Young Crowthorne film director fulfilling his dreams

PUBLISHED: 12:08 01 July 2015 | UPDATED: 12:08 01 July 2015

James at work on location. Photo Karen Knowlson

James at work on location. Photo Karen Knowlson

Karen Knowlson

Any film maker would be delighted to have produced some 100 short films and be preparing for a feature length work to hit the big screen. But when you consider James Hastings is just 15, it’s a remarkable achievement.

James, right, working on a scene with actor Jamie Darlington. Photo: Karen KnowlsonJames, right, working on a scene with actor Jamie Darlington. Photo: Karen Knowlson

James is a student at Edgbarrow Secondary School in Crowthorne – he’s just finished his GCSEs – and lives nearby with parents Maria and Roy and sister Sophie. For some four years now the family has become used to finding themselves involved in his projects, behind the scenes and in front of the camera.

Now everyone is excited about psychological thriller ‘White Dreams’, which is having its premiere at the Odeon Cinema Bracknell, Skimped Hill Lane, Bracknell, at 8pm on Thursday 9 July.

James says: “I believe whatever film that can make you part of it is a good film! The true meaning of being a film maker is not to show off your skills, it is to tell a story using your skills. You don’t need all the big equipment with a massive Hollywood budget and a large crew with Oscar-winning cast. You just need yourself, a camera and a story.”

Filming for White Dreams took place over 11 days in April at locations including Wokingham, Arborfield, Henley, Sandhurst, Winnersh, Binfield, Crowthorne and Windsor.

The cast and crew of around 80 includes several members with notable previous experience. Jamie Darlington, in the lead role of a man plagued by unsettling dreams, has worked on a number of television shows and been cast in 60 Days of Honesty, due for release in 2015. Last year Faith Elizabeth Downie played a photographer in ‘Rise of the Krays with Tom Hardy and a CIA agent in 24:LAD. She also appeared in EastEnders as a pregnant girl, and Holby City as a wedding guest.

Composers Laurence Chapman and Marguerite Abbott worked on the score and tracks used in the film, while James’s sister Sophie, a singer, recorded the White Dreams theme song. Assistant director Lucy Johnson studied film and television production at Bristol University.

White Dream is being entered into a number of film festivals throughout the year. Find out more at

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