Neill wants in on local film industry

A scene from local man Neill O'Higgins' first film and (inset) the producer himself.

A scene from local man Neill O'Higgins' first film and (inset) the producer himself.

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A budding Banbridge-based film producer is hoping for a piece of NI’s film industry.

Neill O’Higgins from Dechomet, outside Katesbridge, is aiming to kick-start those ambitions at a Belfast film festival later this year.

Neill O'Higgins, who has produced his first short film.

Neill O'Higgins, who has produced his first short film.

The former St Colman’s pupil is in his final year of a Film and TV Production degree at Edge Hill University in Lancashire.

As part of his final project, he has produced a ten minute film which he is hoping will go on show at the Cinematic Belfast October 2016 International Film Festival For Young People.

The film, entitled The Irrational Tendencies of Elias, depicts how “a desperate, unemployed perfectionist must stand out for the right reasons to win over a potential employer in an interview from hell.”

Neill will be hoping to avoid that nightmare scenario turning into his own reality when he slips into the world of work at the end of the university year.

But that transfer is something he’s looking at with excitement rather than trepidation.

“I’m planning to move back home and pursue a career in the film industry in Northern Ireland,” he said.

“With Game of Thrones and things being filmed there now, there is a bit of a buzz about and hopefully some opportunities.

“It’s tough to find an advertised job, it’s more about knocking on doors and telling people what you can do.”

Neill is still putting the finishing touches to his film, which will be released on April 26th.

The project has certainly helped to prepare the budding film-maker for life in the industry.

“It’s taken a long time,” he said. “Even recording 30 seconds of the film took hours.”

In all, the filming took the crew four days. Those were spent at a business park in Ormskirk, even though it would have been easier for Neill to use a university classroom.

For the local man though, there would be no cutting corners.

“We wanted to go the extra mile, put in more work and planning and find a genuine office,” he said.

Neill is also hoping to feature his film in festivals across England, all the while seeking to put his talents to use somewhere in NI’s buzzing film industry.