Dudley director searching for stars for James Whale film
A BUDDING film maker is calling on actors to audition for his new film chronicling the life of one of Hollywood’s most influential directors who grew up in Dudley.
Daniel Titley, aged 27, is the writer and director of ‘Still Alive’, a short film which will explore the formative years of Dudley’s own James Whale.
Whale shot to fame in the 1930s for directing horror movie classics ‘Frankenstein’, ‘The Invisible Man’ and ‘The Bride of Frankenstein’ in Hollywood, however not much is known about his early years growing up in the Kates Hill area of the town.
Daniel is now on the hunt for homegrown talent in the Black Country to bring his film to life.
Filming will take place in January with the aim of finishing in time for film festivals next summer.
Daniel, who is also from Dudley, is hoping to premiere the film at a special screening at the Back Country Living Museum.
He said: “For Dudley to forget such a figure would be a tremendous disservice to those who not only live here but to the many others to come, and hopefully this production of ours will inject some spark of new life back into a seemingly-true invisible man. “Certainly one of the greatest inspirations Dudley has ever produced, of someone who thought big, worked hard, and achieved a dream which, today, seems more impossible than it did back even then.”
Whale’s route to Hollywood fame took him via a German prisoner of war camp during the First World War, where he staged plays to entertain his fellow prisoners.
Tragically, the director died at his Hollywood home in 1957 aged 67-years-old, after taking his own life.
Not only a cinematic pioneer, Whale lived his life openly as a gay man at a time when society was prejudiced against homosexuality.
Daniel hopes that the film is the first stage in putting the pioneering director on the map and hopes to work for a blue plaque to be placed in the town in tribute to James’ achievements.
He said: “If I could choose I would put the plaque outside Dudley College, where the film and theatre students can see it and be inspired.”
Auditions will take place at Aston’s Auctioneers at Baylies Hall on Tower Street in Dudley, between 10am and 5pm on Thursday, November 7.