At just 16 years old, Harrogate Grammar School pupil Sam Hartshorn has a decade of film-making experience under his belt.
Sam started making video clips and short films when he was just six years old. Now he has been named as ‘One to Watch’ at the Into Film Awards.
The teenager’s short film, Where Were You? follows a young boy living in a post-apocalyptic world, was praised by the judges who said it showed great visual awareness and technical flair.
Sam visited Leicester Square in London to collect his award and had the opportunity to meet some of his idols.
He said: “It was great to go to Leicester Square, the home of cinema in the UK. It was all just so exciting I couldn’t really take it all in.”
The Grammar School pupil, who lives in Shaw Mills in Nidderdale, ropes his younger brother Jack, 12, and sister Laura, 14, into starring in his mini-movies.
Twelve-year-old Jack takes the lead role in sci-fi thriller Where Were You?
Sam said: “I think he puts up with it to help me out, he doesn’t actually want to be an actor I don’t think, so I will owe him big time at some point in the future.”
The family often go on walks in Nidderdale so Sam can find locations to shoot his films. He said: “We can only go where we can walk of if my parents will give me a lift but it doesn’t matter because living in the countryside means I have so many different places I can walk to nearby.
“For the latest film I just noticed a long dirt track which looked great on film. I am lucky to live around here.”
After taking part in a school production last year, Sam has met some more willing volunteers to star in his movies.
He has been making short video clips since he was about six years old. “I used to just do little videos on my parents’ digital camera, then I borrowed my granddad’s video camera, now I use an iPad,” he said.
“I taught myself how to do editing and special effects, using YouTube videos for guidance. I used to make a little film every weekend, now I make around four or five a year, but they are better now I think.
“I upload them to YouTube, I think it is a great way to get films out there and I have got some good feedback.”
Sam hopes to study film making at university and is looking forward to the long summer holidays after his GCSEs when he plans to make his latest movie, Bobby Bollinski’s Biggest Scoop Yet, the story of a young aspiring journalist who ends up on an amazing adventure as he hunts out his next story.
l WATCH: Sam’s work at www.harrogateadvertiser.co.uk