A CHAT in a pub has developed into a life-changing experience for former Merchant Taylor's pupil Daniel Grant, who is preparing for the premiere of his first feature-length film.

Daniel, 21, of Love Lane, Pinner, returned from holiday two years ago and went to the pub with friends Tony Noble and Jonny Farminer. The three joked about how fun it would be to make their own film.

Now the dream has become a reality and Daniel's film Dark Night which was filmed on location in Rickmansworth, will premiere at the Curzon theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue next month.

Daniel, a second-year Human Science student and University College London (UCL), said: "I had made a couple of short films and enjoyed it and thought I would tackle a professional one.

"It was very hard work but so much fun I can't believe it will finally be on the big screen."

Daniel studied Design and Technology in the sixth form at Merchant Taylors and it was during this time that he designed a bed which converts into bunk beds and a double bed. The design was patented and Daniel entered it in a competition at UCL.

He won first prize and was awarded £3,000.

He said: "When I got first prize I was really pleased. Not only had I won but it gave me the money to embark on my film."

Daniel recruited friends, family, businesses and strangers to help in his project.

He said: "I wanted it to be as professional as possible, not just a student project, but obviously we did not have nearly enough money. So I set up Spiffing Films and basically blagged as much as possible to get freebies to help with production. We ended up producing a £180,000 film on a budget of less than £5,000."

Dark Night focuses on a derelict haunted house, notorious for murders which took place there. A group of young people decide to have a party in the house and then strange things start happening.

Daniel said: "I wanted it to be a traditional B-movie I call it a British B-Movie with Bite but I wanted it to be fun as well as scary, and have real character depth.

"We are in the final post-production stages and I am extremely proud of what the whole team has achieved."

The film took six weeks to film, with another month of set-building, and has been in post-production since the end of last summer. It premieres at 2pm on Thursday, July 19, in the Curzon theatre, Soho.

Daniel said: "I am hoping that the reaction to Dark Nights is good. I have another year left at UCL but if the offer comes from Hollywood I guess I'd consider it."

For more information on Dark Nights and Spiffing Films see www.darknightfilm.co.uk.