SAE Oxford Film student kickstarts 2018 with exciting feature film project

05 Jan 2018

With the new year there comes new and exciting projects from our talented students. SAE Oxford Digital Film Production student Benjamin Eeley’s horror film is one them, with plans already in motion for shooting to start early this summer.

Set in the 1940s during the Nazi occupation of France, the film’s working title is Die Jagd (The Hunt, in German). It follows the harrowing story of a group of allied soldiers being held captive by the Nazis, who are subjected to a cruel and sadistic game led by the commanding Nazi officer. The soldiers are given the chance to escape by running for a boat on the nearby coast, however this ‘game’ is nothing but a violent sport for the Nazis, as the soldiers are hunted like animals and slaughtered if caught.

Benjamin’s inspiration for the film comes from reading one of his current crew member’s short horror stories. Captivated by the setting and the mood, he wanted to expand on the theme of fear and create something much bigger in film form. From that, he came up with the plot behind Die Jagd, which is sure to captivate and disturb its audience.

Benjamin tells us: “The film at this point is now a pure passion project, I’m starting to get lots of people offering their time and skills to the project free of charge, just to see it made.” 

Despite the project still being in the early stages of development and the final script not yet completed, it has already sparked up a great deal of interest with a talented group of people set to work with Benjamin to make the film a reality.

Personally writing and directing the film, Benjamin will also shoot it all himself, with fellow SAE student Joel Rundle co-directing and producing alongside him. The rest of the crew consists of SAE students Chloe Bond as editor, Christopher Cosby as Gaffer, Aidan Dolan and Key Grip, Lauren Ridgway as 2nd AC, Tom Williams as Camera Operator, Chloe Smith as Production Manager, Dani Bonventre (SAE Supervisor) doing the Film Score and Borja Cervera on Audio. 

The crew have already shot a slightly altered version of the opening scene as a Proof of Concept which, as shown in images, truly captivates the despair and fear that will run throughout the final film. The scene will be used to show investors how much the team can accomplish with a very small budget.

A Kickstarter campaign is due to go live in February to raise the money needed to bring Die Jagd to life. The minimum budget is £10,000, but the ultimate goal is £20,000 in order to get the use of quality sets, equipment and hire the cast - all of which will enhance the production and make the film more engaging.

One of the big plans in terms of the score for the film, is to spend a considerable amount to hire and record a full orchestra to maintain the period setting of the 1940s. For the location, most of the filming will take place in the English Midlands, with the coastal scenes likely to be shot in Cornwall. With all of these detailed ideas already in motion, Benjamin also has a specific timeline of filming and post-production in place, in line with his SAE studies.

“We are looking to shoot in the early summer of 2018 and have a rough version completed for August, in time for my dissertation hand in, as this will be my dissertation piece.”, Benjamin tells us.

After completing their SAE courses, the crew plans to spend the following months perfecting the film with VFX, SFX, and finalising the score. Once completed, they want to submit the film to Cannes Film Festival 2019 at its premier and then to other festivals afterwards under the Short Film category.