Released this week, ‘X+Y’ tells the real-life story of a troubled maths genius who finds his true calling by joining the British squad of the International Mathematics Olympiad.
‘Hugo’ star Asa Butterfield plays Nathan, the young autistic boy who struggles interacting with others but excels at numeracy. When this mathematical prodigy is chosen to represent Britain at an international event he comes into contact with a host new challenges, including his first encounter with love.
‘X+Y’ is the debut feature film from director Morgan Matthews and co-stars a host of Brit talent including Rafe Spall, Sally Hawkins and Eddie Marsan. The film was funded by BBC Films and the BFI with regional funding provided by Screen Yorkshire.
‘X+Y’ shot largely in Sheffield with various local spots ending up in the finished film. Locations such as High Storrs School, Rails Train Shop, Crookes Cemetery and Thornbury BMI Hospital can be seen in the feature, alongside King Edward VII school, Aston Hotel and The University of Sheffield. The interior of Sheffield Town Hall was also used to double for the interior of Cambridge University, where additional sequences are set. Creative England’s Film Friendly Partnership with Sheffield City Council was used to secure vital filming permissions during the this leg of ‘X+Y’’s shoot.
The production then visited Cambridge, calling upon our Production Liaison Manager for the East to help find a suitable unit base for filming. A car park space at Cambridge City Football ground was ultimately chosen with filming taking place at Trinity Street, St Johns Street and various colleges across the city. Director Morgan Matthews then completed the remainder of the shoot on location in Taiwan.
“The majority of filming for ‘X+Y’ was in Sheffield and the surrounding area – including some significant interiors which stood in for, and seamlessly intercut with, our Cambridge location,” explains Producer Laura Hastings-Smith. “It was an extremely positive experience in so many ways – great crews, welcoming city and people, short travel times.
“In setting up the shoot outside of London (The production company base) it was enormously helpful to have the support from Creative England in sourcing many of our Great crew, locations and assisting with the various permissions we needed.”
Sheffield Council were excited to welcome ‘X+Y’ into their region, the latest in a string of productions that have chosen to shoot in the area. “There’s been an upsurge of filming in Sheffield recently with ‘X+Y’ following films and TV series such as ’71’, ‘This England’ and ‘Prisoner’s Wives,'” explained Brendan Moffett, Director of Marketing Sheffield.
“When production companies choose to film here, it not only provides great profile for the city but also contributes to the local economy, which is why we are happy to support the important work of key organisations such as Creative England and Screen Yorkshire who make these opportunities happen.
“It’s truly fantastic to see so much of Sheffield on show in X+Y and we hope the rest of Sheffield will be proud to see their city on the big screen in such a great film.”
The crewing team for ‘X+Y’ contacted Creative England’s Crew and facilities Manager Nicky Ball at the start of pre-production enquiring about suggestions for crew across all grades and departments. Our crewing service were asked to help fill all main team roles and offer further support during filming in Cambridge. With Creative England’s help, at least nine crew members were hired via our free online crew database, including an Art Director, Assistant Art Director, Grip, Buyer, Floor Runner and Prop Master.