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Duke of Cambridge joins Sir Peter Jackson for WW1 film world premiere

The Oscar-winning director and his team restored First World War footage to tell the story of the conflict from the soldiers’ perspective.

WATCH: Peter Jackson surprised by royal arrival during interview with Forces News

The world premiere of 'They Shall Not Grow Old' has taken place in central London.

Oscar-winning director Peter Jackson and his team restored First World War footage to tell the story of the conflict from the soldiers’ perspective.

Using the latest technology and painstaking processes they added colour to the original black and white footage.

Sir Peter told Forces News before the screening: "I'm excited, actually.

"Normally I'd be nervous at times like this, but I actually just want to see the film again.

"I've only seen it once."

The Duke of Cambridge was in attendance, meeting Sir Peter and other staff involved in the production of the film before watching the documentary himself.

'They’re real people with all the nuances and subtleties of human beings'

The film's development started after the Imperial War Museum approached Peter and asked him if he could do something that hadn’t been done before with their first world war archive footage.

In an interview with RATED, the director said he was aware throughout the making of the film that he was getting an insight into what his Grandfather’s experience may have been like.

“As I was going through the footage I was acutely aware that this must have been how he [Sir Peter’s Grandfather] felt and these are the sort of sights that he was seeing.

They Shall Not Grow Old
The footage is transformed from black and white to colour (Picture: WingNut Films with Peter Jackson).

"There is a mine explosion in one of the shots, a big mine goes up and my Grandfather was about 100 yards on the other side of the mine at that exact moment, so I think, well I’m actually looking at something my grandfather saw, you know the same thing, I’m actually seeing what he saw 100 years ago.”

The director and his team at WingNut Films listened to over 600 hours of audio interviews from veterans of the First World War and watched over 100 hours of footage to make the film in 2D and 3D, focusing on the experiences of men rather than strategies of war.

Demand to watch the film has been high so new dates are being added for screenings at selected cinemas across the UK.

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