Movie to be planned and filmed in 28 days

Bucks Free Press: Gemma Nichols and Phil Matthews Gemma Nichols and Phil Matthews

MOST movies are filmed over many months after careful planning - but a Marlow actress will plan, shoot and premiere a short film in 28 days.

Gemma Nichols has teamed up with fellow actor Phil Matthews for The 28 Day Project - which will see them document the film-making process.

The duo is appealing for people with a connection to February 28 to send in their interesting and inspirational stories. And on February 1, Gemma and Phil will pick a story and set about the task of making it - from the casting couch to the editing suite - before premiering their production in London on February 28.

Gemma said they were partially inspired by Anneka Rice, who they grew up watching on popular 1990s BBC show Challenge Anneka.

She said: "I’ve never done anything like this before. We loved Challenge Anneka and so documenting the process makes it scary and real, but also means we have to get the film done regardless of what crops up.

"We are really excited about it and confident we can do it. It will be a challenge but if it wasn’t a challenge it wouldn’t be as interesting.

"From the first of the month we won’t know the story and on the 28th we will be in London for the screening. But we’ll get it done."

The acting double-act will be calling on friends and industry colleagues to help edit, direct and star in the short film.

If producing and screening a film in a month wasn’t challenging enough, the project is being crowd-funded, meaning, if they do not reach their £5,500 target, they lose all of their previous pledges.

But Gemma, a former nursery nurse, said even that would not stop them.

She said: "My parents have donated £250 and a few other family members have donated, I’m sure they would still honour that so we would make the film with whatever money we had."

The 30-year-old somewhat stumbled into acting. She was training to be a dancer when she was involved in a serious car crash in Marlow Bottom in 2000 which she says was nearly fatal.

She then sustained a serious injury to her pelvis which doctors said this was linked to the crash. It left her in a wheelchair for eight months which meant she was unable to dance, so she took part in acting classes.

Gemma said: "I am incredibly positive about life, I love people and stories, and that’s why I act because it seems everything else is a bonus. I am appreciative for everything."

The duo is appealing for financial donations to help fund the film and documentary. If you wish to contribute visit www.kickstarter.com/projects/1932436603/the-28-day-project If you have a story connected to February 28 and would like it to be made into a film, or you would be interested in either producing or starring in the film, email info@28dayproject.co.uk.

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