A GROUP OF Wexford-based filmmakers are getting ready to hit the big screen with a short film that they decided to make ' just to see what would happen.'
The film, ' Romantic Hideaway', is the result of several conversations between Enniscorthy-based director Andrew Wright, film-maker Trevor Sweeney from Wexford town, and director of photography Thomas Skwara of the production company Reel View.
Andrew explained: 'I approached Trevor and Thomas with a great little two-page script written by Kulvinder Gill, in the hope that we could shoot the film in a day or two away from their busy schedule and during their downtime. The initial intention was to submit the short to a London competition and then enter it into short film festivals around the world and see what happens. They were more than up for it and so we started to pull the whole thing together.'
The film, a psychological horror, tells the story of disturbed loner Norman, who has a secret love, quite literally, and on St Valentine's Day he's going to make sure that Elena stays with him forever. Realising that something terrible is about to happen to her, Elena summons the last of her fear-fuelled adrenalin and fights back, but in so doing leaves her freedom hanging just out of reach and seals her own isolated fate.
The group had scouted a location to shoot the film, but when they went to shoot it there on the day, there was a change of plan. 'We had a remote location picked out,' Andrew said. 'But when we turned up on the day, it had been vandalised and we couldn't use it. So we ended up just throwing out the lawnmower and all the bits and bobs from the shed at my house in Enniscorthy and shooting it there!'
The short film, which runs at just under 12 minutes, features a cast of two: Donie Ryan (Norman), who has appeared in 'Breakfast on Pluto' and ' The Tudors', and Wexford woman Pagan McGrath (Elena). Pagan is an emerging actress who is currently studying for a master's in drama and performance at UCD. Her acting career began with Co. Wexford Youth Theatre at the age of 15 and, after a number of successful productions, she was given a role in Billy Roche's 'Lay Me Down Softly', which toured Ireland and the UK. It was during this production that she first met Andrew and the two were delighted to team up again for this project.
The premiere will take place in the Gaiety Theatre in Arklow on November 23, and as a result it qualifies for the short film category at the IFTA Awards 2013. Andrew said: 'Every filmmaker's dream is to see their film on the big screen but the reality is that very few ever actually make it that far. We are absolutely thrilled that our little 'no-budget' film is rubbing shoulders with the multi-million dollar big hitters. And as for qualifying to enter into the IFTAs, well that is something that we hadn't even contemplated; it's all a bit surreal but very, very exciting.'