LJMU Screen School students’ big break with ‘The Batman’
Four lucky Liverpool John Moores University Screen School students got the opportunity of a lifetime when they joined the production staff for the filming of ‘The Batman,’ which premieres this week.
The latest Dark Knight adaptation starring Robert Pattinson premieres on Friday 4 March and was shot in Liverpool, with its Georgian architecture and waterfront doubling as Gotham City, and St George’s Hall used for pivotal scenes in the film.
And joining the stars on set were Benjamin Jones, Katie Goody (LJMU Film Studies and Creative Writing students), Joanna Hughes and Jake Sampson (LJMU Media Production students) who had applied for work placements on a ‘major film production’ through LJMU’s Liverpool Screen School, but didn’t know for which movie!
Benjamin Jones from Cumbria said: “I received an email through Liverpool Screen School from Liverpool Film Office, advertising for location assistants on a major feature production. It didn’t even click that this was for ‘The Batman’ until I read an article in the newspaper. When the call came through, it took me at least five minutes to process what was happening. It was all very exciting especially as I’m a big comic fan enthusiast.”
The students were often working alongside the main cast on set too.
Katie Goody, 22, from Belfast, NI, said: “Before I started, I wasn’t sure how I would react if I saw any of the cast, part of me had expected to barely see them at all, but that wasn’t the case. Whilst the first time I saw Robert Pattinson, I was definitely surprised, it quickly went away.
“As cool as it is to see the people you admire standing a few feet away from you, when you go on to set, you’re there to do a job, so freaking out doesn’t even cross your mind as its probably one of the fastest ways to ensure you never work in the industry again!”
Working on a set of such a massive global film production, meant the quartet were sworn to silence to not share any spoilers from filming. Joanna Hughes, 23, Gywnedd, North Wales said: “It was all very secretive, we had to sign a comprehensive NDA which included not taking any photographs whilst on set."
The placement lasted two weeks and saw the students, now LJMU graduates, preparing and maintaining set locations for costume and make up, ensuring safety on set, moving character costumes, setting up set vehicle tracks and much more, all whilst following stringent covid protocols.
Jake Sampson, 22, from Keswick, said: “The whole industry is very social and about networking. I learnt a lot about the hard work that goes into each second of a film, and that you have to be willing to work extremely hard to succeed.
Ruth Doughty, Programme Leader for Film Studies at LJMU said: “Our connections with Liverpool Film Office, mean students here are among the first to hear about exciting placements, where they can gain valuable experience and get into the film industry.”
“Liverpool, is the second most filmed in UK city after London and has an almost chameleon-esque sensibility. Our city has featured as the backdrop for films set in New York, Russia, London and Birmingham. What’s more, filmmaking in Liverpool is about to grow exponentially with the new Film Studios under development at the former Littlewoods site on Edge Lane, making it an ideal place for those interested in film, media production or journalism, to study.”
One of the students and now LJMU graduate, Benjamin Jones, has written a blog for LJMU Liverpool Screen Students about his ‘The Batman’ placement which you can read here.
You can find out more about LJMU Liverpool Screen School and their university courses here.