about the students and their efforts: “They’re a very hardworking bunch. They’ve managed to turn around this very ambitious project in quite a short amount of time, it’s only been a matter of months.”

The film itself has been co-directed by students Lauren Nicholls and Ali Nisar, with shooting taking place over two days at the Midland Hotel and Bradford Police Museum. These famous Bradford locations have proved a perfect match for the 1920s-based script.

Leeds company, Screen Yorkshire, has been a vital contributor to the real-life progression of students on the project, providing aspects like location expertise and a casting session with professional casting director Sam Claypole.

Hugh Mann Adamson, of ENON films in Sheffield, is another industry expert that students have been fortunate enough to be mentored by over the course of filming. Hugh said this: “Today has been one of those wonderful days where I work with young people, with big ideas, making their first proper short film.

“Students can learn soft skills from me while we’re on set, which is useful to them. They can also ask me about things like trends in terms of employment, equipment, and filmmaking practices; they can just get a real insight of what’s happening in the industry right now.

“It’s always wonderful to see their faces when they’ve captured a moment or performance, or they’ve framed up a shot and it’s working really well. I also really enjoy when they start collaborating, as that’s one of the most important skills you need as a filmmaker.

“The tutors are really eager to see their students succeed and the students should utilise this and what they have access to. Once they leave education, hiring out this sort of equipment will be very expensive, so they should spend the time now filming as many short films as possible.”

Adding to Hugh’s message, Karl Sherwin continued: “This reflects our overall approach, which is based on giving people as much hands-on experience as possible.

“We feel that this is the best way to learn and is most useful to students going into employment in the future, as they’ll have some real experience under their belts.”

As well as forming part of the students’ assessed work, ‘Murder on the Dancefloor’ is set to be screened at the National Science and Media Museum on 16th May, alongside other work from Bradford School of Art.

If you’re interested in any of the courses involved in this exciting project, please visit for more information.

Published: 26th April 2023


University, Arts & Media, Performing Arts & Music


# Fashion # Film # Make-Up # Perfomance # Performing # Performing and Production Arts # Performing Arts # Special Effect Makeup

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