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The Beacon
Director: Neil Oseman
Lorna-Jane Hamer, John Maclachlan, Josh Green, Andrew Hill, Claire Alley, Nicholas Russell

75 minutes
Release date:
Monday 11th February 2002

Neil Oseman - Director
Interviewed by Rachel Willis

15 cert camera
The beacons
The Beacon
Born and brought up in Malvern, Neil Oseman tells how he wrote, directed, produced and edited the film 'The Beacon', set on the Malvern Hills.
BBC Films
'The Beacon' Official website
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The Worcestershire Beacon in Malvern is 1,395ft high
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Neil Oseman started making simple animations before being given a camcorder on his 15th birthday. Three years of making countless movies, acted by friends, set him on his way to a degree course in media production, after which he decided to get some hands-on experience in the film world on various training courses.

Once he had invested in a camera, edit suite and assorted accessories, he knew that he couldn't just leave them gathering dust between jobs. He made two short films, funded from his own pocket, which got into a couple of film festivals.

What is 'The Beacon' Plot?
The Beacon is about a girl called Sarah who lives in a dull town, has a dull job at the council and a dull SAS boyfriend called Dan. Her life changes one night at the cinema, when a plane full of terrorists ploughs into the building. Dan is taken hostage by the evil Cameron and his mercenaries, so Sarah teams up with film buff usher Conrad to save him. But when the terrorists take over a picturesque range of hills with two rockets containing a potent biochemical weapon, the unlikely duo find themselves with a whole country to save.

Still from 'The Beacon'
Still image from The Beacon
Was there any particular preparation for your role as the director in "The Beacon"?
No, I've been making films of one kind or another for six or seven years now, so I knew what I was doing, although it probably didn't appear that way to anybody else. My flat got slowly covered in story boards in the months leading up to the shoot, but most of the preparation was producer stuff rather than director stuff.

Why did you choose the Malvern Hills as your setting?
At the time I wrote the script I was living in Malvern. I was born and brought up there, and although I'd made loads of films there, I'd never done one ABOUT Malvern. Once I knew this was where my terrorists were going to do their evil, I had to figure out why on earth they'd pick Malvern. The solution? Their biochemical rocket will be most devastating if released from a very high point so the winds can disperse it further. Hence the hills.

Still from 'The Beacon'
Still from The Beacon

How did you go about finding the actors for your film?
I sent press releases out to all the local papers, I got plenty of responses, and held auditions for the major roles at Malvern Youth Centre.

Are any of them famous?
No, none of them are famous, although leads Lorna-Jane Hamer and John MacLachlan have both done some TV work.

What is your next move?
I'm considering remaking a short film "Soul Searcher" I made in 2000 as a feature. James Clarke, a Hereford-based author and film maker, is writing a script right now and would produce it too.

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