Lincoln students play unique part in nostalgic computing film

A documentary exploring the history and development of the ZX Spectrum home computer has been filmed by a teacher from a Lincoln school – with help from his pupils.

The idea for the film proved so popular that fans of the Spectrum donated £6,000 through a kickstarter appeal to help Andy Remic make his film.

Andy, an English teacher and library co-ordinator at Branston Community Academy, is aiming for a summer premier for the documentary – which takes a detailed look at the history, developers, games and fans of the early 80s computer.

The film, called Memoirs of a Spectrum Addict, will be a tribute to the Sinclair ZX Spectrum. It was one of the first ever home computers and hit the UK market in 1982.

It will have dramatic re-enactments, interviews with major industry figures, and will feature people who grew up influenced by the Spectrum.

Some of the sections of the documentary, recreating childhood scenes of swapping games in the playground, are being filmed at the Branston school.

Around 30 students are involved in both acting capacities and acting as crew, dolly, boom and camera operators.

Interviews with some of the industry’s leading figures, including Doom and Quake creator John Romero, have taken Andy to London, the US, Barcelona and Rome.

The documentary will also feature some “reimagining” of the old ZX Spectrum music with modern twists.

The film will premiere at the Kinema in the Woods in Woodhall Spa towards the end of August 2016, and will be on sale shortly after that with a percentage of sales going to charity. It will also be available online.

“It’s been a really thrilling and nostalgic journey for me and I have been staggered by the amazing support and help I’ve been given by so many people,” said Andy, who has also enjoyed popularity as an author of nearly 20 published sci-fi and fantasy novels.

“It’s been a fabulous experience and I’m really delighted that I’ve been able to get so many of the students at the school involved too. They have been very excited but thoroughly professional throughout the process.

“I’m really proud of the film and of all the students who were involved.”

Headteacher at Branston Community School, Peter Beighton, said: “The school was delighted to support Andy’s unique project. It was a fantastic opportunity for our students to learn first-hand some of the skills of documentary-making.

“The school is always committed to providing students with innovative learning and this is a great example of that.”