Stars sign up for university’s film

Screenwriting lecturer Sarah Evans with Tom Cowell and Bill Nighy
Screenwriting lecturer Sarah Evans with Tom Cowell and Bill Nighy
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Actors Bill Nighy and Frances Barber are the famous voices behind a University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) animated film.

The pair voice a husband and wife in Placebo, a short animated film written and directed by lecturer Sarah Evans and animated by recent graduate Tom Cowell.

Sarah, a screenwriting academic at the Preston campus, wrote the script for the 11-minute film nine years ago.

But, she said:” It was nearly made a couple of times but for one reason or another it didn’t happen,”

“Tom was a screenwriting graduate from this year and I discovered his talents for animation. He was up for the challenge and we started work straightaway.”

Sarah added: “Bill Nighy had been to the university a couple of months earlier so I contacted his PA, asked if there was any chance he could do it as I knew he was busy, and thankfully he loved the script and was free. One week later we were in a London recording studio and he was absolutely fantastic.”

Screenwriting graduate Tom, from Preston, added: “I knew someone who’d worked with Frances on Doctor Who and thought it was worth sending a Tweet on the off-chance she was free. She got back straightaway.”

Tom developed the animation over a period of months and it was previewed at the university last week and is set to have its premiere next year.