A LOCAL film producer has used his hometown as the backdrop of his latest fan movie - and it’s inspired by Batman.

James Campbell, from Darlington, is a lifelong fan of the DC Comics classic and leant on his intrepid interest and filming expertise to produce his latest short: 1986.

The Northern Echo: Film creator James Campbell has used Darlington as a filming location for several productions

The 13-minute long film is published on YouTube and has already received thousands of views from diehard fans and intrigued directors worldwide.

“We started shooting last October and it all happened fairly quickly,” he said. “I had the idea to do it for a while and I had some money and thought I could use it for 1986.

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“The feature film I’d been developing had slowed down and been delayed by Covid so I had a bit of cash and I thought ‘I want to do something ambitious’.

“I pulled together a lot of cast and crew from the North East to make something cool and different in my home town, Darlington.”

The Northern Echo: Batman is a key theme running through many of Mr Campbell’s productions

Filmed in the former Marks and Spencer’s building in the town centre, thanks to the generous help of Cornerstone Arts, all cast and crew wrapped the shoot up within two days.

The former Cleveland College of Art & Design pupil already has short films such as “Ripper” under his belt, which sees Jack the Ripper pitted against Batman in 1888 London, and has built up contacts in the industry.

The film features actors Lee Charles and Laurence R. Harvey, who were part of the cast and crew who worked voluntarily free of charge.

Mr Campbell added: “People just wanted to be a part of it because they backed the idea and were keen to be involved.

“The hope is I will eventually get to a level where I have bigger budgets and can help people.”

The Northern Echo: The former Marks and Spencer’s building in Darlington town centre was used for filming

The whole script for 1986 was created by Mr Campbell, who said he developed it years ago but only progressed it last year.

Next up for the film producer are a set of feature films, including a ‘horror Christmas comedy’. “I’ve always loved those kind of films and I like to mix the genres,” he added.

“I’ve got a western werewolf short film that we shot in Darlington which has just finished a festival run in New York and we plan to release that online in January.”

To watch 1986, visit: youtube.com/Eighties Doubt Productions.

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