Bill Stuart as war veteran Bill
Short film: Poppies
By Laura Joint
The latest film from budding film-maker Ashley Wing is an emotional tribute to WWII veterans.
A poem by his father-in-law inspired Devon film-maker Ashley Wing to make a short film in honour of those who served during the wars.
Ashley, 28, from Paignton, was so touched by the sentiments in the poem, that he raised the money needed to produce the four minute film, called Poppies.
The film starts with an elderly man, known only as Bill, leaving his home in the morning with his poppy collection tin.
He waits patiently all day, with Exeter Cathedral as a backdrop, and is rewarded when a man buys a poppy from him. But often, figures simply pass by him.
Daniel Nuttall as young Bill
And then he begins to remember a moment during World War II when he and his comrades came under attack, and his memories are shown in flashbacks.
The soundtrack to this is the poem, by Ashley's father-in-law Stephen J Fry.
"I go to my father-in-law's in Brixham every Sunday, and he reads some of his poetry," said Ashley. "I thought that this one would be really nice to use in a film.
"As soon as I heard the poem, I started to save the money I needed to make the film, which was £500.
"We changed the poem a bit so it would all work together, and my father-in-law is really happy with it. He was chuffed that I wanted to do it, but I am very interested in this period of time in history.
"The film pays tribute to the soldiers who went through so much, " added Ashley. "It's all very emotional and it works very well.
The battle scene filmed at Kingswear
"We filmed on location - the collecting was in Exeter, and the war scenes were at Kingswear. And we bought the pyrotechnics - three army explosives which are used for battle exercises.
"We used high definition camera equipment and we did a lot of work post filming, such as slowing down the frames for the battle scenes."
Ashley is a sign-maker by profession but hopes to forge a career in film-making. He has already produced short films which have been well received and been shown at film festivals.
"I'm just trying to get as many short films out there, so that people in the industry get to know me. I'd love a career in feature films."
Poppies is to be shown at the Two Short Nights Festival at the Exeter Phoenix on 28-29 November 2008.
You can also watch the film by clicking onto the link which is on this page.
last updated: 28/10/2008 at 11:52