Published On: Wed, Mar 26th, 2014 on 1:27 pm

Bradford students work to create first-person shooter film NPCs

NPCs Film

An exclusive preview of NPCs, a short comedy film

NPCs Film

(l-r) Actors Sid Akbar Ali, Grace O'Donoghue and Frank Ryan

NPCs Film

Some of the cast and crew before shooting

NPCs FilmNPCs FilmNPCs Film

Students from the University of Bradford have been busy creating their own short comedy film through the style of a first-person shooter game.

Created as part of a practical project for university, the film named NPCs (‘non-playable characters’) will be based around the lives of characters in the virtual world.

There are five main characters with a dozen extras taking part in the film, which follows the life of a virtual player as a 12-year-old child controls him in reality.

The team of students have spent much of their free time planning and shooting the film at different locations in both Halifax and Bradford.

Producer of NPCs Steven Dorward told the Yorkshire Standard: “We have had to make this film from start to finish, we’ve had to market it all ourselves and make the website too.

“But we’ve been trying to differentiate it from the usual student projects and we’re trying to push past than just making NPCs a student film.”

Assistant director Oliver James added: “What we’ve done for the project is not being typical of a student film. It’s not like your standard camera set-up, and we have used as many kinds of techniques we could.”

To make the short film as realistic as possible, the students have adopted special camera styles, replicating the viewpoint of a first-person shooter game.

They’ve also used a special drone device to film one of the scenes from high above and specially designed replica weapons have been borrowed.

A license-holder has had to attend every session and the team has had to take care of carrying such items in public too.

But this wasn’t the main challenge, as Mr Dorward explained: “The main challenge has been getting all the extras in location and getting the locations themselves.

“We’ve had to get in contact with a lot of people to actually get these places but the support has been phenomenal. People have been helping us so much. A lot of the locations didn’t need to help us out at all either, but they did.”

NPCs will be approximately 15 to 18 minutes in length once completed.

Cast: Frank Ryan, Liam Gibbons, Grace O’Donoghue, Elliot Nelson, Sid Akbar Ali, Thom McGowan.

Crew: Dan Brierley (director), Steven Doward (producer), Oliver James (assistant director), Joanna Cuper (director of photography), Nick Smith (sound operator).

Armorer: James Chattock.

You can find out more about NPCs on Facebook at or Follow NPCs on Twitter @NPCShort.

About the Author

Hasan Faridi

- Hasan is the founder and editor-in chief of the Yorkshire Standard. A BA Hons graduate from the University of Huddersfield, he has over four years of experience in newspapers, magazines and radio.

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