A Second World War film featuring an East Kirkby museum and its famous Lancaster bomber is ready for take off after the team behind it secured an international distribution deal.
Lincolnshire’s Tin Hat Productions have teamed up with the London-based Kaleidoscope Film Distribution to get their first feature film, Lancaster Skies, in front of audiences.
The film features East Kirkby’s Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre and its surviving Lancaster Just Jane.
From next month, it will be screened in cinemas, and from May it will be available to take home on DVD and Blu-ray in countries as far afield as the US, Japan, and Australia (and can also be watched via video-on-demand).
Tin Hat Productions is Andy Burn, son Callum Burn, both of Sleaford, and Sam Parsons, of London, who attended film school with Callum.
The trio have also had loyal support from Scott Ellis, of Lincoln.
The Standard first spoke to them about Lancaster Skies – originally titled Our Shining Sword – five years ago this month.
The troupe overcame numerous obstacles in their path to get the film in the can last year.
They made costumes, built sets (including a replica Lancaster), crafted models for special effects sequences, and held fundraisers again and again and again – achieving a number of high profile endorsements along the way, including from TV personality Stephen Fry.
Stephen’s endorsement helped pave the way for the distribution deal, said Andy, which he described as ‘a dream come true’.
He said: “We are really, really pleased. For us, it’s akin to winning the lottery.
“The hope was we would get some sort of DVD deal. We would never had dreamt we would get a cinema release. That kind of thing doesn’t happen and it certainly doesn’t happen for films that cost 80,000 quid.”
On the advice of the distributors, the picture has been transferred back from black-and-white back to colour to give the film its best chance of success in America.
Andy says they have been told they should at least make their investment back, and one encouraging sign of this is that three screenings are already sold out.
Andy paid tribute to everyone who has supported the project, saying: “Thanks to all the people who are buying tickets, and thanks to all the people in the community who helped because there were lots of them, whether they were actors or local businesses that put money in. We haven’t forgotten,”
Andrew Panton, from the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre, said: “We’re proud to have supported this project from the start to enable the team to film at the centre and make ‘Lancaster Skies.
“Supporting the project and having faith that it will be completed has now led to us being in the fortunate position of benefiting from the exposure the film has created for us.
“The most important factor is that the film is bringing the memory of Bomber Command to the forefront of people’s minds.”
You can find local screenings at www.lancasterskies.com