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Students play their part in a new murder mini-series

Posted: 15 April 2021

Media production students from West Nottinghamshire College have enjoyed work experience on the set of a new Sky/HBO mini-series which focuses on two Mansfield murders in the 1990s.

The group of five students from the BTEC Extended Diploma in Creative Digital Media Production (TV and Film) were selected to work as location marshals in paid roles on the forthcoming production of Landscapers starring Olivia Colman and David Thewlis.

Students Liam Marriott, Joe Derbyshire, Josh Evans, Alfie Thornton and Dan Bestwick were involved in tasks such as running equipment from the technicians’ base to the set, working with the security to lock-off areas where people could be walking into shot, assisting with food and drink runs and helping to pack everything away at the end of the day. The students were also the first point of contact with the public in-between takes.

The series, which is due to premiere later in the year, sees Colman (The Favourite, The Crown) and Thewlis (Wonder Woman, Fargo, the Harry Potter series) play Susan and Christopher Edwards, a seemingly ordinary couple who became the focus of an extraordinary murder investigation when two bodies were discovered in the back garden of a house in Forest Town, Mansfield.

Throughout filming roads were closed while actors drove from Dame Flogan Street down White Hart Street, alongside the iconic railway arches. Filming also took place in White Hart Street car park.

Mansfield District Council, supported by partners Mansfield BID, helped to ensure filming of scenes for the four-part limited series went smoothly. The council also provided a green room for crew inside the newly-renovated Old Town Hall, as well as parking at the rear and front of the building.

Student Joe Derbyshire said: “It was great. We worked with the security team, helping to lock-off areas when they were filming, doing equipment runs for the crew. It was really exciting to work on a set like this in the film industry and you don’t often get to see this kind of thing in this area. It was a fabulous opportunity to seize and get stuck in to understanding how this sector works.”

Media tutor Michael Rhodes said: “For the students to have an opportunity like this is amazing. It has the potential to be the first step on the way to eventually getting a career in the industry.

“By being on set and rubbing shoulders with current professionals, they’ll hopefully pick up some hints and tips on how they could get started in what is a very competitive industry.

“There’s no better chance than this to impress and demonstrate that they are more than capable of forging a career for themselves.”

Mariam Amos, strategic director at Mansfield District Council, said: "We are keen to welcome film crews to Mansfield as part of our efforts to raise the profile of the district on a national scale, as we have done successfully in the past with Top Gear and Tour of Britain. This very much fits in with our plans to put Mansfield on the map and make it a destination for living, working, visiting and investing.

"It's lovely to hear positive feedback from producers about their experiences in Mansfield. We hope this will encourage them and other film companies to consider filming in the district in the future.”

Nikki Rolls, chief executive of Mansfield BID said: "The court case around the murders gripped the nation and it's no surprise that books have been written about the events and that now a star-studded series is being filmed.

“The BID has been happy to play a key part in helping to facilitate the filming so that the producers can add authenticity to the scenes. We look forward to sitting down and watching the series and seeing our iconic street scenes when it airs."

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