Former head boy returns to Bearwood College to film biopic of Britain's Got Talent winnerBy Jon Nurse
January 21, 2013
Bearwood talent were in action in front of and behind the camera as a star cast filmed a Britain’s Got Talent biopic at the college.
James Manning, head boy at Bearwood College in 1994, returned to Sindlesham with actors James Corden, Julie Walters and Colm Meaney as they spent two days filming scenes for an upcoming film about the life of Paul Potts.
The film, titled One Chance, charts the inspirational life of the winner of the inaugural series of Britain’s Got Talent with comedian James Cordon in the lead role.
The college has been used to shoot scenes set at the University of Bath. Its theatre stage was dressed with a set for the opera Aida, which was later donated to the school by the production company.
Mr Manning arranged for 15 sixth formers taking film studies A-Level at the college to be extras in the film, playing the roles of the orchestra in the pit during a performance of Aida and in crowd scenes.
Year 13 student, Ciaran Cresswell, carried a piece of Egyptian architecture across one shot as he played a member of the backstage crew in one scene.
“I’m so excited to be part of it,” he said. “I’m applying for languages at university but I’d love to do more with the film industry.”
Kat Arnold-Wallinger added: “It just makes me want to work in film so badly. This whole experience has been incredible - I’ve learnt such a lot.”
James Corden had false teeth created for the role to recreate the singer’s distinctive look and was based at the college for the school’s scenes.
The main entrance to the Mansion House was hung with a huge banner promoting the operatic performance and several of the theatre’s smaller spaces, including the wings and the music rehearsal rooms, were used for minor scenes.
Mr Manning, the film’s assistant director said: “Bearwood doesn’t seem to have changed much.
“Coming up the drive is still amazing.”
Mr Manning hopes the film can be another step towards his goal of becoming a producer.
“You have to work hard in this job,” he added. “It’s all short term contracts so you have to continually impress people with your work ethic and be looking for your next job.
“Your education definitely plays a part in that. I’m really glad I went to Bearwood and I’m still in touch with a group of really good friends from school; we’ll be friends for life.”
The movie is scheduled for release later this year.