Young actors from Exmouth Community College are starring in the latest release by a locally based community film project.

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Falcon of Fury is a short film by Meat Bingo – a group which includes college teacher John Panton, former college pupil and top TV writer David Quantick, and Exmouth artist Moose Allain.

The 11-minute film, which took nearly a year to put together, is part action, part comedy, and sees school pupils – played by a mixture of year eight and year 10 pupils from the college – embroiled in a fantastical struggle based around table football.

The college buildings were used as a filming location, as were Honiton Community College and Woodbury 
Common.

Mr Quantick, who wrote the script, having previously written for shows including Harry Hill’s TV Burp and The Day Today, said much of his inspiration for the story came from Hong Kong cinema.

He said: “I love the action comedies of a Hong Kong director called Stephen Chow. In all his films, there’s a loser hero who meets a Zen master and learns to apply the lessons of Kung Fu and martial arts to something surprising, like cookery or comedy – or, in Shaolin Soccer, football.

“So this was a tribute to those films. But it also got mixed up with Kes, by Ken Loach, possibly because of the falcon, and the school setting. I don’t know why, but I think it works.

“When I saw the film, I loved it! The actors are amazing and really went for it – they got it and they seemed to enjoy it, and it shows on camera.”

Mr Panton, who directed the film, said: “The students all gave up their time to participate, and they were brilliant, because it was such a time-consuming film to make with all of the table football photography.

“We shot it in summer last year, which was continual rain. We filmed up at Woodbury Common and the main actor, Renz Alcazar, was just absolutely sodden. It was just a nightmare to film, but they say never work with children or animals, and all of them were brilliant – the hard thing was the rain.”

Mr Allain, who produced artwork to transition between scenes and also backgrounds for green screen shots, said: “The finished film is fantastic. I’ve never been involved in a film shoot like that before.

“I didn’t look at any monitors, so it was a wonderful surprise when it all came together, and the lovely thing about it is it’s very much a collaborative process.”

Falcon of Fury also features music by Simon Greenwood, and a song by Martin Carr of The Boo Radleys.

It is hoped the film will secure a spot at festivals later this year, but in the meantime it can be viewed online at www.falconoffury.co.uk.

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