Ben Beasley, a Year 11 pupil from Lakelands Academy, Ellesmere, is already taking steps to pursue his dream career as a screenwriter.
The 16-year-old recently took up a place on the British Film Institute Academy’s annual residential course in London, where he spent a week learning the art of filmmaking, meeting industry professionals and making a short documentary film.
The free course, aimed at 16 to 19 year-year olds, is open to just 40 students across the UK, and Ben was the youngest person to secure a place following a rigorous selection and interviewing process.
Ben said: “I’ve always had an interest in films, especially horror, and would love to be a screenwriter one day.
"This course taught me a lot about filmmaking and allowed me to experience the various stages of the filmmaking process, from pre-production to directing, interviewing and editing.
“It also gave me the opportunity to work in a group to create a five-minute documentary, which focussed on the topic of spiking and how to prevent it.
“In making the film, we spoke to a victim of spiking as well as Dawn Dines, the CEO of Stamp Out Spiking, the UK’s leading anti-spiking organisation, and I think we achieved an amazing final product together.”
The short film, titled Spiked, premiered at a cinema in central London at the close of the course and has now been picked up and released by TrueTube.
TrueTube is a free online platform providing films for teachers, students and young people.
Ben’s next step is to produce a feature film titled Coming Out, for which he is currently trying to secure funds through crowdfunding.
“I was able to buy a camera and lighting equipment thanks to a grant from the Oswestry Lions last year so now I’m keen to actually make a film of my own," Ben added.
"I’ve already managed to raise some money through crowdfunding and hope to film in Ellesmere and the surrounding area over the summer.”