Rob Pitching for Hollywood

A SHEFFIELD lecturer is to get a taste of Tinseltown after winning a top competition which will see him show his new film to an audience of Hollywood professionals.

Rob McClellan, a video lecturer at Sheffield College's Norton campus, has won a contest called The Pitch - scooping a grant of 20,000 to turn his film idea into reality.

The challenge was to present, film and upload a film pitch in two minutes, with each idea based on a verse, character or story from the Bible.

Rob, aged 31, saw the contest online and thought it would be good for his students to enter.

"I told them - 'you could do this, I could do this', and I decided to enter.

"I opened a Bible and started researching stories and then made my pitch for just 80."

His film will be called Jericho and tells the story of Rahab, a prostitute who saves the lives of two Jewish spies and is thensaved by them.

Rob faced a panel of judges over two days at the world famous Pinewood Studios in Buckinghamshire. They included Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park, director Bart Gavigan and Spooks star David Oyelowo, who flew in from Hollywood where he is about to start shooting Rise of the Apes, the prequel to Planet of the Apes.

Rob said: "I am very excited and can't wait to get started on what will be a brilliant film.

"It is an amazing competition which offers an unprecedented opportunity for film makers to break into the industry. Play it right and it is a ticket in."

Executive director Luke Walton said he had high hopes for Rob.

"Rob showed a rare mix of creativity, storytelling and terrific skill with visual special effects. I am very excited about working with this talented young director."

Rob will show Jericho to top Hollywood film producer Ralph Winter, whose hit films have included X-Men and The Fantastic Four.

He will also get to meet industry professionals.

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