A SHORT film involving an ‘exciting’ heist scene is to be filmed in Blackburn town centre.
Production company Pixeleyed Pictures has announced the action-packed scene will involve more than 35 staff and filmmakers are offering local people the chance to get involved.
The production may require the crew and extras to work with armourers, stunts, SFX explosions and visual effects specialists, among other technically challenging aspects of filmmaking.
The production will be conducted under social distancing guidelines in February and is being headed by filmmaker Rizwan Wadan.
Rizwan has worked on Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, The Favourite and Artemis Fowl and says he wants to create more opportunities for film production in Blackburn with Darwen.
He is aiming to establish a partnership with Blackburn with Darwen Borough Council and the EG Group to create projects and filming opportunities.
Rizwan said: “The opportunity for film production within Blackburn with Darwen is very much real, however in order to bring investment and high-end film production to the area additional tax breaks such as those awarded in York, Wales and London are essential.
“A film and creative arts hub which focuses on creating projects that provide practical hands-on opportunities is something unique to the region, it will help nurture local talent and create more opportunities within the area.”
Blackburn With Darwen Councillor, Phil Riley said: “We are really excited by the idea of film-making coming to Blackburn. Obviously it’s very early days but the council will be doing what it can to help this idea come to fruition and to give young people an opportunity to learn some exciting new skills.”
Peter Biziou — cinematographer for The Truman Show, In the Name of the Father and Monty Python’s Life of Brian — is one of Rizwan’s mentors and active supporters.
He said: “Rizwan deserves anything the industry can give him. All of those corporations - Panavision and Arri and all of those other companies - they’re very happy because the heart is there, the passion is there and they also want some credibility too for being a part of it."
Ilyas Munshi, group commercial director, EG Group added: "We worked with Rizwan and his team last year during the Covid-19 lockdowns and this current one, to capture human stories about businesses, our people, local stakeholders and the wider community and how they have got together to help one another. Capturing this on film ensures future generations can appreciate and better understand the challenges faced by everybody.
“Engaging and supporting people involved in the various aspects of film making and the associated production will create a local talent pool of media professionals.”
Over the next year Rizwan and the Pixeleyed team are seeking to develop traineeship schemes to help nurture local talent and work with the EG Group amongst other local businesses to help create job opportunities which will benefit the local community.
Anyone wanting further information or wants to get involved can e-mail [email protected]