White Rock bombing film project is making progress

A FILM project about the bombing of the White Rock is gathering ground.

Last month we spoke to writer/director Alex Bates, a graduate of the Northern Film School in Leeds, about his proposal to make a 20-minute film based on the 1940 bombing of St Peter Port Harbour by the Germans. 34 people were killed and 33 were injured.

Inspired by the book Isolated Island by VV Cortvriend Alex wrote the script and recruited Matthew Stockreiter as cinematographer, Elliott Cockett as the drone operator and camera assistant and Jamie Mills as assistant director.

‘We now have sound recordist Jaike Smith and Dana Jungerius, who saw the story in the Guernsey Press, and is a filmmaker.

‘We have put together a crowdfunding page on Indiegogo and the film now has a name, Occupied.’

The goal is £2,835 and already more than £400 has been raised.

Image supplied (28893247)

Being a historical film, production design plays a vital role. The team needs a props builder.

‘Some of the biggest production design tasks include dressing a gun battery, recreating a 1940s beach which is covered in anti-tank defences and costuming a large number of actors and extras for the bombing scene.

‘In terms of the props that need building, as well as the anti-tank defences, we’re also looking at getting some tomato crates built – the large ones that would’ve been loaded on the trucks. Or if someone actually owns any, that would be great too.

‘We’ve had a decent amount of people coming forward who want to act in the film, but we need more female actors. We’re also looking for an editor, a makeup artist and a lighting person.’

Alex has spoken to many local experts, including the German Occupation Museum’s Richard Heaume, David Malledent of Guernsey Armouries about vehicles and pyrotechnics and Dave Hyett about stunts.

‘We’re not looking for any more military vehicles, but if anyone has any other period vehicles, such as a car or a van, that would be massively helpful.’

Alex said that response from last month’s article was ‘overwhelming’ with many people emailing and messaging him.

‘I’ve spoken to several people about their experiences.

‘There’s Alan Collenette whose parents were at the White Rock during the raid and Lisa Gilliver whose grandpa from St John’s was on the ambulance that got hit in the raid – he’d just got out of the ambulance so he survived but was very badly injured by shrapnel.’

Filming will start in January 2021.

After the premiere screening of the film in Guernsey, Occupied will be submitted to film festivals in the UK to give it a wider release.

  • To find out more about the film and to donate, click here

  • To find out more about being involved, contact Alex on alexbatesgsy@outlook.com

  • To watch the trailer of Alex’s graduation film, Badges, click here

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