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Students help launch the world premiere production of The Shadow Factory

15th February 2018
TV, film, media production and technology

Our second year media production students have helped launch Nuffield Southampton Theatres’ (NST) very first production – The Shadow Factory – at their new theatre, NST City. The show revolves around the Spitfire and tells the tale of how Southampton ‘stepped up when the chips were down’ during The Battle of Britain.

Students were tasked with creating videos to showcase the Spitfire – a plane created during World War II, with the prototype first flying from Southampton Airport. During the war, the factory producing the planes was bombed and production was quietly relocated to varying places around the city, including bus garages and launderettes. The bravery of Southampton residents in continuing the Spitfire’s production is thought to have been imperative to the Allies’ eventual victory.

The videos showcase the story of the Spitfire from varying angles – including first-person accounts of aircraft’s creation, to present-day perspectives from Southampton locals. The final films have been promoted on NST’s social media accounts as part of their marketing campaign for the Shadow Factory, with views now in the thousands.

Media production course leader, Roy Hanney, says: “This project has been hugely beneficial for our students. They’ve had the opportunity to work with a real client and take on a range of challenges with this project. This includes properly deciphering a brief, working within the constraints imposed by limited access to archive and other historical documents and the need to work to deadlines.”

Student Reema Shah has appreciated the support her work has received from the NST collaboration: “It’s been amazing to see that my work has been used by the Nuffield. It makes all the hard work that was put into it worth it, and the feedback has been great.”

Bill Sainsbury, Head of Marketing and Press at NST, adds: “It has been brilliant to see the breadth and quality of work produced by the students. The short films have taken the story of Southampton and Spitfire as a starting point and delivered some very exciting content that really has engaged our online audiences as part of our Shadow Factory campaign.”

At NST City, student photographs have also been used as part of the Shadow Factory exhibition which will run until 3 March. To view the photos and to learn more about the story of the Spitfire, please visit the NST website.