Liverpool Screen School - Violet City

Violet City – from script to screen at Liverpool Screen School

Since Summer 2010, Liverpool Screen School (LSS) has been the home of vampires, crazed aristocrats and immortal, inter-dimensional beings, all inhabiting a world which is a twisted mash-up of Victorian, post-modern and comic book weird. This is the world of VIOLET CITY.

Violet City Teaser Trailer Feb '11 Part One - 'Flynn & Zeb'


The story follows a wholesome young fellow - Flynn - on his quest to discover the truth about his mother’s disappearance, unaware that his recently acquired violet eyes will lure all kinds of villainy to him. It is a story of love, betrayal, scurrilous ambition and an incredible quest for the truth that takes Flynn through some dark and mysterious realms in search of both his mother and himself. A feature length project, VIOLET CITY is as bold in its production as in its inception, enlisting Screen School students and alumni, professionals and steampunk aficionados among its cast and crew.

Written as a novel by Dave Jackson, Programme Leader, MA Screenwriting at LSS, VIOLET CITY has been adapted for the screen and is currently being filmed and animated. Directed by John Maxwell (DON’T WORRY ABOUT ME) and starring George Maguire (QUADROPHENIA stage), the film is being shot on green screen at Liverpool Screen School and the post production is using state of the art special effects and 3-D and 2-D CGI imaging and models, blended with live backdrops and artwork.

John Maxwell, Director of VIOLET CITY and lecturer in Screenwriting at LSS explains how the project came about, “I’ve always worn two hats, the teacher and the filmmaker. In 2008, I produced a picture called THE BE ALL AND END ALL (in cinemas December 2010). We engaged the services of a team of students from Liverpool Screen School as runners, camera crew and production staff. Working alongside professionals, these students emerged gleaming and gave me absolute faith in their energy, drive and commitment to the discipline".

In 2009, I piloted the PITCH project at LJMU, coralling the same students and many more to make a programme of short films. This was the first step towards being creatives themselves and they grasped the opportunity with both hands. The films have gone on to succeed at festivals and in distribution and were amazing for the tiny budgets procured.

Both projects were an education in live filmmaking impossible to achieve in the classroom. It got the Screenwriting Department thinking. What if we worked with these students to make a feature film WITHIN the university? My colleague Dave Jackson had just the project, and the crackpot idea of making a fantasy movie with a Hollywood production value on a shoestring came to light.

VIOLET CITY is designed to blaze a trail for not just student filmmaking but independent filmmaking in the region. It will open the door for similar projects in future that harness all the creativity of past and present students to come up with commercially and critically ambitious films of all genres.

For more information about VIOLET CITY, including updates on test screenings open to LJMU staff and students, please contact: Harry Staniland (Producer): 

Page last modified by Unknown on 16 March 2011.
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