Walking on the wild side to film success

IPSWICH: Film producer Richard Wood is living proof that dreams do come true and frequently these ambitions are realised as a result of a personal disaster.

Four years ago former Westbourne High School pupil Richard was in a serious motorcycle accident which left him in a wheelchair and wondering whether he would ever walk again. He said that it was a real ‘ Road to Damascus’ moment making him re-evaluate what his life was all about.

He needed an added impetus to spur on his recovery. He needed a goal, so he decided to realise a lifelong ambition to become a film-maker. Now with the release of Exhibit A, his first executive producing project, he feels that he has now arrived - particularly as his low budget film won the Best UK Feature Film category at the prestigious Raindance Film Festival for 2009.

He’s out of a wheelchair, he’s regained full mobility and he feels that life is once again incredibly good and is full of possibilities.

He said: “I have always been creative but in the past I have been channelled down more academic routes mainly because all the drama courses and arts courses were over-subscribed and Westbourne, the school I went to, were crying out for people on academic courses, so I ended up doing French and German to A Level although I was very involved in am-dram.”

A Technology degree at the University of East Anglia in Norwich and then a job at the Port of Felixstowe served to sidetrack him further from his goal as a film-maker but during his months of recovery he signed up to a screenwriting course with regional film agency ScreenEast and made contact with film producer and former Channel Four executive Darren Bender who sent him a rough script for the gritty family drama Exhibit A.

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