Young filmmaker Michael on location in Lisburn for Fusion film

THERE has been a strange sight seen in the Lisburn area recently as local young filmmaker Michael Forde was busy filming in various locations throughout the district as part of the preparations for Fusion Theatre’s forthcoming production of Disney’s Beauty And The Beast.

Monday, 14th February 2011, 8:16 am

Michael is no stranger to filmmaking, since he spent several months working on location with the professional film crews making HBO’s medieval fantasy “Game of Thrones” starring Sean Bean and Mark Addy, and before that, the Natalie Portman film “Your Highness”, both shot on locations throughout Northern Ireland.

When he began working in the industry, Michael admits that he saw it as a holiday job which gave him an opportunity to see heroes of the screen at close quarters, but as time progressed, he found himself increasingly drawn to the film industry. He was therefore the perfect choice when Fusion’s resident Director Ian Milford had the idea of using film as part of Fusion’s production of Beauty and the Beast.

Michael was tasked with filming various scenes at local locations, with some of the cast in full costume. He admits that on occasion, it caused a bit of a stir, but is loathe to admit exactly where the filming took place, lest it spoil the surprise. He will admit that the local authorities, both political and ecclesiastical were particularly helpful in permitting use of their premises, and thinks that the local settings will add enormously to the audience’s experience when they see the on-stage performances. There might even be a prize for anyone who correctly identifies all the locations used.

Michael is not only a filmmaker in the making, but he will also be playing the key role of Lumiere in the production, a role which he is enjoying enormously. Director Ian Milford says that he has total confidence in Michael’s ever-growing ability as a film-maker and performer, and is delighted that Michael has risen to the challenge which he set.

Michael’s response is to tell the story of how he told a colleague on the professional set about the project, when the colleague, a cameraman offered to help, the cameraman had recently worked on the epic “Lord of the Rings” in New Zealand, so this wasn’t just a cameraman, this was a real cameraman!

Fusion Theatre’s production of Disney’s ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will be opening in the Island Hall in Lisburn on February 16, running through to Saturday February 19.

Tickets are now on sale at the Box Office, by telephone on 92509250. They cost £10 (Wednesday and Saturday matinee), £12 (Thursday), and £14 (Friday and Saturday).