Steve Coogan cameo in Brighton teenager's film

A Sussex teenager has turned his school project into a feature-length film with a comedy legend.

Liam Hooper's film Darkwood Manor started life as a Year 8 project at Dorothy Stringer School in Brighton.

The 17-year-old then spent three years creating the horror film using Brighton's 18th Century Stanmer House as the haunted manor.

It features a cameo from comedian and Hollywood actor Steve Coogan, who has a home in the city.

Coogan, the creator of Alan Partridge, has appeared in several big-budget movies including Night at the Museum, Tropic Thunder and Around the World in 80 Days.

'Wow factor'

The teenage film-maker, who scripted, filmed and edited the movie in a £1,000 project paid for with his own money, said: "I have always been a huge fan of Steve's work so, thinking I had nothing to lose, I decided to try and contact him.

"I was absolutely amazed when he said yes and although it was hard to find a time in his busy schedule to work on the cameo, we managed it."

Liam, whose project was inspired by the horror film Scream, said: "His involvement brings a real 'wow' factor to the movie and its been an incredible opportunity to work with one of my idols."

The film follows a group of students who learn their school will close unless £50,000 can be found to save it.

One of the students finds a flyer offering a reward to anyone who can spend two nights caretaking the supposedly-haunted Darkwood Manor.

But when the pupils and their tutor arrive at Darkwood, one by one they start to disappear.

Liam said Stanmer House provided the perfect setting, providing a "fantastic balance" of old world grandeur and a chilling horror movie atmosphere.

The film will be screened on 10 September at the Duke of York's Picture House, Brighton.

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