A professional film maker and former Bucks New University graduate has completed his latest project, starring John Challis and Amanda Barrie.
Mark Brennan, from Basingstoke, Hampshire, said that completing the short film, 'Tea for Two', was the highlight of his career so far, and that he could not have hoped for a better cast and crew.
In a whirlwind production of just three days' shooting time, Mark and his team worked twenty hour days to produce the intriguing short that has already featured at prominent global film festivals, such as Cannes.
Mark said: “Being in charge of a project like this was scary, but brilliant, because it's what I've always wanted.
“The cast were incredible – the loveliest people. They were actually friends of old, which worked out beautifully because of how much chemistry they have together.”
"The great thing about John and Amanda is, because of the career they have had in TV, they have had that experience of doing take after take, and producing great material. I couldn't have asked any more of anyone.”
After years of hard work, Mark now works for a professional production company by day and spends every other waking moment making films with his own company, Pork Chop Pictures.
Speaking about his rapid rise to success, Mark remembered a fortunate night as an undergraduate in the BNU student union bar, which set him on his journey.
He said: “I'd probably had a few too many luminous alcopops one night when a friend came in and asked me if I was interested in doing this work experience the next day.
“So I put down the shot of whatever green liquid I was drinking, and woke up early to go and help out.”
The project that Mark went to assist was the latterly-disbanded Training and Performance Showcase (TAPS), based in Shepperton. Soon, he was running around London collecting props for professional films with limited time and budget, and performed well enough to secure a permanent role after he graduated.
Reflecting on this high-energy start to his career, Mark said that, years later, it was incredible to announce the end of filming 'Tea for Two'.
He said: “I shouted, 'That's a wrap!', and I thought: oh my God, I have actually made a proper little film. It was just an amazing moment, and it was just brilliant to be a part of.”
Mark now plans to start work on a full-length feature film, and hopes to work with John Challis again in 2017 for a project based on the actor's personal anecdotes.
'Tea for Two' will now be put to the test at a full summer of festival showings, before more widespread release later this year.