Stranger things are happening in Swindon as filmmaker reaches final stages of UFO feature film

By Claire Dukes - 5 December 2018

Arts and CultureCommunityOpinion and Features

Where is the line between fiction and reality? This is a little irrelevant for Oliver Rogers, - a 21-year-old filmmaker from Swindon - as he encourages people to "question some things" in his first feature film.

After receiving international interest for his first short film 'Full Disclosure' Oliver Rogers is in the final stages of completing his first feature, and follow-on film, 'The Black Spot'. 

The feature film, which is due for release next year, follows an agent who uncovers dark and mysterious activities in a secret space programme.

Oliver said: "Some people say this is happening right now, and we’ve created a fictional version of what people believe is currently happening.

“It’s slightly based off a real interview, so you could say it’s a little based in reality or on ‘so say’ true events that a man says he’s gone up to Mars – I just thought that was a brilliant plot."

Taking inspiration from his love of film noir and interest in UFOs, Oliver has based the film in Wiltshire and used many Swindon locations throughout the film including Milton Road, Stanford House, The Beehive, Longs Bar and some local houses. Combining the use of recognisable locations and a "loosely" reality-based plot, the young filmmaker wants to explore the boundaries between conspiracies and everyday occurrences.

Oliver said: “It’s fairly UFO-based even though you don’t ever see a UFO in the film, but it’s mentioned a lot. It’s about ‘larger than life’ happenings in quite a matter of fact way, like this could be happening right now but we wouldn’t necessarily know about it.

"With The Black Spot we’re trying to say ‘keep an open mind and do question some things’. I’m not saying it’s real, but I’m not saying it’s not either.

"I’m fascinated with UFOs, - I’ve seen a UFO – and the film’s based in Wiltshire which is very UFO central especially around Avebury. So, Wiltshire’s the perfect place to set the film.”

Working alongside Oliver, the film's producer Doug Kirby - of Bald N Hairy Films - is delighted to watch the young director progress onto his own independent projects. Doug said: "Oliver’s enthusiasm is infectious - he’s worked on several of my film projects so when he made “Full Disclosure”. I was impressed and wanted to help as he was asked to develop the film further.

"Much success with the short films and some tribulation later we have this exciting homage to Film Noir and British Sci-Fi, 'The Black Spot'. 

"Bald N Hairy Films are delighted to support our one time Junior Camera Assistant in his feature directorial debut."

Upon release the film will be sent to film festivals around the globe and, after getting in touch with Lloyd Kaufman, - the founder of an American independent production company, Troma Entertainment - The Black Spot will also be distributed in America.

With much interest generated through his short film the 21-year-old now believes there is no practical benefit to attending university.

He said: "I don't want to go to university. Don’t get me wrong you learn skills, but at the end of it you just end up as a runner at the BBC – you spend all that time and money on university, and running up a lot of debt, to end up as a runner.

"It’s definitely been challenging, but that’s why I love it – it wouldn’t be worth it otherwise.

"We’re making the film as a spring board for everyone involved – as much as it’s my project, it’s everybody else’s as well. We want to prove to people that we can make a competent film and hopefully we’ll get work out of it in the end. As far as I’m concerned, if I make a film and one person I don’t know likes it then job well done."

Asking about his future plans, Oliver added: "I love being in Swindon, – there’s a great collective of people here – but just trying to make a living out of filmmaking here is quite hard. If I could find money doing this in Swindon then I’d happily stay, but at some point I might want to go to Bristol to branch out a bit."

For further information about The Black Spot click here.

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