A grieving mother, an Olympic sailor in trouble and a drowning boy who becomes a legend - the Helpful Dead, by Year Five students at Wyke Regis Junior School is the story of a tall ship sunk off Dead Man’s Cove, Portland and a dramatic link with the London 2012 Olympic sailing events.
The three minute drama screened during summer 2012 at the Weymouth Olympic live sites, ICCI 360 dome and National Sailing Academy, and big screens in London and Plymouth was screened at the Co-operative Film Festival in November 2012 and awarded Best Film by primary age children in Electric December 2012 (electricdecember.org)
The Helpful Dead tells the story of an Olympic sailor battling strong winds - and her emotional link with a shipping disaster off Dorset’s Chesil beach more than 140 years ago.
Project Producer, dramatherapist and filmmaker Sharon Hayden from digital arts group ScreenPLAY said the children had studied and photographed their locations to give the film a strong sense of place and local identity. “In their research they found a first hand account of the wreck of the Royal Adelaide in a head teacher’s log book from 1872. This gave them the idea to link a Victorian tragedy with the 2012 Olympics,” she explained.
The character of the boy's mother is based on Ford Maddox Brown's painting Last of England, and his sketches for the work of his wife Emma. screen-play.co.uk/blog/
“We are incredibly grateful to First Light for believing in us. Thanks to their support, these nine and ten year old children have produced some remarkable work. It has been a transformative experience for them.”
More information: screen-play.co.uk
The film was funded by the Lottery through the BFI’s First Light initiative.