Darren Scales, class of 2009

Backyard Productions was founded in 1993 by Darren, friends and family, who began making spoof films quite literally in the backyard…….

From the University Press Office:

An amateur film maker who honed his talents at the University of Lincoln is sprinkling some movie glamour over a pantomime classic in a colourful new production.

Darren Scales, who graduated from Lincoln’s MA Media Production programme this year, and his community film group Backyard Productions recruited around 150 volunteers to make up the cast and crew for Cinders – a tongue-in-cheek take on the Cinderella story.

The team even negotiated permission to film at Britain’s legendary Pinewood Studios – famously home to the James Bond films. The University of Lincoln’s media studios and the Sundown Adventureland theme park in Nottinghamshire provided further filming locations and the Movieum of London also lent support by hosting auditions and helping with industry networking.

The result – a six-minute ‘proof of concept trailer’ – has now been released online and will be developed into a full-length feature film next summer.

Darren (37), a full-time officer in the RAF who works on the films in his spare time, said: “The aim of the trailer was to evaluate the production aims, test out mettle and see how we can improve on the film before the main production in June 2010. We have worked tirelessly to complete it in time for Christmas and we hope to recruit further help from filmmaking, theatre and movie companies across the UK.”

Backyard Productions was founded in 1993 by Darren, friends and family, who began making spoof films quite literally in the backyard. Past projects have included Geriatric Park, Batman Returns Forever and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Backyard.

The group is self-funding and all cast and crew are volunteers. Yet the team still strives to make grand scale, high quality family features which Hollywood would be proud of – just at a fraction of the cost.

Many of the volunteers on Cinders are media students, including a reliable band of undergraduates from the University of Lincoln’s Media Production programme. And the team is eager to hear from any more wannabe Spielbergs who want to get a taste of movie-making – or industry insiders who can lend support.

Darren said: “We are always looking for extras and crew. With each film we make we try to go that extra bit further, so to have Pinewood Studios and top brass from the industry pointing us in the right direction has been fantastic.”

Filming on the feature length version of Cinders begins in June 2010 with an anticipated Christmas release date.

Darren added: “For each of the seven films we have made, we have always had a big premiere. This time I would love to have Cinders premiered in Leicester Square – just once. There are plenty of cinemas there, I’m sure one could fit us in!”


Ian Richards – Communications Officer – Press & Media
E-mail: irichards@lincoln.ac.uk

Telephone: 01522 886042