Trenches were dug, a battlefield built, pyrotechnics ignited and actors became soldiers at Palehouse Common last week to create … a two minute film.
There were two locations for filming. One was near Crockstead Farm Hotel and the other on a field at the Pump Lane crossroad at Palehouse common where passers-by were fascinated to see proceedings.
It looked as if a World War 1 battle was taking place, soldiers were slipping and sliding around trenches, a replica MK1 tank was in action and explosions added to the scene.
Photographer Laura Radford was there too capturing the activity for the filmmakers and we share some of her images here.
The producer was Joel Maguet and the director was James Sieradzki and it was James’ Makeshift Motion Production Company that was making the film for a private investor who wanted to raise awareness of the 100th anniversary of World War 1.
The story is about a former World War 1 soldier having flashbacks to the battlefield.
Joel said: “The idea was to bring awareness to the anniversary and to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, something that was not recognised in those days but which was very real for that generation because of the terrible conditions in the trenches and because of the up-close combat.”
He told Uckfield News that once complete the film is to be distributed to film festivals to create a buzz and then to other platforms and online. “We want it to be seen by as many people as possible,” he said.
Joel added their aim was to keep the value of what was on screen high.
Neither he nor James had experience of making a large-scale short film like this and even finding a location, not too far from London where they both live and work, was a challenge because not every landowner was prepared to allow people to dig deep trenches on their land or turn it into a battlefield.
Joel said James Ascroft of Crockstead Farm Hotel was “incredibly accommodating”. Somebody was on site in the week before filming setting the scene, a difficult task.
He added the filmmakers liked to think they had put something back into the local economy while here. Catering, accommodation and machine hire all came from the local area.
Thanks to photographer Laura Radford and Makeshift Motion Production Company for letting us use these pictures.