VIDEO: South Yorkshire horror film wowing audiences across Europe

Behind the scenes filming of The Railway Carriage.
Behind the scenes filming of The Railway Carriage.

The cluster of former mining towns nestled in the industrial landscape of the Dearne Valley may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of the movie-making business.

But the old coalfields area proved to be the perfect location for one production company - which decided to shoot their latest film in the area.

The Railway Carriage is described as a psychological horror film in which the lead character, called John, is trapped in a dream like world and is beset with flashbacks of being trapped in a train carriage.

The 10-minute short film was shot over four days near Barnsley at Elsecar Heritage Centre and in a residential area of Bolton-upon-Dearne.

Other scenes were filmed further afield at Elston Chapel in Nottinghamshire.

The film has garnered rave reviews after it was shown at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival, the Cutting Edge Film Festival in Newcastle and the Showroom Shorts showcase at The Showroom Cinema in Sheffield.

Behind the scenes duriing filming for The Railway Carriage.

Behind the scenes duriing filming for The Railway Carriage.

Lead actor Dean Sills, aged 47, of Bolton-upon-Dearne, said he has been amazed at how well it has been received by audiences so far and there are more screenings in the pipeline.

He said: “At the Fringe, there were 2,101 submissions from 99 countries across the world.

“Only 50 independent films were selected from 23 countries and The Railway Carriage was one of the lucky 50, which tells you just how good the film is.

“We plan to enter the film into other festivals.

Dean Sills.

Dean Sills.

“I enjoyed the shoot very much and it was a fantastic experience working with all the team on the production.”

He added portraying a character who was undergoing psychological torment proved to be the most challenging role of his career so far.

“Not many actors are in the actual, film just my character John and two teenage children can be seen on screen. We also have some good voice actors.

“My character was very depressing but it was still a fun shoot where I could push myself as an actor.

Dean Sills.

Dean Sills.

“My character is beset with flashbacks, vague memories that explain why he is trapped in a train carriage again and again.

“The film asks the questions asks the questions ‘Has he done something so bad his mind has trapped itself in a strange repeating labyrinth?’

“Through the memories and objects he finds in the carriage, John tries to find a way out of the nightmare world he has brought on himself.”

The former painter and decorator decided on a career change a few years ago and since 2012 has appeared in more than 30 productions.

His first was playing a zombie in The Eschatrilogy: Book of the Dead’.

He said: “I just got the acting bug on set and went from being an extra to doing speaking roles, bit parts to supporting roles and now lead roles.

Dean Sills.

Dean Sills.

“I just have a huge passion for it.

“My advice for aspiring actors is this: You need to be really passionate and patient about this kind of work because you find yourself in and out of work all of the time.

“You need to ask yourself how much you really want to do this and how much you’re willing to sacrifice for it.

“If you really want to be an actor, just go for it and follow your dream!”

The Railway Carriage was written, financed and directed by Doncaster-based Ross Adgar, of Adgar Productions.

The 21-year-old student, of Tickhill, said: “I have only been involved in filmmaking for two years, but I have learned so much in that short time.

“The response to the film has been amazing with lots of people reviewing the film positively.

“Being in two festivals is also amazing and I can’t say thank you enough to Dean who helped enter the film into film festivals all around the world.

“With this in mind I feel I have to top this achievement with my next film.

I won’t give too much away but I’m planning to create a new spin on the superhero genre.”

The Railway Carriage is set to be screened at the forthcoming Digi-Con 2: Doncaster Comic Con at the Doncaster School for the Deaf on Sunday, February 21.

The event, which is held between 11am and 6pm, has attracted thousands of visitors in recent years and includes guest appearances from starts of the silver screen.

The film will also be screened at the Goldensun Short Film Festival in Malta, which is running between now and February 12.

Only a small number of movies get chosen to be screened by a judging panel of industry insiders from thousands of entries from across Europe.

A trailer on Youtube has had nearly 400 views.


* Chosen from more than 2,000 entries for Fringe Festival

* Trailer has attracted nearly 400 views on Youtube

* Showcased at film festivals in Newcastle and Sheffield

* Chosen from more than 2,000 entries for Fringe Festival

* Due to be screened at a film festival in Europe