The Price of Freedom
Short Film, 2010
Surrounded by the realities of war, one British soldier searches for his own moral answers - told through the poetry of the First World War.
Using the emotive works of Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon, A.A. Milne, Wilfred Gibson, Rupert Brooke and John McCrae, The Price of Freedom tells a story seen through the eyes of just one British soldier, but told from the hearts of every man who fought when the world first went to war.
The Great War Poets painted a vivid picture of the inner war that every soldier fights within himself. A war in which man discovers the true cost of sacrifice, a true loss of faith and the true fragility of life.
Locked within their poetry is that truth; A soldier’s realisation that no-one would ever understand what was asked of him and an experience of fear as he had never before known.
There were many contributing factors that inspired The Price of Freedom. Our school studies of First World War history and the works of the War Poets in English lessons bought the subject sharply to our attention, but it was our Dad suggesting we could write a script using the war poetry as dialogue that really set our imaginations off - a musical uses lyrics to express the inner feelings of a character, surely poetry could do the same.
With poetry we could tell a story that wasn’t about the actual events of war, but how war affects the soldier - a deeply personal story that would make an audience feel and think.
Juggling production with school studies and a shoestring budget, the film took several years to complete. Throughout the process we used local crew, actors, locations and the reenactment group “The Birmingham Pals”. We recorded an original soundtrack written specifically for the film by composer Chris Duncan, with our school’s orchestra.
Over the course of the project there was a significant increase in production value and this can be seen progressing through the film. An element of this is due to our growing confidence as filmmakers, but mainly it was attributed to the support and involvement of numerous individuals who joined the project during production. Despite this noticeable difference from scene to scene, we felt passionately about preserving the earlier, simpler sequences.
These scenes may not look as impressive, but they are just as crucial in the telling of our story and its message. We also saw our growth across the film and wanted to keep them - because of those early scenes we attracted the help we needed to make the film what it became.
Written, Directed & Produced by:
Elliot Weaver & Zander Weaver
Chris Weaver and Lesley Weaver
Richard Sheard & The Birmingham Pals
The Staffordshire Regiment Museum
The Commonwealth War Graves Commission
The Severn Valley Railway
Barbara Levy Literary Agency
SHOT ON SONY DIGIBETA & Z1