AN award-winning director has agreed to produce a film written by a former Colchester paratrooper.
Darren Cook, a past winner of the Coup de Couer at the Cannes Film Festival, has signed up to Sgt Craig Wyting’s film, Ten.
Darren, of Scruffy Bear Pictures, has presented short films for Bafta and is a tutor at an international acting school.
Sgt Wyting, from Colchester’s Barn Hall Estate, wrote his screenplay about the perils of soldiers returning to civilian life after leaving the Army, which explores how we treat former soldiers.
Sgt Wyting, secretary of North Essex Film Makers, receives a £600-a-month Army pension, and just 10p a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance.
This year his house was repossessed and he has spent years looking for work after spending 22 years in the Army.
Sgt Wyting served in Third Battalion the Parachute Regiment, then with the military police and at the town’s Military Corrective Training Centre.
He left the Army in 2005. His screenplay is based in Afghanistan and follows a soldier on his 10th tour, who is about to leave the Army.
He said: “It has become a full-blown production involving nearly 90 cast and crew and I am truly humbled Darren is on board.”
Scruffy Bear Pictures, and the entire cast and crew, are giving their services for free, with any money raised split between military charities, the Royal British Legion, the Invicta Foundation and 353.
Filming will begin in August at the Hythe.
Sgt Wyting said: “Every day I am having to deal with requests to be a part of the production.
“The trauma of the war in Afghanistan is still with us and almost every day I’m reminded why this production must be completed.
“I’m ever so proud of those individuals who less than a year ago became part of the project.
“It is the recognition of the sacrifices our Armed Forces make which has brought us together.”
Colchester & District Pipes and Drums, Colchester Council, Portakabin of Colchester, Dragon Supplies of Colchester, the 8 Ball Diner, Slack Space, Airsoft Essex, JKM Photography and Psymon Digital Design are supporting the project.
Anyone else interested can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org