From stage to screen... it took balls
Rugby man Darren Scott learned an awful lot about testicular cancer when he directed a play on the topic at the Loft and Criterion Theatres in 2005.
But he didn’t expect it to lead to him learning how to make a film.
Later this month, the local premiere of Hanging in There will be screened at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth.
The showing will be a triumph for not only Darren and playwright Geoff Saunders, who survived the disease, but for committed local actors and 150 extras who gave their support freely and businesses which allowed their premises to be used.
The film follows the original play closely and portrays Geoff’s account of his battle.
It recalls how within a few days of hearing the word ‘Cancer’ from a consultant, his once-cosy life is in turmoil. He finds himself feeling isolated and incomplete. Hanging in there tells the story of his difficult journey to re-connection and wholeness.
Darren said: “The play was commercially and critically successful and profits and collections from the runs went to the charity.
“Roll on eight years and Geoff and I reunited with a crazy idea to turn it into a feature film.
“With little money or idea of how to make a film, but with a play script to rewrite into a screenplay, and a committed set of local amateur theatre actors - none of whom had worked on a film before - and local businesses to help with locations...and around 150 locals acting as extras, we finally finished the film at the beginning of this year.”
A leading film grading company, Filmlight, also lent its services, and in total Darren estimates the project has had £350,000 in “goodwill” while only spending £3,000.
The film has had its London premiere as part of the Testicular Cancer Awareness Week, will go towards supporting the cancer charity.
Darren added: “We always said that if we could save one life through the play it was worth the effort.
“That mantra stayed with us during the three years it's taken to get this film made. We still aim to do an awful lot of good with it. (and must be said, we've learnt how to make a film in the process!)”
On April 22nd there will be a screening at the Talisman Theatre in Kenilworth. The film will be followed by a Q&A which will include Geoff Saunders, and the main actors, Chris Hudson and Elizabeth Joyce Morris.
Tickets are available from www.ticketsource.co.uk/the-snowballkickers and are priced at £5.50 each.
Pictured: Jack (Chris Hudson) and Anna (Elizabeth Joyce Morris) awaiting the operation.