Lights, camera - cue Daniel

PUBLISHED: 13:28 17 May 2007 | UPDATED: 12:28 04 May 2010

Daniel Griggs

Daniel Griggs

TWO years ago Daniel Griggs started planning a film for his final major project at college. He wrote the script, auditioned the cast and spent weekends working on the film at his home in Bellairs, Sutton with his father. Daniel, 19, planned special effec

TWO years ago Daniel Griggs started planning a film for his final major project at college.

He wrote the script, auditioned the cast and spent weekends working on the film at his home in Bellairs, Sutton with his father.

Daniel, 19, planned special effects for his new work which his college tutor acknowledged were brilliant but doubted he could pull them off.

"I wanted to create a semi-transparent shadow on the film and needed to remove the background," explained Daniel. "When I pitched the idea to my tutor he loved it but said it wouldn't fly. I was determined to prove everybody wrong."

Last summer, after months of hard work the first cut of Daniel's new 30-minute film In the Shadows of the Light was finished ready to be submitted as part of his three year course on media and moving image at Cambridge Regional College.

Since then Daniel has realised the potential of his work and has refined the film and hosted a public showing for family and friends at Cambridge's Arts Picturehouse.

"I was ecstatic," said Daniel. "I arrived in a Limo with my mum and the main actor and actress.

"Then I worked on the film again. What had started as a project for my course just got bigger and bigger. I felt we could do a lot with the film and I surprised myself."

Daniel went on to win a silver award in the British International Amateur Film Competition and on June 4 his film will be screened at the Swansea Bay International Film Festival where he has been nominated as Best Young Film Maker.

His success is a far cry from the difficulties he faced at school trying to make sense of his work whilst struggling with dyslexia.

After leaving Witchford Village College with just one Grade C GCSE he wasn't sure what to do next.

"I was good at mixing music tracks and knew I wanted to do something with music," he said. "I took a first diploma in music and then became intrigued by video and TV. I moved on to a two-year diploma in moving image and started trying to put everything together."

His film is set to the music of Enigma and has just four or five lines of dialogue.

It tells the story of a young couple who buy a mysterious candle on their way home from work without realising it has a special significance.

Shortly afterwards the man dies in a hit-and-run accident and eight months later the woman gives birth to a baby boy.

In remembrance of her husband she makes a special meal, setting a place for her partner, and lights the candle.

Daniel's special shadow techniques come into play as an image of the man appears in the candle light, and the film promises a unique twist at the end.

"The music tells the story without need for dialogue," said Daniel. "I wanted to scrap the dialogue and do something experimental to see how it would turn out.

"It has involved a lot of hard work and sometimes I was wondering whether it was really worth it. But it has just gone mad.

"My ambition is to put the film into film festivals and get recognised.

"When my dad suggested putting it into the Swansea Festival I just knew it would get shown. But when I realised that I had been nominated as Best Young Film Maker it was like 'wow'!

"The film has come a long way. It was an incredible experience. I'm absolutely thrilled."

Now Daniel hopes his love of working behind the camera will lead to a future career in the film industry.

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