Suffolk New College film students get taste of the big time after starring as movie extras

The film students from Suffolk New College. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE

The film students from Suffolk New College. Picture: SUFFOLK NEW COLLEGE - Credit: Archant

A group of film students from Suffolk New College got a glimpse of the big-screen when they were asked to be extras for a new World War One movie.

The film, called Journey’s End, is a warts-and-all insight into life as a soldier in the First World War and will be released in February next year.

The film, which was inspired by a 1928 play written by R.C Sheriff, stars Oscar nominee Paul Bettany.

The students – who all hope to make films of their own in the future - spent a day on set as soldiers, and some even made the final cut of the film.

The budding filmmakers spotted themselves during a screening followed by a question and answer session with the film’s director, Saul Dibb, at this year’s London Film Festival.


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The opportunity of starring as an extra came via media tutor Tim Hetherington.

He said: “Filming took place through one of my contacts at a location just outside Ipswich.

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“The particular venue has been used quite a lot as it has one of the only purpose-built World War One trench sets in the UK.

“All of the students were paid for their work and it was a great insight for them to see the work that goes in to creating scenes on a film of this scale.

“It can only help them in their future careers.”

Student Aidan Devine, 22, from Martlesham, said: “This was the first time I did an extras job. It was a great opportunity to play a soldier in a marching platoon.

“It was good to see how a professional production works. During filming, I wasn’t allowed to wear my glasses so I couldn’t really see any of the big stars. I think I may have seen my back in the final cut though.”

One of the students, Tom Pepper, 17, from Brantham, managed to get a line in the final production.

He said: “I got asked to say ‘saving what we can sir’ and you can hear my voice in the film. If you blink you miss it. My dad bet me that it wouldn’t be in the final cut so it was nice to win an extra bit of money.”

Will Brown, 17, from Ipswich, said: “It was fun and we were treated well – we spoke to the director and got to meet the cast and I got to meet Sam Claflin – the main star. I saw a glimpse of me in the film for about a second. I’m not sure it’s an Oscar worthy performance – fingers crossed.”

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