Filming has started on an anti-knife crime video paid for by an online fundraising campaign, directed by a former Denby school pupil.
The film is based around a teenage boy, armed with a flick knife who journeys into the night to vent the mourning of his brother’s murder and finds himself locked in a moral dilemma that will change his life forever.
Through Leroy’s eyes, the audience explore the power and consequence of choice in our lives, whether to succumb to being a stereotype, or to break out of the mould.
To raise the cash to get the production underway film makers McGibney Productions took to the internet.
In exchange for pledging cash those who donated were given the chance to visit the set for a day, own film merchandise and buy items like original scripts.
In less than seven days, the campaign raised over £1,500 with over 2,000 views.
Co-director Rebecca McGibney said: “Stereotyping for the country is a big issue amongst young people.
“We want to create a film that educates people on the power of choice and how the wrong choices not only affect others, but the communities around them.”
Alongside this, the directors will also create a series of worksheets that can be used with the film free of charge as an educational tool for those working with young people.
Police recorded 5,023 serious knife crimes in England and Wales in the first three months after they began to count the offences as a separate crime category last spring. The project has already attracted award-winning producer Al Clark of Wellington Films, BAFTA award-winning actor Eliot Otis Brown Walters, alongside knife charities both local and national who embrace the ethos of the project.
Jordan McGibney, who was a pupil at John Flamsteed School, who used to live near Belper, said: “People are getting behind us of all ages and from all over the country, with over 130,000 people a year affected by knife crime this is a project that people are passionate about.”
The directors are putting on events alongside approaching local businesses and associations to build support for the project.Producer Luke McGibney added: “It’s important that we gain the support of local groups in the making of this film as I would like the project to have a long shelf life, hence creating worksheets that can be used each year and free of charge.”
Luke added: “It’s incredible to see how much the local community has supported us. The hardest part was getting potential backers to look at the project initially, as people get so many of these sort of requests.
“But as soon as they saw what we wanted to achieve with our film, almost all of them offered their support in whatever way they could.”
Ilkeston film maker, Ashley Carter, 25, is one of the team behind the project. He said: “It was thanks to the massive support we received from the local press and social media that we met our target.
“And interestingly a lot of the donations we received came from young people, they are our target audience so to get their backing is a massive boost.”
The film, which is due to be launched in September, will be shown in schools and at youth clubs. If you are involved in a similar project, email firstname.lastname@example.org.