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Next up: I will be featuring in the short films Dark & Stormy and Belfast Caliber 9.

23 Jan 2017

Past Work: Tea [2004]

Past Work is a series where I look back at some of the jobs I've done that didn't get posted up here for a variety of reasons.

Going through some of my old hard drives and laptops has lead to me finding some gems (or not!), and I've decided to put some of them up here for your amusement!

Tea was a short film I made in school while at the CBS Omagh. I had just worked with Chris Baugh on his film Crashing the Wake and it gave me the buzz to want to get into this industry, so I gathered a few of the other runners I was working with - Bryce Dunne and Declan Taggart (who was also one of my best mates, which was handy) - to get them to work with me on the script.

I don't remember where the idea came from for a group of Marxist agitators to start griping about the chores, but I put it on paper anyway, and went straight to the principal's office to request to use the staff room.

As far as I remember, we had broken up for reading week - you know that free holiday they gave you when they thought you were studying for the exams - so the room was largely unused anyway, and Roddy Tierney, who was the principal at the time was hugely encouraging of students taking their own initiative on extra curricular stuff.

The cast was a made up of three young actors, Michelle Cassidy, Jacqueline Roe, Mike Fitton, and my aunt Nuala Loughran, who has always been involve with drama around Omagh. We were thrown into a minor catastrophe though, when Mike was called in to work by his airline at 5am that morning, and we were due to start filming at 10am. With great determination, Mike performed his job duties on board the flight to Malta, and it's return, drove all the way back from Belfast International Airport (over 100km!) and was on set by just after 1, so we were able to shoot other scenes where he wasn't on screen.

While we were filming, I had weaseled UTV News to come down to film us and it was featured on UTV Life, a local interest magazine show, presented by Frank Mitchell and Alison Fleming, so I was talk of the town when I was introduced by them! I got interviewed as well, and there's footage out there somewhere, so hopefully I'll be able to dig it out and upload it for the cringe factor.

Obviously, as I was a complete novice, there are some glaring mistakes of continuity, edit-timing and lighting, but overall I think the joke got across - remember to share, you crazy kids!

(For the record, I am largely on board with Marxists - not totally, but their way of doing things seems a lot more attractive than the extremist capitalist rut we are in at the minute.)

From my Youtube channel: Tea [2004] A group of young Marxists want to share everything - except the chores! Short student film written and directed by James McAnespy, when he was seventeen, filmed in a high school staff room in CBS Omagh.

Jury Selection at Co-Operative Young Film Makers 2004.
Jury Selection at Imperial Beach Film Festival 2004.

Featuring Nuala Loughran, Mike Fitton, Michelle Cassidy, Jacqueline Roe Dir: James McAnespy; DoP: Bryce Dunne; Sound; Declan Taggart