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A Field in England Film4 Digital Masterclass available free on-line

16 July 2013

In September 2012, alongside the announcement of a green light for Ben Wheatley's A Field in England, Film4's innovation hub Film4.0 announced the commissioning of a digital partner project – a free online Masterclass created alongside the film, designed to open up the filmmaking process to fans and would-be filmmakers alike.

Ben Wheatley, director of photography Laurie Rose, Rook Films and the entire cast and crew gave unprecedented access to rehearsals, the set, the edit suite and beyond, giving unique insight into their craft and the decisions which influenced the final cut.

The resulting Masterclass (http://www.afieldinengland.com/masterclass/) is intended as a lasting resource for anyone interested in films and filmmaking. It contains:

  • 15 videos featuring interviews and behind the scenes footage, shot with key talent in rehearsals, on set and in the edit suite

  • 90 minutes of raw rushes from day 12 of filming

  • A downloadable PDF of the shooting schedule

  • A downloadable PDF of the callsheet for day 12

  • Behind the scenes photographs

  • 20 text features covering everything across development, pre-production, shoot and post-production

  • The graphic journey of the poster design with original design concepts

  • DoP Laurie Rose's complete kit list of all equipment used to shoot the film

  • An A-Z of the world of 17th century England

  • A glossary of technical terms

  • A full Who's Who of everyone who worked on the film

The Masterclass was commissioned by Anna Higgs, head of Film4.0, who comments: "We always knew we wanted to do something digitally around the film, as Ben Wheatley's come from that world himself and his audience are very engaged in those spaces. It was apparent early on we couldn't do something story-based as that would burst the beautifully crafted bubble that the film's narrative moves in – and we wanted to create something that was wide-reaching and long-lasting. Talking to producers Andy Starke and Claire Jones about how we might approach it, we realised one of the most interesting thing about Ben and these guys is how they work. So why not give a unique Masterclassaround that, which would aim to be an informative resource for filmmakers, andallow further exploration by fans? We're incredibly lucky and grateful to Ben and the team generously giving us access to their whole process – and I'm really excited to see how people use this Masterclass."

The Masterclass editorial was produced for Film4 by Maverick TV. Editorial producer Catherine Bray comments: "In my work as a film journalist, I've seen enough bland behind the scenes packages to know that what we didn't want to do was to produce a slick ‘making of' that doesn't really tell you anything about the nuts and bolts of filmmaking. We've tried to create something that offers genuine insight into the process, and for that we thank the filmmakers for cooperating so enthusiastically with us since the project's inception in September."

You can check out the Masterclass at: http://www.afieldinengland.com/masterclass/

Feedback on it so far has been overwhelmingly positive and with damned good reason, it's a genuinely excellent resource. Indiewire said of it: "This is the real deal, a blow-by-blow breakdown of how precisely the film was put together, right down to scanned-in shooting schedules," while Fangoria had this to say: "Cancel any plans you had for today... Film4 and the filmmakers behind A Field In England have put together . . . an astounding Digital Masterclass."