A Telford College student is involved in a movie-making project which has attracted a host of familiar faces.
Alex Yousefi has teamed up with Luke Haughton to create a short film called Reduced To Clear, which has drawn in artists from Doctor Who, The Office, the Harry Potter series, and Britain’s Got Talent.
Alex and Luke, both aged 17, know each other from their time at Telford Priory School, and began writing the script during lockdown.
Initially, it was simply to help pass the time, but when the pair started contacting potential cast members they admitted they were surprised at the positive response.
Alex, who describes the film as a ‘passion project’, is about to start his second year at Telford College, following up a level three business course with level three IT hardware.
“My co-director, co-producer and co-writer and I met in film class in year nine where we made a small-scale short film called Con Man Denominator,” he said.
“Then as the coronavirus first made its way to the UK, we decided we should write something over lockdown together as we thought that it could be fun and that we could make something better together than our previous film.
“A few months into lockdown we got on a Skype call and came up with the setting for the film – a charity shop. We then wrote the film and came up with our dream-cast, and decided it was worth a shot to ask them if they would be interested.
“This snowballed the project into a much larger scale than we expected; what we first thought was going to be a small-scale project with few people involved, gathered the attention of many industry professionals.”
Notable names include Simon Fisher-Becker, best known to science fiction fans for his recurring role in Doctor Who as Dorium Maldovar, and to Harry Potter fans for his playing the Fat Friar in the Philosopher’s Stone. He also appeared in Tom Hooper’s 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables.
Ewen Macintosh, known to comedy fans for his supporting role as Keith in Ricky Gervais’ hit sitcom The Office, has also signed up for the project, alongside actress Ninette Finch whose screen credits include Derek, Harry Potter, Downton Abbey and, most recently, the Disney movie Cruella.
Alex Macqueen, whose film and TV projects in the past 18 years include The Inbetweeners, Peaky Blinders and The Thick Of It, is among other experienced stars on board.
Alex Yousefi says: “We are currently in the post-production stages of Reduced To Clear, and filming went smoothly.
“We are aiming for a January screening, but it could be earlier. We aim to take the film to festivals before putting it on different media sites for public viewing.”
The film, described as a ‘surrealist comedy’, follows a charity shop volunteer on his first day at work. The Wakes at Oakengates has been used as one of the key locations.
The project’s budget has been raised through crowdfunding and everyone involved has been working unpaid – purely out of passion to support young creatives.
Telford College tutor Gavin Real said: “Alex is a fabulous young man who has worked really hard.”