Kickabout: a short film about football, lockdown and friendship

Nigel+Jan-PHOTO-by-LouiseNigel Bunyan and his son Jan. ©Louise Naraika

A local filmmaker has produced a short film set in Wanstead that looks at lockdown from his son’s perspective. Locations included Christchurch Green and Aldersbrook Primary School.

Film and TV editor Nigel Bunyan said: “Kickabout began as a project for my son Jan and I to shoot during our hour of daily exercise in May. It grew in scope after I showed some industry friends a rough cut and they offered to help me with the colour grading (Chris Rodgers), sound editing and mixing (Tony Gibson and Stefano Marchetti) and music (Warren Bennett) so I’m quite pleased with the finished film.”

He continued: “When thinking up a story we opted to just dramatise lockdown as we were experiencing it. So the film features Zachary, one of Jan’s best friends from school, who he barely saw in the first few weeks of lockdown even though we only live a street away from each other. During the early stages of lockdown we thought missing their friends was an enormous challenge for children that the media usually overlooked. All children have experienced these very abrupt changes to their lives so we hope the film will resonate with children everywhere.”

Mr Brian Hughes, headteacher at Aldersbrook Primary School, said: “I just think Jan’s film is amazing. We have tried to celebrate the ‘triumphs’ of children over the lockdown, and this is certainly one of them. We have been amazed at some of the new skills that children have learnt which we would not have covered in school over this time; film making, cooking, exploring their local environment more. As a school I hope we can hold on to some of those triumphs that come when we all slow down a little and consider what ‘real’ learning could look like!”

Although he works in the industry, Nigel emphasised that anybody thinking they’d like to have a crack at filmmaking should do just that. “The technical barriers that made filmmaking so inaccessible when I was a child simply don’t exist anymore. I shot Kickabout (and the other films on Jan’s YouTube channel) on my iPhone, you can do professional standard editing with free software and scriptwriting costs no more than the price of paper and pencils. If you keep your story short and simple you can make a short film in a few days.”

He offered a few tips for wannabe filmmakers. “Start by reverse-engineering something you like. So maybe watch a short programme from CBBC or a commercial that tells a story and break it down into its component parts. Look at the number of characters, scenes and shots used but most of all think about the characters. Think about how the story shows how they behave and how they change. With your own story establish what your character wants, show what stops them getting it and then show them overcoming those obstacles – don’t forget that it’s because we first see Indiana Jones fail that he becomes a hero when we see him succeed. Most of all, however, have fun with it.”