Filming “The Fronts of War”

The film tells the story of a lieutenant receiving a letter from his wife that announces the birth of their child. Accompanying him in the dugout is a private reading a letter of his own…the child is, in fact, his.

L-R: Adam Grindley, Thomas Gardener, Aaron Fraiser

Writer & director Thomas Gardner, along with co-writer & actor Olivia Lewis-Brown, came up with the 6-page script: “I originally had the idea for making a short First World War film after seeing Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old and wanted to focus on the personal lives of the soldiers rather than the actual war itself.

“Some of the personal trauma they had to go through they would have kept to themselves and I wanted to try and extract something from that to create tension in an already intense atmosphere.”

Our small dugout brought to life.

Along with their director Thomas, actors Aaron Fraiser, Adam Grindley, and Olivia Lewis-Brown hail from the University of Central Lancashire. Due to a year of COVID related lockdowns, the filmmakers have struggled to get out and start making anything.

“It’s been so fun filming after being unable to do so for long,” Grindley mentioned. “Jumping straight back in to it was the boost the whole team needed to be able to find our feet again. Filming on site was a great opportunity to get back into the industry.”

We are delighted to say Thomas and the team have given CEMA permission to host the film on our website after its release. Become a CEMA member to keep up-to-date with news on this and things like it.

“I plan to submit the film into some UK film festivals and then hopefully release it either on DVD or online,” Gardner told us.

You can find Gardner on IMDB here and get updates on the release of The Fronts of War by following him on Instagram @officialtgardner.


CEMA trenches to be used as principle location in upcoming Great War drama

Writer and director Peter Hogenson and team met with Ross and Andy today to recce our First World War trench system in preparation for their upcoming drama Life Underground.

“Imagine 1917 meets Moonlight,” Hogenson said. “The story is set amid the shelling of World War One. A self-made lieutenant dreams of leaving the trenches when he falls for Sergeant McCollough.”

L-R: Andy Robertshaw, Rhys Holland, Peter Hogenson, Patrick James Verlin, Mahée Merica, Jaina Liu.

The Life Underground team hail from the London Film School and will be the third film crew to shoot at the Centre for Experimental Military Archaeology since work on the site began in March 2021.

The crew from London Film School ask Andy questions to help guide the historical accuracy of their film.

Hogenson said that their “primary audience are two-fold: the LGBTQ community and those interested in military history and history as a whole.”

Life Underground is set to begin shooting this July and aims to be released later this year.

“The trenches are amazing,” Jaina Liu, the executive producer said. “I found over ten trenches in my production research and these at CEMA are by far the best.”

We at CEMA are delighted to announce that the production company, Muse Of Fire, have kindly given us permission to host the film on our website after its initial release. Make sure you become a CEMA member to receive news about Life Underground and how to access it, as well as lots more content like this.

For more information on the film and crew keep your eyes peeled for news from CEMA, where we will be releasing more information over the coming months.

You can visit the website of the London Film School @