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The Last Thaw

This short film follows the story of Simon Grays attempt to set a record time, and become the first person to complete a Mid-winter 'Frog Graham round'. This consists of 38 miles of running across the Lake District (UK) fells as well as 2.2 miles of open water swimming. We learn where Simons passion for fell running first came apparent and what led him to taking on this challenge in December 2018.

  • Jake Mckenna
  • Simon Gray
    Key Cast
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    13 minutes 28 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 22, 2019
  • Production Budget:
    500 GBP
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital, Mirrorless
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Jake Mckenna

Having been brought up in Cumbria from an early age I've always had the opportunity for adventure just a short journey away. During my childhood I knew that my passion to keep active was something which I would pursue throughout life. However I never settled into a particular avenue where I saw a future career emerging.

Then from around the age of eleven I began making small films about me and my friends down at the local skatepark. At first it was just a fun way of showing what we got up to on the weekends. Over time our abilities began to progress, and with this I decided to invest in more camera equipment. After a few years I decided to pursue things further an enrol on a Film Production course at Kendal College. During my time at college my interest for filmmaking grew substantially and I found myself devoting more time to each project. Because of this I saw a natural progression in the quality of my work, and this only helped to motivate me more. I went on to produce a number of films whilst at college, and eventually received a distinction level grade for my work. When my time in education came to an end I decided to take the less authentic route and set up as a freelancer whilst working part time as well.

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Director Statement

When Simon pitched the idea to me back in October 2018 I knew this film was going to be by far my most challenging to date. I've certainly learnt a huge amount during that time and for me I find that very rewarding. I could see that behind Simon's idea to complete this event there was more of a story which lead him up to this stage. I wanted to get this information across in the film without it taking the attention away from the main event. I decided to start asking Simon questions over numerous phone calls to begin piecing together a story. As my understanding of Simons passion began to grow I became more and more focused on the project as a whole. We began talking about possibilities for the film, even before he had attempted the challenge. Though this seemed very ambitious to myself at the time, I think this helped Simon to push through on the day of the event.

We were lucky enough to receive a lot of support from family and friends throughout the entirety of the project. Myself and Simon cannot thank these people enough for their willingness to get involved and give up their time. The project wouldn't be at the stage it is now if it wasn't for these people.