‘All the students were superb’ – Short film about school ‘terror attack’ shot in Hitchin

Louis Brooker, a 'terrorist', Finn Harrigan and Lewis G. Fraser during the filming of Comprehensive

Louis Brooker, a 'terrorist', Finn Harrigan and Lewis G. Fraser during the filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant

Did you ever have a really bad day at school? Be grateful you’re not one of the characters in a short movie put together by a Hitchin filmmaker and shot at the town’s Priory School, with many of its students featuring.

Louis Brooker, front, and Finn Harrigan (from Ickleford) during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin'

Louis Brooker, front, and Finn Harrigan (from Ickleford) during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant

In Comprehensive, written and directed by Paul Jenkinson, a school is attacked by terrorists and three boys – Max, Jake and Ordell – are forced to fight back.

A six-minute version of the film is finished and available to view online, and Paul hopes to raise funds to produce a feature-length version that could be entered into film festivals.

“I approached the school about a year ago,” said Paul.

“I was unsure how they would react due to the subject matter, but they loved it.

Two of the 'terrorists' in the short film Comprehensive, shot at Hitchin's Priory School.

Two of the 'terrorists' in the short film Comprehensive, shot at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant


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“I had a wish-list of things that I needed to make the film – top of the list was access to a classroom, which was essential.

“At the bottom were things that would be amazing, but which I doubted I could get, such as 350 pupils for the climactic scene.

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“They said yes to every single item.”

Themes explored in the action-packed film include the societal effect of guns on the so-called Call of Duty generation, and how it manifests in these young men.

Lewis G. Fraser, left, during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School.

Lewis G. Fraser, left, during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant

The cocky Ordell and swotty Max are played by Priory School pupils Louis Brooker and Lewis G. Fraser. Finn Harrigan, from Ickleford, plays Jake, who is shy but must rise to lead the group.

“All eight classmates were also from the Priory, and every single one of them was superb,” said Paul.

“The school wanted to give their students exposure to filmmaking and really encouraged them all to get involved. I was impressed at how professional they were.”

Paul already has the feature-length script written, but he needs help putting the funds together to film it.

Louis Brooker during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School.

Louis Brooker during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant

He said: “I love filmmaking, it’s exciting to see your ideas and stories come alive – but it can be expensive. Camera hire, lighting, feeding the cast and crew, accommodating them over night, it all adds up.

“The launch film was shot over 21/2 days and was entirely self-funded, but I want to go bigger and shoot for longer, which gets expensive – so I’m hoping people can support me via crowdfunding so I can tell more of this story and entertain more people.”

Paul has uploaded Comprehensive to the crowdfunding site Kickstarter, where it can be viewed in full. Those contributing money towards production of a feature-length version can receive rewards such as having their names listed in the film credits.

To watch and support the film, go to kickstarter.com and search for ‘Comprehensive film’.

Max (Lewis G. Fraser), Jake (Finn Harrigan) and Ordell (Louis Brooker) during filming of Comprehensi

Max (Lewis G. Fraser), Jake (Finn Harrigan) and Ordell (Louis Brooker) during filming of Comprehensive at Hitchin's Priory School. - Credit: Archant

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