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Full steam ahead for UCLan screenwriters

03 December 2012

Lyndsey Boardman

Northern Rail commissions award-winning script

An award winning film maker from the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) will see his work screened across the region after his talents were recognised by Northern Rail.

Final year screenwriting student Sam Picone has won a competition set by Northern Rail to come up with a 50 second film script for rail safety and appropriate behaviour whilst travelling on trains. 

L-R David Wilkinson, Community Safety Manager for Northern Rail, UCLan student Sam Picone, UCLan Screenwriting Course Leader Bill McCoid

The 21-year-old pitched an idea for a film targeting fare dodgers based on the concept of Russian roulette.  After beating off competition from his fellow students Sam will now work with a professional media company to produce the film with a £10,000 budget.

The film is expected to be seen by an audience of over 500,000 people and will be shown across the North of England in schools, youth groups, libraries, hospitals and on billboards displayed at rugby league games.

"It will be a fantastic learning experience seeing a film come together from the initial concept to the final product and knowing it could be potentially viewed by half a million people is brilliant.”

Sam commented: “I’m looking forward to working with the film producers and seeing my script brought to life.  It will be a fantastic learning experience seeing a film come together from the initial concept to the final product and knowing it could be potentially viewed by half a million people is brilliant.”

L-R David Wilkinson, Community Safety Manager for Northern Rail, UCLan screenwriting students Matt Howell, Chris Armstrong and Neil Evans, UCLan Screenwriting Course Leader Bill McCoid

Sam was also rewarded with a LED crystal vase and a 12 month free pass for Northern Rail.  Fellow students Matt Howell, Chris Armstrong and Neil Evans were also commended and presented with a six month rail pass for Northern Rail.  Their film concepts will be considered by the company for future campaigns.

“UCLan has consistently pitched quality ideas and this year is no exception. All of the ideas were fresh and the students came up with effective ways to tackle rail safety and behaviour issues."

It is the third year in a row that Northern Rail has asked UCLan’s screenwriting students to pitch a rail safety script and the films produced in 2010 and 2011 are still used to promote the message.

David Wilkinson, Community Safety Manager for Northern Rail, commented: “UCLan has consistently pitched quality ideas and this year is no exception.  All of the ideas were fresh and the students came up with effective ways to tackle rail safety and behaviour issues.  Sam’s ideas were particularly engaging and I’m sure the film will be very effective.”

The students were presented with their prizes at an awards event held at the University. 

Screenwriting Course Leader Bill McCoid said he was proud of the students’ success.  He added: “Yet again UCLan screenwriting students have proved that they have the talent and creativity to produce work to industry standard.”