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Action! It's a scream shooting Black Country horror flick

Staffordshire | News | Published:

From a former Olympic athlete to teachers – around 100 volunteers have been helping to shoot a horror movie in the Black Country.

Locations across Walsall and West Bromwich have been used for The House of Screaming Death, which is expected to be released next year.

The cast includes Richard Buck who was part of the London 2012 games squad in the 400 metres and a range of emerging actors from around the region.

Over the last month the production team have been taking advantage of the spooky feel and creaking floorboards to film from the landmark Manor House in West Bromwich.

Cast and crew gather outside Manor House in West Bromwich, which is among the spooky locations used for the movie

They have also been at locations across Walsall such as Park Lime Pits and St Michael the Archangel in Rushall, along with Aston Manor Road Transport Museum in Aldridge. Filming has included 30 cast members, 30 people in the crew and up to 30 extras lasting to 12 hours a day.

It involves four different stories ranging from 15 to 45 minutes long and the aim is to show the movie at festivals and at venues in the Black Country next summer.

Olympic star Richard Buck

Talented Walsall duo Dave Hastings, aged 32, a media lecturer at Stafford College and 50 year-old Kaushy Patel, a teacher from Pleck, who last year won the Best British Film category at The London Film Awards for Checking In are amongst the production team.

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Other directors are Troy Dennison, 47, from Cannock, teacher Bekki Harris-Smith, 32 from Walsall and make-up artist Alex Bourne, 27, from Stone Cross.

The storylines include an adaptation of the ghostly Lady in Grey, Witch in the Mirror, The Vampire set in the late 1800s and Diabolique about demons and ritual sacrifice.

Thanks to the hard work and generosity of volunteers they have been able to get the camera rolling.

Amongst the cast and one of the few to come from further afield is Richard Buck, originally from Lincolnshire, who has retired from 400 metres sprinting to go back to acting which he enjoyed as a youngster.

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The 28 year-old has swapped the track for stage boards and is due to do a master's degree course at Birmingham School of Acting from September. He said: "I couldn't resist the call to come back to it. Everyone thinks it is a massive change. But I am trying to perform on cue and I still have to to walk into the room and audition, it is like going into the qualifiers.

"Sport came along and I had almost immediate success. You kind of follow that and I am glad I did it, I have had some fantastic experiences.

"It is that mental preparation that has really helped me come across to acting."

A still from horror movie The House of Screaming Death

Director Troy said there had been a great response from everyone involved.

"We have had such real positive feedback, people happy to be here.

"We have had a lot of goodwill, it really is a community kind of thing.

"We are keeping it all as local as possible, local talent, local crew."

Directors Bekki Harris-Smith of Walsall and Troy Dennison of Cannock

"We have got a really diverse group of people. We are overwhelmed people have taken to the project there is a huge dynamic about it, a really positive buzz. What gets us is we haven't got the funding we would pay them if we could.

Dave said it was an opportunity for emerging talent to showcase what they can do in the acting world. He said: "We have all these locations, have all these people here, fantastic actors and they keep getting glossed over.

Bekki added they were pleased to have been able to use the Manor House and work with lots of people from the area. "It is one of the haunting places in Britain. We have gone for as many local actors and crew members as we can."

Sound engineers Grant Snaith and Karen Jensen-Clark

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