Movie-makers move lock, stock for Sheffield culture

Hugh Mann Adamson, left, directs on a movie. also pictured are cast and crew and fellow LTBL director Yen Ip
Hugh Mann Adamson, left, directs on a movie. also pictured are cast and crew and fellow LTBL director Yen Ip

Entrepreneurial young film-maker Hugh Mann Adamson is proof that 10 seconds is all it takes to change your life.

Stuck on a boring computing degree course in 2010, he found his true vocation when tutors asked him to make a short movie as his latest assignment.

Hugh enlisted one of his friends as actor and chose fate as his theme. It was prophetic; the project re-ignited his childhood passion of becoming a film-maker and he quit his studies to follow his dream. “That film made me realise what I wanted to do. Some people go through life never knowing,” said the 28-year-old.

Fast-forward four years and Hugh and his business partners have an award-winning film and digital production company, Let There Be Light Productions, and have moved ‘lock, stock and smoking barrels’ from Scunthorpe to Sheffield, a city Hugh sees as a spiritual homeland and a hub of media creativity.

Said Hugh: “This is the place to be for creatives. The city’s media heritage and culture is so strong. Sheffield DocFest and the South Yorkshire Film-makers’ Network, the forthcoming Talent Centre being set up by Creative England are major reasons to be here. Plus there are some incredible businesses and artists that we would love to work with in our fictional filmmaking division, LTBL Films, and our LTBL Music division.”

LTBL, a multi-disciplined digital production company launched in 2012, lists as clients Starbucks, the Movember grow-a-moustache health campaign, the NHS, Al Murad tiles and local organisations Groundwork, which helps create better communities, and the Accelerate project to help social entrepreneurs.

Based on Arundel Gate in the Cultural Industries Quarter, it specialises in film, animation, photography, design and website development. Hugh, who started making spoof comedy movies with his friends aged 16 via mobile phone, found his way into the industry by linking up with other creatives in Scunthorpe, his home town, to enter a 48 hour film-making challenge in Bradford, the first UK Unesco City of Film.

The movie won two awards and led to a paid commission for an anti-drugs film, shown throughout schools in North Lincolnshire following the death of two young people from so-called ‘legal highs’.

The money bought equipment and eventually Let There Be Light was founded. There are now three fellow directors, Yen Ip, Paul D Everatt and Nana Jumah and ambitious plans to make films for cinema.

“Sheffield’s Electric Works-based Warp Films now produce big name British movies. We aim to do the same,” said Hugh.

“Our first feature film will definitely be shot in Sheffield. It’s a beautiful city with inspirational settings at every turn.”